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									 A quarterly newsletter of the Independent Consumer & Competition Commission                          January - March 2005                   Issue No 1

this issue                        ICCC: PNG’s consumer watchdog
2 Message
                                  and economic regulator
                                         he Independent Consumer and
   from the
   Commissioner                    T     Competition came into being
                                         when the National Government
                                   decided to expand and broaden the
                                   role and functions of the former
                                   Consumer Affairs Council (CAC).
2 Roles and                        Thus the creation of ICCC establish-
                                   es itself to be PNG’s only economic
   Functions                       regulatory body and the Consumer’s
   of ICCC                            The Independent Consumer and
                                   Competition Commission Act 2002,
                                   provides that the primary function
3 Why consumer                     of ICCC is to enhance the welfare of       Guest speakers at the 1st legal workshop on competition law, held in Port
                                                                              Moresby in February, 2005. (L-R) Paul Baxter, Robert French, Christian Jose,
                                   the people of Papua New Guinea
   awareness is                    through:
                                                                              Hank Spier, David Brewster and Merv Keehn. Story on page 4.

                                                                                 ● Core Division-Prices &                       Monitoring;
   important                           ● The promotion of competi-
                                           tion, fair trading and protec-          Regulatory Affairs                       ●   Trade Measurement, Quality
                                           tion of the consumer’s inter-         ● Core Division-Competitive                    Control & Standards.
                                           est; and the promotion of               Market & Fair Trade
4 News on Legal                            economic efficiency in indus-         ● Support Division-Finance &            Consumer Education (CE)
                                           try structure, investment and           Administration                        Consumer Education provides infor-
   workshop                                business conduct; and                 ● Support Division-Legal &              mation to consumers on their rights
                                       ● The protection of the long-               Secretariat                           and responsibilities.
                                           term interests of the people
5 Consumer                                 of Papua New Guinea with           Consumer Protection Division
                                                                                                                         Price Monitoring & Surveillance
                                           regard to price, quality and
   International                           reliability of significant goods   The Consumer Protection Division           PMS involves conducting surveil-
                                           and services.                      administers Part VII of the ICCC Act.      lance and inspection on price-con-
                                                                                 The main function of the division       trolled goods and services.

6 Corporate Plan                   National Government’s Consumer
                                                                              is to advocate and protect the rights
                                                                              and interests of consumers by              Trade Measurement, Quality
                                                                                                                         Control and Standards (TMQCS)
   for 2005 - 2007                 Section 104 of the ICCC Act declares
                                   the Government’s Consumer Policy
                                                                              ensuring that suppliers of goods
                                                                              and services conduct themselves in         The function of this branch involves
                                   as follows…” it is the policy of the       a fair and just manner.                    conducting inspections, verifica-
                                   State to protect the rights and inter-        In particular, the division is          tions and caliberation on instru-
7 Your                             ests of Consumers and to monitor           responsible for:                           ments and measurements used for
                                   standards for the ethical conduct of           ● Promoting and protecting             purposes of trade. It is also respon-
   Noticeboard                     those engaged in the production                    the bona fide interests of         sible for introducing codes and
                                   and distribution of goods and serv-                consumers with regard to           developing protocols for product
                                   ices.”                                             the price, quality and reliabil-   recall under the ICCC Act and
7 Memorandum                          Section 105 declares that the                   ity of goods and services;         ensures quality assurance, control
                                                                                                                         and the safety of consumers.
                                   State recognizes that consumers                    and
   of                              have such rights as to Safety,                 ● Investigate complaints con-
                                   Choice, Consumer Education,                                                           Prices & Regulatory Affairs
                                                                                      cerning matters affecting or
   Understanding                   Information, Representation and                    are likely to affect the bona
                                                                                                                         Division (PRAD)
                                   Redress.                                                                              This Division is involved with
                                                                                      fide interests of consumers
                                                                                                                         administering Part III (Regulated
                                                                                      in relation to the provisions
                                   Structure of ICCC                                                                     Entities, Goods, Services and
                                                                                      of goods and services.
8 Our Mission                      ICCC is made up of three core divi-                                                   Contracts) of the ICCC Act; and
                                   sions and two support divisions as                                                       The main functions of this
                                                                              The Division aims to achieve this
   Statement                       follow:                                    through the following branches:
                                                                                                                         Division includes price regulation,
                                       ● Core       Division-Consumer                                                    licensing, industry regulation and
                                                                                 ● Consumer Education;
                                           Protection                            ● Price      Surveillance and                  ■ continued page 4

                                           “Friend to Business, Friend to Consumers”                                                                       1
                                                                                                     in the market place. The         wishes to exhibit and exer-

 Message from the Commissioner                                                                       expansion of the regulatory
                                                                                                     provisions of the ICCC Act
                                                                                                     poses great challenges for
                                                                                                     businesses and it will not be
                                                                                                                                      cise good governance with
                                                                                                                                      the highest levels of profes-
                                                                                                                                      sionalism, transparency,
                                                                                                                                      accountability and integrity
     he passage of the                                              This, in turn will mean pros-    easy. However, it is this very   in discharging its duties.

