CCB cracks down on unlicensed contractors

by Scott Barrie, OHBA

The Construction Contractors Board (CCB) recently increased its efforts to find unlicensed contractors. In February the CCB partnered with Portland FOX affiliate (KPTV) to conduct a sting in the Portland area. Last month, the CCB partnered with the Oregon Home Builders Association and conducted a sting in the Eugene/Springfield area.

Prior to the stings, the CCB obtained leads of unlicensed construction activity from advertisements, public complaints, Craig’s list, public bulletin boards and other unnamed sources.

In each operation, suspected unlicensed contractors were invited to offer bids for improvements and repairs. In Portland, CCB’s investigators and compliance officers received nine bids for construction work. All were found in violation of Oregon’s construction contracting laws (working without a license). In Eugene, seven of the eight bids were found in violation.

“Illegal activity doesn’t just hurt the consumer,” says Robert Rambo, CCB Field Investigation Manager. “It hurts the legitimate contractors who work hard to stay in compliance and keep getting undercut by those who don’t. The CCB is committed to finding and penalizing those working illegally.”

The CCB has stepped up its proactive efforts throughout the state to address illegal activity. These efforts include random jobsite checks, multi-agency enforcement sweeps (i.e. saturation of targeted areas to check jobsites for illegal activities), and additional enforcement stings.

“These efforts are designed to address unlicensed activity, as well as other illegal practices that may put Oregon workers at risk and provide an unfair competitive advantage to outlaw contractors hiring workers under the table,” says Craig P. Smith, CCB Administrator. “The CCB shares its findings with other state agencies to help penalize violators to the fullest extent of the law.”

If you are concerned that someone is working illegally in your area, you can contact the CCB at 503-378-4621.

CCB NUMBERS (APRIL – SEPT 2008)

Dispute Resolution:
Complaints filed: 679
Investigations: 240
Settlements on-site: 14
Final Orders – Damages: 225

Enforcement:
Complaints Illegal activity: 3,246
Jobsite inspections: 3,419
Investigations opened: 3,246
Warnings issued: 520
Licenses suspended: 431

Customer Service:
Incoming telephone calls: 63,028

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