Consumer protection enforcement

Consumer protection laws are not being enforced as well as they could be.
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  • Updated:10 Dec 2008


A gavel

The issue

Consumer protection laws exist to ensure markets operate fairly. Good quality regulation is essential to the fair and practical operation of markets. It also protects consumers from risky and dangerous products. However, those same laws are not always effectively enforced.

In December 2008, CHOICE published the report Good practice in consumer protection enforcement, which found:

  • There is currently no agreed measure of what counts as good consumer protection enforcement.
  • There are no consistent approaches to reporting how well the agencies are doing.

CHOICE conducted research on 12 regulators against a Good Practice Model and found that none of the regulators is providing 'good' performance on consumer protection enforcement. See results here.

What we want

We want consumer protection regulators and government consumer affairs policy agencies to work together to develop a Good Practice Enforcement Model, building on that proposed in our report.

Our report also recommends that:

  • All consumer protection regulators should publish consistent, detailed reports on their enforcement activities.
  • Governments should ensure that consumer protection regulators are provided with sufficient resources to do their job.
  • Individual governments and regulators should respond to the agency-specific recommendations contained in the report.

What we’re doing

CHOICE is meeting with regulators and government agencies to discuss how to develop an improved Good Practice Model. CHOICE has urged regulators to work together to prepare and publish consistent data reporting on the key features of their enforcement work.

More information
Read the full report, Good practice in consumer protection enforcement.



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