Service Area Strategic Plan
4/16/2014   3:25 pm
Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (301)
Biennium:
Service Area 1 of 1
Regulation of Weights and Measures and Motor Fuels (301 552 12)
Description

This service area protects consumers from inaccurate measurement, fraud, deception, and illegal practices in the marketplace. Services include:

•Inspection and testing of weighing and measuring devices
•Enforcement of motor fuel quality standards
•Calibration of measurement standards used by government and industry within the Commonwealth
•Investigation or referral of consumer complaints
•Registration of retail petroleum locations for protection from franchise encroachment
•Licensing, permitting, registration, and bonding of businesses, individuals, and products
Background Information
Mission Alignment and Authority
  • Describe how this service supports the agency mission
    This service area directly aligns with VDACS mission of providing consumer protection.
  • Describe the Statutory Authority of this Service
    Chapter 56 and 57 of Title 3.2 of the Code of Virginia (Code) authorizes the Commissioner of VDACS to establish an inspection and testing program designed to remove inaccurate weighing and measuring devices from the marketplace, assure the accurate measurement of packaged commodities, verify if item pricing by point-of-sales systems using bar codes and scanners are correct, and regulate business practices. The Commissioner is responsible for the investigation of complaints made to him concerning violations.

    Chapter 12 of Title 59.1 of the Code authorizes the Commissioner to conduct an inspection and testing program designed to protect the consumer and end user of petroleum products against inferior quality products. The Commissioner is responsible for the investigation of complaints made to him concerning violations.

    Chapter 2.2 of Title 59.1 of the Code authorizes the Commissioner to require each petroleum refiner to file a list of retail outlets operated by such refiner and require each franchise dealer to file a listing of any retail outlets operated by such franchise dealer, and to keep such lists current.

    Chapter 47 of Title 3.2 of the Code authorizes the Commissioner to license and bond certain individuals involved in the commission based sales of agricultural commodities. The Commissioner is responsible for the investigation of complaints made to him concerning violations.

    Chapter 58 of Title 3.2 of the Code provides for the regulation of individuals acting as Public Weighmasters.

    Chapter 7 of Title 61.1 of the Code gives authority to the Commissioner to administer and enforce this law governing the sales of burley tobacco.

    Chapter 19.1 of Title 62.1 of the Code authorizes the Commissioner to seize any cleaning agent held for sale or distribution which contains phosphorus in violation of this chapter.
Customers
Agency Customer Group Customer Customers served annually Potential annual customers
Agricultural Brokers Agricultural Brokers 43 43
Producers Agricultural producers 47,604 47,604
Businesses selling retail packaged commodities Businesses selling retail packaged commodities 4,600 10,000
Businesses using weighing devices and scanners Businesses using weighing devices and scanners 10,000 25,000
General Public Citizens filing complaints 600 750
Government agencies needing calibrated standards Government agencies needing calibrated standards 100 200
Manufacturers needing calibrated standards Manufacturers needing calibrated standards 200 600
Petroleum dealers using measuring devices Petroleum dealers using measuring devices 4,852 4,852
Registered Drivers (gallon measurement on pumps) Registered Drivers 4,800,000 4,800,000
Weights & Measures service agencies & technicians Weights & Measures service agencies 425 500
Weights & Measures service agencies & technicians Weights & Measures service technicians 1,600 2,000

Anticipated Changes To Agency Customer Base
None.
Partners
Partner Description
[None entered]
Products and Services
  • Factors Impacting the Products and/or Services:
    None.
  • Anticipated Changes to the Products and/or Services
    None.
  • Listing of Products and/or Services
    • Inspection and testing of weighing and measuring devices: These inspections are conducted statewide at a variety of locations, including large retail and department stores, building supplies and hardware stores, distribution facilities, and manufacturing facilities. Demand for inspection and testing at these facilities has increased concurrently with increases in population.
    • Enforcement of motor fuel quality standards: This activity ensures that quality petroleum products are available, and also that inferior products are removed from the retail market, through the testing and analysis of motor fuels and the investigation of related consumer complaints. Demand for this service will increase due to public sensitivity to rising fuel prices.
    • Calibration of measurement standards: This function involves the operation of the Metrology Laboratory and the calibration of standards used in the weights and measures inspection program. The laboratory provides traceability to national standards for measurements of mass, volume, length, temperature and frequency. The laboratory also provides measurement calibration for other government agencies and manufacturers seeking to comply with ISO 9000 standards and other quality programs that need the traceability to national standards. Demand for these services will continue to increase due to the expansion of trade opportunities requiring traceability of measurements. Local law enforcement agencies rely on the laboratory for the certification of tuning forks used to calibrate radar units. Demand for this service should remain constant.
    • Complaint investigation and referral: This function involves the investigation of consumer complaints related to measurement. Investigations may involve the accuracy of weights or measures, advertisement, method of sale, or services. Complaints may also allege unfair, deceptive or illegal business practices. The number of complaints is influenced by state of the economy, introduction of new consumer products and technologies, weather, etc. Demand for investigation of complaints has increased concurrently with increases in population.
    • Registration of retail petroleum locations: This service area seeks to ensure that retail petroleum operations are not required to compete against large petroleum refiners/producers. Without this protection the independent small business retail franchise outlet operator would be subjected to direct competition with major oil companies. Demand for this service should remain constant.
    • Licensing, permitting, registration, and bonding: This service area protects customers from unscrupulous business activities, protects the assets of agricultural producers, and regulates the activities of individuals involved in sales, installation, repair, and operation of weighing and measuring devices. Demand for this service has increased concurrently with increases in population.
Finance
  • Financial Overview
    [Nothing entered]
  • Financial Breakdown
    FY 2011    FY 2012
      General Fund     Nongeneral Fund        General Fund     Nongeneral Fund  
    Base Budget $2,247,617 $154,006    $2,247,617 $154,006
    Change To Base -$127,302 $0    -$127,302 $0
               
