The Office of Cemetery Oversight (OCO) was established in Title 5 of the Business Regulation Article of the Maryland Annotated Code by the Maryland Legislature in August
1997. It was placed under the regulatory authority of the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation. The mission of the Office is to provide high standards of performance
in the death care industry, enhance healthy economic competition, promote consumer confidence in burial goods products and services and to provide structure and oversight
to pre -planning arrangements. The Office provides a responsive complaint/resolution process for consumers and operates a fair and effective regulatory enforcement system
for cemeteries, monument dealers and sellers of burial goods and crematories that are subject to its regulatory authority.
The primary objective for the Office is to license and monitor sole proprietorships, individuals, partnerships, corporations and limited liability companies operating
cemeteries as well as businesses providing burial goods and services to consumers, including monuments and memorials, in the State of Maryland. OCO also regulates and
provides licensure for crematories, under their jurisdiction, in the state.
Responsibilities of the office include the investigation and mediation of consumer complaints involving registrants, licensees and permit holders.
OCO determines and
enforces the ethical standards related to the operation of cemeteries and those related to the provision of burial goods and services within the State in order to protect
the citizens of Maryland from unfair and unscrupulous practices.
Advisory Council Members
The Council is composed of 11 members appointed by the Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and includes five consumer representatives.
The Advisory Council on Cemetery Operations is required to meet at least four times per year to advise the Secretary of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, and the Executive
Director on issues related to the regulation and administration of the Office. Interim meetings will be scheduled as
needed. The meetings are held at DLLR, 500 N. Calvert St. Baltimore, Md. 21202 in the
3rd floor conference room at 10:00 a.m., unless otherwise posted. All meetings are open to the public.