T    Independent Consumer
     and        Competition
Commission Act 2002,
                                                                    perity and growth in busi-
                                                                    nesses and the economy
                                                                    thereby giving the con-
                                                                                                     challenge that all stakehold-
                                                                                                     ers will have to come to
                                                                                                     appreciate and understand
                                                                                                                                         Also in accordance with
                                                                                                                                      the ICCC values, the ICCC
                                                                                                                                      culture will be that of being
introduced a new dimension                                          sumers choice of more and        fairly quickly and undertake     accessible, proactive, focus-
in the conduct and behav-                                           better goods and services at     the necessary changes in         ing on outcomes and com-
iour of businesses in Papua                                         affordable prices and which      the way we think and do          mitment to its mission. The
New Guinea. It meant busi-                                          meet minimum service             business.                        recruitment and training of
nesses will now face new                                            delivery standards.                  In our endeavour to cre-     staff will seek to maintain
challenges in the way they                                             Further, the ICCC has a far   ate a market that is compet-     that culture.
conduct their business. In                                          broader mandate than the         itive, fair and conscious of        I wish to take this oppor-
particular, businesses will                                         case with its predecessor,       consumer interests, the          tunity to congratulate the
have to comply with market                                          the     Consumer      Affairs    ICCC has developed a 2005-       Government for recognizing
conduct rules and fair trade                                        Council (CAC), which had a       2007 Corporate Plan which        the important role of thee
                                 Mr Thomas Abe
practices and at the same        Commissioner                       narrower and limited focus       sets out the strategies for      ICCC at this juncture and the
time being mindful of con-                                          on controlling prices of cer-    achieving its goals and pri-     impact it may have on the
sumer interests. It is all                                          tain regulated goods and         ority activities during the      people as a direct result of
about correcting market fail-    Independent Consumer and           services and protection of       period.                          the improved performance
ures which have, for so          Competition Commission             consumer interests only.             The Corporate Plan also      of the economy and service
long, worked to the detri-       (ICCC) is anti business. To           There is also a change in     sets out its role and func-      delivery standards.
ment of the people through       the contrary, the ICCC is          emphasis and focus from          tions and highlights its man-
indiscriminate price increas-    very much pro business and         the original policing and        date, mission statement,
es and low service delivery      is ready and willing to work       watchdog orientation to pro-     values and aspirations as
standards. This however,         with businesses to improve         motion and protection of         well as the priorities for the     THOMAS ABE
does not mean that the           current performance levels.        competition and fair trading     next three years. The ICCC         Commissioner

