Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO examined various issues involving consumers' dealings with funeral-related or death care industries, which include businesses that provide funeral and cemetery goods or services, focusing on: (1) the availability of information on the nature and extent of consumer complaints about death care industries; (2) the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) efforts to ensure compliance with its Funeral Rule; and (3) selected state governments' roles in protecting consumers in their death care transactions.
Recommendations for Executive Action
|Federal Trade Commission||1. To help assess the overall effectiveness of FTC's Funeral Rule enforcement strategy, the Chairman of FTC should: (1) review possible approaches to determine the most cost-effective means for FTC to conduct sweeps that would result in both a more convincing sample of funeral providers and a broader analysis of the various requirements of the Funeral Rule; and (2) develop and implement a plan for carrying out such an approach in a systematic manner.|
|Federal Trade Commission||2. To ensure that FTC can consistently: (1) determine whether violations of the Rule's requirements occurred; and (2) document the specific reasons FTC did or did not act on such violations, the Chairman of FTC should train FTC staff on the specific standards needed for a consistent and acceptable level of documentation.|