Department of Agriculture and Markets

Weights and Measures Program

According to State law, all devices used to weigh and measure commodities sold on the basis of their weight, volume or size must be inspected and tested for accuracy at least once a year. In addition, packaged commodities such as foods, cleaning agents, and yard and garden products are subject to inspection to ensure that the packages contain the amount indicated on the label. Furthermore, gasoline and diesel fuels sold for use in motor vehicles are subject to inspection to ensure that the fuels meet certain quality standards and are properly labeled for sale. These various inspections are performed through the Weights and Measures Program administered by the Department of Agriculture and Markets. Some types of inspections are performed by the Department, while other types are performed by 64 municipalities (57 counties and seven cites) under the supervision of the Department.

We identified gaps in the inspection coverage provided by the Weights and Measures Program, as inspection requirements were not met in some municipalities and Department inspections were not always administered effectively. For example, in one of the years addressed by audit, ten municipalities reported that more than 20 percent of the weighing/measuring devices in their jurisdiction were not inspected; in addition, the Department may not always follow up to ensure that corrective action has been taken when it identifies defective meters on trucks delivering heating oil and other liquefied petroleum gas. We recommended that the Department monitor the municipalities more closely, consider developing performance standards for inspections, and make certain improvements in its own inspection procedures and practices. We also recommended that a manual process used to obtain information about the inspections performed by the municipalities be automated.

For a complete copy of Report 2000-S-24 click here.
For a copy of the 90-day response click here.
For a copy of the associated follow-up report click here.