                         THE ROLES AND FUNCTIONS OF
What ICCC is all about           Consumer Affairs Council           two support divisions headed     partisan        Appointment      out with these five divisions,
The Independent Consumer         (CAC) which had a narrower         by a full time Commissioner      Committee chaired by the         plus the Commissioner and
and Competition Commi-           and limited focus on control-      and two part time Associate      Prime Minister appoints the      Chief Executive’s office.
ssion (ICCC) was formally        ling prices of certain regulat-    Commissioners of which,          Commissioners.                   Details of functions are out-
established in January 2003      ed goods and services and          one is a non-resident. A bi-        The work of ICCC is carried   lined below:
following the passing of the     more involved with the pro-
ICCC        legislation     by   tection of consumer interest
Parliament in March 2002.        only. In addition to the func-     COMMISSIONERS
This legislation was intro-      tions and responsibilities
duced as a result of a major     taken over from the Price
regulatory reform conducted      Controller and CAC, the ICCC
in 2001. The government at       is further tasked to promote
that time saw the need for       and protect competition and
effective economic regulation    to ensure fair trading in the
as a means of minimizing         market place. This means
market failures that were        that ICCC has both direct and
becoming detrimental to both     indirect influence of the
the economy and consumers        country’s economic activities
in Papua New Guinea. The         and as such is required to be
deterioration of performance     impartial in its dealings with
and service delivery stan-       the business community and
dards of State Owned Entities    other stakeholders.                Commissioner & Chief             (Part    time      Associate     (Part    time   Associate
(SOEs) was also a factor            The ICCC is therefore,          Executive Officer                Commissioner,       resident:    Commissioner, non resident:
which influenced the need for    independent from the gov-          (Thomas Abe)                     Chris Gideon)                    Paul Baxter)
the reforms. The government
recognized that in order to
correct these deficiencies
                                 ernment of the day in carry-
                                 ing out its statutory functions
                                 and is expected to maintain
and establish a well function-   the highest levels of integrity,
ing market, it needed better     professional conduct and                  The Commissioners oversee the work of the Commission;
regulation of the SOEs to        accountability. It is for this      determine the Commission’s policies and priorities in carrying out its
enhance its performance.         reason that the ICCC Act pro-         functions and exercising its powers; ensure the budget is properly
   As a result of these policy   vides that the decisions of the
considerations the ICCC was      Commission         may       be
                                                                     implemented in achieving the priority area of work; ensure good cor-
formed. It has a broader         appealed through an Appeals         porate governance and communicate with Commission’s stakeholders.
mandate than was the case        Panel.                                                  The Commissioner is both the
with its predecessors, the          The corporate structure

                                                                              Chairman and the Chief Executive Officer of ICCC.
Price Controller and the         comprises of three core and

 2                                                      “Friend to Business, Friend to Consumers”

                                  Gima Maro                         Taunao Vai                       Api Kali
Joe Cajetan                       Competitive Market and            Price and Regulatory             Finance and Administration        Andrew Wasina
Consumer Protection Division      Fair Trade Division               Affairs Division                 Division                          Legal & Secretariat Unit

Consumer Protection Division                            ments and measurements used for the purpose of          regard to price, quality and reliability of goods and
(Manager: Joe Cajetan)                                  trade.                                                  services.
The Consumer Protection Division’s major role is to
advocate and protect the rights and interests of        Competitive Market and Fair Trade Division              Finance and Administration Division
consumers by ensuring that suppliers of goods and       (Manager: Gima Maro)                                    (Manager: Api Kali)
services conduct themselves in a fair and justified     The Competitive Market and Fair Trade Division is       The Finance and Administration is responsible for
manner.                                                 responsible for promoting and facilitating a fair and   the provision of effective support services to other
   The division has three functions in carrying out     competitive market, so as to achieve economic effi-     technical divisions of the Commission in areas of
its major role which are: consumer education; price     ciency. Achieving a fair and competitive market will    finance, general administration, human resource
surveillance and monitoring; trade and food meas-       in turn produce lower prices for goods and servic-      management and information technology services.
urement, quality control and standards.                 es and increase choice leading to overall enhance-
   Price monitoring and surveillance is involved in     ment of the welfare of Papua New Guineans.              Legal & Secretariat Unit
conducting surveillance and inspection on price-                                                                (Corporate Secretary: Andrew Wasina)
controlled items. The consumer education is             Price and Regulatory Affairs Division                   The primary role of the Legal and Secretariat Unit is
responsible for educating and providing informa-        (Manager: Taunao Vai)                                   to provide advice on legal matters that affect the
tion to consumers on their rights and responsibili-     Price and Regulatory Affairs Division performs          Commission in law, finance and administration;
ties. Trade measurement, quality control and stan-      functions relating to price regulation, licensing,      represent the Commission in legal proceedings ini-
dards is resposible for conducting food and trade       industry regulation including promoting and pro-        tiated for or against the Commission; and provide
inspections, verifications and calibration on instru-   tecting bona fide interests of consumers with           secretariat services to the Commission.

  Why consumer awareness and information is important!
       onsumer awareness and any other informa-         need to know and exercise so that they get value        If consumers feel that they have been responsible

