Any county or city may, by ordinance, establish a local office of consumer affairs that shall have only such powers as may be necessary to perform the following duties:
1. To serve as a central coordinating agency and clearinghouse for receiving and investigating complaints of illegal, fraudulent, deceptive, or dangerous practices occurring in such county or city, and referring such complaints to the local departments or agencies charged with enforcement of consumer laws. The processing of complaints involving statutes or regulations administered by state agencies shall be coordinated, where applicable, with the Division of Consumer Counsel of the Department of Law;
2. To attempt to resolve complaints received pursuant to subdivision 1 by means of voluntary mediation or arbitration that may involve the creation of written agreements to resolve individual complaints between complainants and respondents to complaints;
4. To maintain records of consumer complaints and their eventual disposition, provided that records disclosing the business interests of any person, trade secrets, or the names of customers shall be held confidential except to the extent that disclosures of such matters may be necessary for the enforcement of laws. A copy of all periodic reports compiled by any local office of consumer affairs shall be filed with the Division of Consumer Counsel of the Department of Law.
1974, c. 644, § 15.1-23.2; 1987, c. 463; 1997, c. 587; 1998, c. 194; 2013, c. 24.