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Ministerial Statement by Minister of Culture & Social Rehabilitation, Dale Butler - Consumer Affairs Annual Report

Ministerial Statement
To The House of Assembly

By
The Hon. Dale D. Butler, JP, MP
Minister of Culture and Social Rehabilitation

CONSUMER AFFAIRS ANNUAL REPORT 2007

Date: July 18th, 2008

Mr. Speaker, Honourable Members of the House:

Under the Consumer Protection Act 1999, Consumer Affairs is the designated body with responsibility for protecting the rights of consumers from unfair business practices, unconscionable acts and unsafe consumer goods. Under Section 10 of the Act, the Board must furnish to the Minister a report on the activities of the Board throughout the year. This is the seventh annual report of the Consumer Affairs Board.

Mr. Speaker, the Board’s seventh year was a very busy one with a continued focus on the development and implementation of educational programs, investigations and assistance to both traders and consumers to improve customer relationships island-wide.

Mr. Speaker, the issue of product safety was brought to the public’s attention due to a sudden increase of product recalls. Three hundred and twenty four (324) investigations into product recalls were conducted as compared to one hundred and twenty two (122) in 2006. The recalls were not isolated to any particular brand, product, industry or location and were issued worldwide.

Mr. Speaker, the accomplishments of the Board during 2007, as clearly noted in the Report, has been plentiful. They include:

• Development of the Youth’s Guide to the Bermuda Court System Booklet;
• Facilitation of the work of the Licensing Authority Task Force;
• Facilitation of the introduction of Ultra-Low Sulphur Diesel Fuel;
• Participation in a monthly radio segment on the David Lopes Show;
• Development of Rooming and Boarding House Regulations under the Public Health Act, 1949 in conjunction with the Office of the Ombudsman, Ministries of Health, Labour, Home Affairs and Housing, Office of the Rent Commissioner, and Fire and Rescue Services;
• Development and launch of the Consumers and the Environment Task Group; and
• Investigation of 707 consumer cases.

In closing Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to lay this Report before both Houses of the Legislature.

Thank You.