C      tion relating to consumption of goods and
       services in the marketplace are important
because consumers have their rights and respon-
                                                        for money:
                                                           1. Critical Awareness
                                                                   Consumers must be certain and be
                                                                                                                in making the choice for the goods and services
                                                                                                                that they have purchased and are not satisfied,
                                                                                                                then they can practice their rights to get a fair
sibilities to speak out about unjust practices by             critical of every purchase that they are          hearing and redress.
the suppliers of goods and services.                          going to make so that they can get the                4. The Right to Choose
   Consumers must therefore know about their                  best quality and value for their money.                  This right allows that the consumer can
rights and responsibilities in order to protect and                Consumers need to check the availabil-              choose goods and services at satisfactory
assist them when they are out in the market                   ity of goods and services in particular                  quality and having access to a variety of
place.                                                        spare parts or service for the products                  goods and services.
                                                              they are buying.                                      5. The Right to be Heard
Consumer Rights and Responsibilities                       2. Involvement                                              Gives the consumer the right to speak out
                                                              Consumers must get involved and act                      or lay complaints if not satisfied with
The eight basic rights to protect consumers are;              accordingly to ensure that they get a fair               goods and services purchased. The con-
    1. The Right to Basic Needs:                              deal.                                                    sumer has the right to have his interest
       This right guarantees survival for the con-         3. Social Responsibility                                    represented and expressed in the estab-
       sumers with basic needs such adequate                       Consumers must act with concern and                 lishment and enforcement of government
       food, shelter, water, clothing, health care,           sensitivity of how their actions will affect             policies.
       education and sanitation.                              other after consuming what they have pur-             6. The Right to Consumer Education
    2. The Right to Safety:                                   chased.                                                  Ensures that consumers are educated and
       It is a right to be protected against the                   A good example of this is the con-                  informed so that they are purchasing the
       marketing of goods or the provision of                 sumption of alcohol and the effects of it on             right type of goods and services that they
       services that may pose danger to health                one’s behaviour towards others.                          require.
       and life.                                           4. Ecological Responsibility                             7. The Right to Redress
    3. The Right to be informed:                              Consumers must act to ensure that their                  This stands for fair settlement of claims
       This right protects the consumer against               consumption of goods and services does                   and to be compensated for misrepresenta-
       dishonest or misleading advertising or                 not harm the environment.                                tion of shoddy goods or unsatisfactory
       labelling. Consumers should be given nec-           5. Solidarity                                               services.
       essary facts and information on labels,                Consumers need to work together to                    8. The Right to Healthy Environment
       packages, advertisements and any publici-              ensure that the consumer message is                      Ensures that consumers live and work in a
       ty in order to make an informed choice.                heard and acted upon. Working together                   healthy environment which permits a life
In addition to the rights of consumers there are              as a group of consumers would be a force                 of dignity and wellbeing for present and
five consumer responsibilities that consumers                 to be reckoned with.                                     future generations.

                                                        “Friend to Business, Friend to Consumers”                                                                 3
      ICCC: PNG’s only consumer’s watchdog
             ■ from page 1                       Transport Board.                         ✓ Flour                                   and promote competitive mar-
                                             ●   Such regulated entities have             ✓ Margarines                              ket conduct and behaviour;
other matters conferred on the                   regulatory contracts with the            ✓ Canned Meat                         ●   Prevent the abuse of market
Commission by the ICCC Act or any                ICCC which allows for statuto-           ✓ Poultry                                 power;
other Act, including, without limita-            ry protection on monopoly                ✓ Rice                                ●   Promote economic efficiency
tion, in relation to issuing, administer-        over such declared services as           ✓ Soap                                    in industry structure, invest-
ing and enforcing regulatory contracts           Electricity,            Water,                                                     ment and business conduct;
                                                                                          ✓ Sugar
by:                                              Telecommunication, Postal                                                      ●   Receive and consider applica-
                                                                                          ✓ Tea
                                                 Services,     Third      Party                                                     tions from individuals or busi-
     ●   Monitoring the operation of,            Insurance, Ports & Harbours                                                        ness entities for ICCC clear-
                                                 and Land Transport.               Competitive Market & Fair Trade
         and review from time to time                                                                                               ance and authorization on any
                                                                                   Division (CMFT)
         of codes and rules relating to                                                                                             business acquisition or merger
         the conduct of regulated enti-      ●   Declared Goods are:                                                                etc.;
                                                                                   CMFT’s role is to administer Part VI of
         ties such as PNG Power, PNG             ✓ Batteries (including torches                                                 ●   Enforce the Competitive
                                                                                   the ICCC Act. Its main function is to:
         Water Board (Eda Ranu), PNG             & radios)                                                                          Market Conduct Rules which
         Telikom Ltd, Post PNG Ltd,              ✓ Coffee                                                                           apply to all businesses, includ-
                                                                                      ● Promote and protect fair trade
         Motor Vehicles Insurance Ltd            ✓ Canned Fish                                                                      ing businesses operated by the
         (MVIL) PNG Harbours Board                                                      practices and fair market;
                                                 ✓ Powdered Milk                                                                    State and its agencies.
                                                                                      ● Facilitate effective competition
         (Port Services) and PNG Land

