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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR- 198-04
July 16, 2004

MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES INITIATIVE TO IMPROVE LICENSING AND STRENGTHEN ORGANIZED CRIME INVESTIGATION UNIT AT THE BUSINESS INTEGRITY COMMISSION

Plan Includes Innovative Partnership with the Department of Consumer Affairs; DCA Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra Appointed Senior Advisor for Regulatory and Consumer Affairs

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg today announced an initiative to improve licensing and strengthen the organized crime investigation unit at the Business Integrity Commission (BIC).  The initiative includes the appointment of DCA Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra as Mayor Bloomberg’s Senior Advisor for Regulatory and Consumer Affairs.  Commissioner Dykstra will oversee BIC’s licensing and licensing enforcement functions.  The BIC will also continue to work aggressively at eradicating organized crime through its investigative unit. The partnership will increase cooperation and eliminate redundancies between the agencies, and encourage more competition for BIC’s licensed businesses: trade waste, public markets, and off-shore gambling.

“Under Mayor Giuliani’s direction, the Business Integrity Commission did a great job cleaning up the City’s public markets and trade waste industries of organized crime,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This partnership will maintain that vigilance, while stimulating greater economic development and consumer protection in those industries. Matching the strengths of the Commission with the Department of Consumer Affairs makes sense and will allow for effective cooperation and competition among the City’s licensed businesses.”

“We’re proud Mayor Bloomberg has asked the DCA to be part of this creative and sensible partnership,” said Commissioner Dykstra. “We look forward to building on our strengths so businesses can thrive and consumers are protected.”

Over the past two years, the DCA has improved its licensing functions making applications easier to read and more accessible online, while streamlining cumbersome application processes. In addition, the DCA has implemented programs to collect fines more efficiently and cross-trained its inspectors, opening four borough enforcement offices. During this time the DCA also eliminated the backlog of consumer cases in its adjudication division.

Previously known as the Trade Waste Commission, BIC became a permanent City agency in November 2001. Commissioners from five City agencies including Departments of Consumer Affairs, Small Business Services, Investigations, Sanitation, and Police, all serve advisory roles and sit on the Commission.







MEDIA CONTACT:


Edward Skyler / Jonathan Werbell   (212) 788-2958

Dina Improta   (DCA)
(212) 487-4283




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