Protecting Consumers - the System for Enforcing Consumer Law

Protecting Consumers - the System for Enforcing Consumer Law

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The Commons Public Accounts Committee publishes its 54th report of Session 2010-12, on the basis of evidence from consumer groups, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Office of Fair Trading, and the Trading Standards Institute, examining the current arrangements for the enforcement of consumer law, and the proposed changes to the regime. Individual consumers lose around Ap6.6 billion every year because of the malpractices of traders. At least Ap4.8 billion is lost through malpractices which occur at a regional or national level, such as mass market scams, counterfeiting, and unscrupulous traders who operate over large geographical areas. The Department has overall responsibility for policy on consumer protection. However, the majority of enforcement work, from weights and measures testing to the prosecution of rogue traders, is carried out by local authority Trading Standards Services, each with jurisdiction in only its own local area. The Committee states, that the Department has limited understanding of the true cost of protecting consumers or of the success of existing interventions. There is no clear and complete information on how much enforcement activity actually costs. The approach to enforcing consumer protection has not kept pace with the changing nature of the problems it is intended to tackle, such as online shopping. Any changes the Department makes must deliver a system fit for the modern era. Responsibility for tackling regional and national instances of malpractice or rogue trading must be clearly designated.Fifty-fourth Report of Session 2010-12, Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence Great Britain: ... facing consumers in sectors subject to economic regulationa€”energy, post and communications, transport and water. ... decision makersa€ and that we are a€œkey in providing expertise and advocating the consumer perspective on issues that ... system will be more fragmented, with separate bodies and voices likely in Scotland, England and Wales and Northern Ireland.

Title:Protecting Consumers - the System for Enforcing Consumer Law
Author:Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Committee of Public Accounts
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2011-11-09


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