     Contact Addresses
     Head Office:
     1st Floor Garden City
     PO Box 6394 Boroko NCD
     Papua New Guinea
     Tel: (675) 325 2144
     Fax: (675) 325 3980

     Consumer Complaint
     Toll Free: 180 3333


     Port Moresby
     Southern Regional Office
     1st Floor Garden City
     PO Box 6394 Boroko NCD                            Some of the participants during the legal workshop.
     Papua New Guinea
     Tel: (675) 325 2144
     Fax: (675) 325 3980
     Email:                          Legal workshop on competition law
     Lae                                                     he ICCC in conjunction with the Continuing        Lawyer, Partner, Freehills, Melbourne; also repre-
     Momase Regional Office
     1st Floor, Vele Rumana Building
     PO Box 448, Lae
     Morobe Province
                                                       T     Legal Education of the PNG Law Society host-
                                                             ed an inaugural workshop on the topic: Putting
                                                       Papua New Guinea’s New Competition Law into
                                                                                                               senting Law Council of Australia.
                                                                                                                   ■ “Conduct of proceedings in competition pros-
                                                                                                               ecution or defence” by David Brewster: Lawyer,
                                                       Practice: A Principle Guide for Legal Practitioners.”   Partner, Allens Arthur Robinson, Melbourne.
     Tel: (675) 472 6122 / 472 2859
                                                          The workshop was held in Port Moresby at the             ■ “Authorisations and clearances of anticom-
     Fax: (675) 472 6188
                                                       Holiday Inn on Saturday, February 26, 2005.             petitive business conducts and processes” by
                                                          Honourable Bart Philemon, Minister for Finance       Hank Spier: Consultant to ICCC and former CEO to
                                                       and Treasury opened the workshop while the intro-       ACCC.
                                                       duction and closing remarks was made by Mr.                 ■ “ICCC functions of price regulation, utilities
     Islands Regional Office
     First Floor, William Kaputin Building             Thomas Abe, the Commissioner and Chief Executive        regulation, consumer protection” by Paul Baxter:
     PO Box 461 Rabaul                                 Officer of the ICCC.                                    Associate Commissioner to ICCC and former
     East New Britain Province                            All the presenters were from overseas and the        Partner, Price Wateerhouse Coopers.
     Tel: (675) 982 9711                               topics included the following:                              This was the first ever workshop on the new
     Fax: (675) 982 9712                                  ■ “The Role of Court in Competition Law” by          competition law in PNG . It was well attended by                         Justice Robert French: Judge of the Federal Court of    whole legal fraternity in the country because it was
                                                       Australia and non-resident Judge of the Fiji            of immense value to both the judges and legal prac-
     Mount Hagen                                       Supremem Court.                                         titioners in PNG as well as the business and com-
     Highlands Regional Office                            ■ “Outline of the ICCC Act and Market Conduct        mercial industry in the country.
     1st Floor, AGC Building                           Rules and Remedies for Breaches” by Merv                    The introduction of the competition law now
     PO Box 1787, Mt Hagen                             Keehn:, Legal Consultant to ICCC; former Special        means a radical change in the way businesses are
     Western Highlands Province                        Consultant with Allens Arthur Robinson.                 conducted and commercial dealings entered into.
     Tel: (675) 542 3001                                  ■ “Elements of a competition Offence and how         Both the business houses and commercial indus-
     Fax: (675) 542 1307                               to prove it in court, using price fixing and market     tries will now take into account the provisions of the                       agreements as examples” by Christian Jose:              competition law.

 4                                                    “Friend to Business, Friend to Consumers”
  Consumer International                                                                                           WORLD CONSUMER
                                                                                                                     RIGHTS DAY
      onsumer international is the    have a common interests in social      lobbying of international deci-

