The Florida Legislature
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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Review of the Amusement Device Safety Inspection Program Administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Report No. 94-42,

  • There are several weaknesses in DACS's efforts to regulate amusement device safety. The statutory requirement to inspect all amusement devices at each set-up creates substantial workload and prevents DACS from targeting its efforts at devices that pose the highest potential risk to the public. DACS's inspection efforts are generally limited to examining the mechanical condition of rides. However, 85% of reported accidents in Florida were attributed to patron behavior or operator errors that are not addressed during Department inspections. Additionally, inspectors spend time reviewing insurance and other ride-associated paperwork of amusement companies rather than performing safety inspections. These paperwork checks could be more efficiently performed by the Department's central office. Finally, the Program lacks an automated management information system, which prevents managers from reviewing inspection data to identify companies with poor safety practices and to evaluate the Department's inspection efforts.
  • The statutory requirement that amusement companies obtain annual private inspections and non-destructive tests for each amusement device increases costs but has limited value in ensuring public safety. It would be more cost-effective to require device operators to perform the non-destructive tests when recommended by device manufacturers, rather than to conduct these tests annually on all devices.
  • The Program is not self-supporting through fee revenues as required by law. During fiscal year 1993-94, Program expenditures were approximately $801,000, of which only $244,000 was recovered through fees. The remaining costs were paid by general revenue and other DACS funds.

Which Government Program Summaries contain related information?

Consumer Protection

What other OPPAGA-related materials are available?

  • Report No. 01-51 Justification Review: General Revenue Savings Possible in Consumer Protection Program, published in November 2001.
  • Report No. 96-40 Follow-up Report on the Amusement Device Safety Inspection Program Administered by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, published in January 1997.

Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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