The Rundown with Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit
Evaluating the Department of Agriculture’s Price Verification Inspection Process
Chapters
The Rundown with Kansas Legislative Division of Post Audit
Evaluating the Department of Agriculture’s Price Verification Inspection Process
Nov 30, 2020
Legislative Post Audit

The Kansas Department of Agriculture (KDA) conducts price verification inspections to check the accuracy of businesses’ pricing systems across the state. Businesses fail inspections when more than 2% of items inspectors check are mispriced. KDA may respond to failed inspections by conducting follow-up inspections or taking legal action. In fiscal years 2018 through 2020, KDA conducted a total of about 1,800 price verification inspections. The inspections covered a small percentage of all Kansas retail businesses and did not cover certain parts of the state. Businesses failed more than half (about 60%) of price verification inspections during that time. KDA didn’t conduct timely follow ups on about 75% of the failed inspections we reviewed and it issued legal orders later than it could have. Finally, it issued only small fines for repeated failed inspections. We interviewed officials in 5 other states and reviewed industry standards to learn how other states determine adequate coverage for price verification inspections. Like Kansas, other states we reviewed don’t make price verification inspections their top priority. Neither those states nor industry standards have specific criteria to determine adequate inspection coverage. Doing more price verification inspections would take additional funding or require KDA to do fewer scale or package inspections.