JAMES T. FLEMING, Commissioner
Edwin R. Rodriguez, Deputy Commissioner
Established - 1959
Statutory authority - CGS Chap. 416, Section 21a-1
Central office - 165 Capitol Avenue,
Hartford, CT 06106
Average number of employees - 190 (All Funds)
Recurring operating expenses - $13,015,910
Transportation Fund Receipts Deposited $ 934,790
Business Office: provides financial and administrative support services such as budgeting, accounting, accounts payable/receivable, payroll and procurement.
Consumer Education: proactively provides consumers with information helping them protect themselves and provides educational seminars on issues such as the prevention of underage drinking and playground safety.
Communications: keeps the public alerted through the media to marketplace fraud, food and product recalls and the Agency's legal actions by providing information to the media. Also provides support to the Commissioner for research on emerging issues or problems.
Drug Control Division: enforces laws concerning the manufacture, sale and distribution of all controlled substances and the adulteration and/or misbranding of all drugs, cosmetics and medical devices.
Food & Standards: oversees food safety and labeling and ensures accuracy of all weights and measures of food, fuels and other consumer commodities by regular inspections as well as inspections of accidents and other emergency sites. The Measurement Laboratory is the only metrology certification laboratory in the State.
Human Resources: administers all personnel, labor relations and affirmative action activities.
Information Systems Unit: provides information technology support to the agency. Our IT system also allows consumers to obtain information on CT laws, file a complaint, download rosters and utilize many other services.
Legal Staff: handles the Agency's legal business, drafts legislative proposals and regulations, and conducts compliance meetings and administrative hearings.
License Services: processes 171,000 licenses, registrations and permits in 192 categories.
Liquor Control: conducts inspections of licensed liquor establishments, investigates new liquor applicants for suitability, conducts investigations into complaints of violations of state liquor regulations and laws, works in a collaborative manner with local, state and federal law enforcement officers, provides training on state liquor laws and regulations
Public Charities Unit: Registers professional fund-raisers and profiles charitable organizations to protect the public from charity fraud.
Trade Practices: Investigates violations of law involving Connecticut’s Unfair Trade Practices Act, Itinerant Vendors, Health Clubs, Closing Out Sales, Product Safety, Home Improvement and New Home Construction. Also, enforces the provisions of the New Car Warranty Act, known as “Lemon Law”. Provides a consumer complaint center handling written complaints and managing a consumer “hotline”.
Occupational and Professional Licensing: oversees occupational, professional, athletic, real estate and appraisal applications for licensure, investigates violations and consumer complaints and assists 16 State Licensing Boards and Commissions.
Enforcement Operations: The Chief of Enforcement Operations oversees the enforcement components of the Drug Control, Food and Standards, and Liquor Control Divisions to ensure efficiency, to coordinate planning and budgeting, and to promote utilization of new technologies for the highest level of efficiency.
The Department of Consumer Protection is dedicated to ensuring a safe and equitable marketplace, and safe products and services for consumers in the industries that we license, regulate and enforce. It is the first line of defense against fraud and product hazards. The Agency accomplishes its goals by; enforcing laws governing critical consumer products, services and transactions; by administering guarantee funds and bringing legal actions to obtain consumer restitution; by licensing more than 192 trades, professions and business entities to ensure that license holders are qualified to offer their services; and by helping prevent problems with continuing communications and consumer education.
The Department is firmly committed to the principles and objectives of equal employment opportunity for all individuals. The Department's full-time Affirmative Action Officer coordinates and monitors the Agency's programs and ensures compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act, the Fair Employment Practices Act, Affirmative Action regulations and Contract Compliance laws.
In FY 2002-2003, 49 percent of the Agency's employees were female and 51 percent were male, with the following composition: 75 white, 15 percent black, 7 percent Hispanic, two percent Asian and one percent Indian. The Department's Affirmative Action plan has been approved by the CT Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
The Agency had a banner year protecting consumers. Some highlights:
· Established the State’s first full-scale online license renewal system. In the first year, 8,500 licensee’s renewed their respective credentials online using the Department’s new e-commerce website. The total fees collected from online renewals were $1,081,330.
· Provided training to more than four hundred law enforcement officers on state liquor laws and regulations, with special emphasis on sales to minors and intoxicated persons.
· A major sting operation in Bristol netted seventy-one home improvement contractors found in violation of the law.
· Lemon Law Program returned over five million dollars to consumers through manufacturer’s compliance of arbitration awards.
· Received and implemented an Innovative Food Safety Grant from the FDA related to cider and juice production.
· Enrolled in the FDA’s Program Standards Program for food safety inspection and completed an initial baseline of inspections related to food safety risk factors in DCP regulated food establishments.
· Two major undercover drug control operations, in cooperation with other agencies, resulted in the arrest of a Bridgeport physician accused of illegally prescribing Oxycontin to addicts and of being the leading prescriber of the drug to Medicaid patients, and the arrest of a New Britain physician accused of illegally prescribing controlled substances.