    Service Area Total   $2,120,315  $154,006     $2,120,315  $154,006 
Human Resources
  • Human Resources Overview
    [Nothing entered]
  • Human Resource Levels
    Effective Date      
    Total Authorized Position level 0    
    Vacant Positions 0    
    Current Employment Level 0.0    
    Non-Classified (Filled)    
    Full-Time Classified (Filled)    breakout of Current Employment Level
    Part-Time Classified (Filled)    
    Faculty (Filled)    
    Wage    
    Contract Employees    
    Total Human Resource Level 0.0   = Current Employment Level + Wage and Contract Employees
  • Factors Impacting HR
    [Nothing entered]
  • Anticipated HR Changes
    [Nothing entered]
Service Area Objectives
 
  • Continue to provide the metrology services necessary to support industry and other clients.
    Objective Description
    The accuracy of standards used in the weights and measures program is critical in establishing measurements used by all businesses in the state. Equally critical are the standards used by industrial/manufacturing firms. Inaccurate measure can increase costs, diminish quality, and result in safety hazards.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: Provide agricultural and consumer protection services that support economic growth, meet consumer needs, and encourage environmental stewardship.
      Comment: This service area directly aligns with VDACS mission of providing consumer protection, and with long term objective # 2, as promulgated by the Council for Virginia’s Future, regarding the preservation and enhancement of our economy.
    Objective Strategies
    • Maintain NVLAP accreditation in support of weights and measures field activities and industry needs.
    • Ensure that scheduling practices to handle requests for calibration services are responsive and streamlined.
    • Provide manufacturers with guidance related to quality measurement and its impact on sustained quality control in manufacturing.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Number of external clients using Metrology Laboratory Services
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Outcome
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Maintain
      Measure Baseline Value:
      249
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: As of June 30, 2009, approximately 249 external clients used the Metrology Laboratory Services

      Measure Target Value:
      249
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: Maintain the number of external clients at 249

      Data Source and Calculation: All standards submitted for calibration are inventoried for tracking into a database. The database can be searched on multiple data fields, including category of device, repeat or new client, etc.

  • Provide consumer protection and support for Virginia businesses by inspecting and testing commercially used weighing and measuring devices.
    Objective Description
    Staff conducts inspections statewide involving devices used in industrial weighing, packaging and direct sales transactions. Periodic testing activities involve the inspection of petroleum dispensers, fuel oil trucks, taxi meters, retail computing scales, vehicle scales, livestock weighing scales, and others.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: Provide agricultural and consumer protection services that support economic growth, meet consumer needs, and encourage environmental stewardship.
      Comment: This objective directly aligns with VDACS mission of providing consumer protection, and with long term objective # 2, as promulgated by the Council for Virginia’s Future, regarding the preservation and enhancement of our economy.
    Objective Strategies
    • Inspect weights and measures devices in accordance with an inspection strategy that is based on device type, relative risk, and available resources.
    • Continue to provide guidance to manufacturers, service companies and end users regarding laws, regulations and other technical requirements.
    • Monitor track record of service companies having a history of unacceptable performance and take appropriate enforcement action.
    • Continue priority response to consumer complaints in an effort to collect representative samples of questionable products, or to duplicate occurrences alleged by complainants.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Number of inspections of weighing and measuring devices.
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Output
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Up
      Measure Baseline Value:
      61000
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: As of the end of FY 09, the annual average of devices inspected was 64,437.

      Measure Target Value:
      65000
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: 65,000 devices to be inspected annually.

      Data Source and Calculation: Key data is collected on all inspections, and it is then compiled and maintained electronically. Statistics can be generated by inspector, region, or on a statewide basis.

  • Ensure that quality petroleum products are available to the public and that inferior petroleum products are removed from the retail market.
    Objective Description
    This activity is designed to ensure a fair competitive market for all businesses involved in the distribution and retail sale of petroleum products. The inspection and testing program is designed to protect the consumer and end user of petroleum products against inferior quality products from entering the market.
    Alignment to Agency Goals
    • Agency Goal: Provide agricultural and consumer protection services that support economic growth, meet consumer needs, and encourage environmental stewardship.
      Comment: This objective directly aligns with VDACS mission of providing consumer protection, and with long term objective # 2, as promulgated by the Council for Virginia’s Future, regarding the preservation and enhancement of our economy.
    Objective Strategies
    • Sample and analyze petroleum products offered for sale to the public.
    • Prioritize inspections and sampling activities with a focus on businesses having a history of non-compliance.
    • Provide timely response to consumer complaints in an effort to collect representative samples of questionable products, or to duplicate occurrences specified by complainants prior to corrective actions.
    • Evaluate the cost and operational impact of using field testing equipment to conduct octane, cetane, and percent ethanol tests to provide increased monitoring and allow for more timely corrective actions.
    Link to State Strategy
    • nothing linked
    Objective Measures
    • Number of motor fuel samples obtained for compliance to standards
      Measure Class:
      Other
      Measure Type:
      Output
      Measure Frequency:
      Annual
      Preferred Trend:
      Maintain
      Measure Baseline Value:
      3200
      Date:
      6/30/2009

      Measure Baseline Description: As of the end of FY 09, the annual average number of samples obtained was 3200

      Measure Target Value:
      3200
      Date:
      6/30/2012

      Measure Target Description: Maintain 2770 samples by FY 2012

      Data Source and Calculation: Key data is collected on all inspections, and it is then compiled and maintained electronically. Statistics can be generated by inspector, region, or on a statewide basis.


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