The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) and Simbu Provincial Administration today (Friday 9th, July) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will allow for the appointment of two Business Development Officers (BDO) who will perform the role of, and act as agents for, the ICCC in the province.
Sections 7 (1) and 106 (c) of the ICCC Act empower the ICCC, amongst other things, to liaise with Government agencies on matters relating to consumer protection legislation.
ICCC Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Paulus Ain said the ICCC and the Simbu Provincial Administration recognized that resource constraints have the potential to restrict efforts of both organizations in maintaining an effective system of surveillance on prices and service standards of declared consumer goods and services, and ensuring compliance of pricing policies, and the minimum standard requirements for the provision of goods and services are maintained in the province.
“This MoU is essentially to facilitate and promote an effective co-operation between the ICCC and the Simbu Provincial Administration towards the achievement of the purposes and objectives of the ICCC, the general objectives of the Simbu Provincial Government and the overall objectives of the National Government towards the primary objective to enhance the welfare of the people of Papua New Guinea.” Mr. Ain said.
“Essentially, the co-operation and co-ordination required under this MoU will entail the appointment of two BDOs as agents of the ICCC but employed by the Provincial Administration.”
“The BDOs will perform the role of the ICCC, and act as agents for the ICCC in the province.”
The BDOs are empowered to investigate traders upon report or complaint and are empowered specifically to issue verbal or written notices or instigate legal proceedings against business houses on behalf of the ICCC.
The actions of the BDOs are restricted to;
- Monitoring and enforcing Public Motor Vehicle and fares;
- Monitoring declared goods;
- Enforcing Indicative Retail Price for fuel products;
- Monitoring and enforcing product safety;
- Monitoring and reporting on performance of regulated service providers;
- Monitoring and reporting on competition matters;
- Registering and attending to consumer complaints/queries;
- Establishing joint enforcement arrangements with relevant provincial based stakeholders such as the Provincial Health Authorities, Urban Local Level Government/town authority, the Town Mayors’ Office, the Commerce Advisor, and PNG Power Limited, and take-joint enforcement action on consumer issues that fall outside the ICCC’s mandate;;
- Monitoring and reporting on use of Trade Measurement (TM) equipment by business in the Province; and
- Collection of TM inspection fees.
Mr. Ain said under the MoU the ICCC will provide induction workshops and training for the BDOs on their delegated duties in and support them to effectively discharge their responsibilities.
“The Commission will provide the BDOs details of significant decisions made by the ICCC for dissemination to relevant provincial based stakeholders in a timely manner.
“This includes but is not limited to monthly fuel prices orders; periodic PMV fare determinations; release of various issue papers, draft and final reports of the ICCC’s regulatory and competition reviews; Products Safety Gazette Notices; Consumer Product safety tips/alerts; Warning Notices published by the ICCC; and other Orders, Determinations, Notices, Papers, Reports etc. when necessary.”
“The provincial administration will provide oversight on the work of the BDOs and provide public service induction training on their roles as well as on-going support to assist them discharge their responsibilities effectively under this MoU.”