C     world body that has its head
      office in London with
regional offices for Asia and the
                                      justice and access to basic
                                      requirements for a dignified life.
                                      Consumer International is a sym-
                                                                             sion-making bodies. As an inde-
                                                                             pendent foundation, Consumer
                                                                             International currently has some
                                                                                                                          onsumer organizations worldwide will
                                                                                                                          be preparing for the most important
                                                                                                                          day in their consumer year which is
Pacific in Kuala Lumpur,              bol of this solidarity, bringing       250 members in over 115 coun-
Malaysia. The other regional          together a global partnership of       tries.                                the World Consumer Rights Day (WCRD)
offices are based in Santiago,        national organizations from about                                            which is celebrated on March 15 each year.
Chile for Latin America and the       250 countries with the common             Governance                         It was on this day in 1962 which US
Caribbean while for the Africa, the   purpose of empowering ordinary            Consumer International is gov-     President John F Kennedy gave a famous
office is based in Harare,            people to exercise their rights and    erned by an 18-member Council         speech to Congress about consumer rights
Zimbabwe. The office for devel-       responsibilities, and of collective    (expanded to 20 for the 2003-
                                                                                                                   as he launched a new era for US consumer
oped and transition economies         action to protect their interests in   2006 period) and an eight-mem-
works from London. It supports        international policy-making.           ber Executive Committee. The          protection.
members in Europe and the for-                                               President and Council are elected        World consumer rights Day was inaugu-
mer Soviet Union, the Middle East        History                             by CI’s General Assembly during       rated in 1983 and is now a truly internation-
and North America. Consumer              Founded in 1960, Consumer           its World congress, held every        al global celebration. It is a time to focus on
International has a full-time staff   International (CI) is a federation     three      years.      Consumer       issues of vital importance to consumers.
of 80 world wide.                     of consumer organizations dedi-        International has its legal head-
   The consumer movement has          cated to the protection and pro-       quarters in the United Kingdom,
thrived because people across         motion of consumer’s interests         where it is registered as a non-
geographical, cultural, ethnic,       world wide through institution-        for-profit company limited by
religious and economic divides        building, education, research and      guarantee.                           WATER! CONSUMER RIGHTS
                                                                                                                    DAY THEME FOR 2004
  World Consumer Rights Day - A world event                                                                                   hile we are celebrating this year’s

          orld Consumer Rights
          Day (WCRD) is an
          annual event for cele-
                                      ment      through

                                      added four more rights:
                                      International has in recent years
                                                                             tion and legitimacy, acknowl-
                                                                             edged by developed and devel-
                                                                             oping countries alike.
                                                                                                                   W          theme for the Consumer Rights
                                                                                                                              Day in 2005, let’s reflect on the
                                                                                                                   theme for 2004 which was ‘Water is a con-
bration and solidarity within the        ● The right to satisfaction of         Yet consumer rights can con-       sumer right’.
international consumer move-          basic needs                            tinue to be ignored or trivialized
                                                                                                                      Water is vital for life. All people need
ment. But more importantly it is         ● Right to redress                  by governments, producers and
a time for promoting the basic                                               powerful      interests.   World      good clean water and sanitation delivered in
                                         ● Right to education
right of all consumers, for                                                  Consumer Rights Day draws             a way that is affordable and appropriate to
                                         ● The right to a healthy envi-
demanding that those rights are                                              attention to such violations, and     the needs of consumers.
respected and protected, and for                                             provides a platform for con-             At the World Summit on Sustainable
protesting the market abuses             Together these rights form the      sumer groups to address them          Development in Johannesburg in June
and social injustices which           basis of the ongoing work by           in countries where they operate.      2002, the world’s governments made a
undermine them.                       Consumer International and con-           How are consumer rights            commitment to halve the proportion of peo-
    World Consumer Rights Day         sumer groups worldwide.                defined? These are defined as;
                                                                                                                   ple who lack clean water and proper sanita-
was first observed on March 15,       Kennedy said in his 15 March
1983, and it has since become                                                   The right to satisfaction of       tion by 2015
                                      1962 declaration to the US                                                      Lack of political will and economic
an important occasion for mobi-       Congress;                              basic needs:-
lizing citizen action. Consumer                                                 To have access to basic            resources means that progress is slow,
                                          ‘Consumers by definition,
organizations around the world        include us all. They are the           essential goods and services,         aggravated by increasing pressure on
use material produced by con-         largest economic group and             adequate food, clothing, shelter,     diminishing water resources. But water is an
sumer International (to generate)     affected by almost every public        health care, education, public        issue even in areas where water supplies are
local initiative and media cover-     and private economic decision.         utilities, water and sanitation.      plentiful.
age for their work over the years.    Yet they are the only important                                                 Health and standards are universal con-
    Recent themes promoted by         group whose views are often not          The right to safety:
CI for WCRD include: control of                                                To be protected against prod-       cerns. Even in areas where access and qual-
                                      heard.’                                                                      ity are acceptable, controversies rage over
the food chain (2003); consumer          World Consumer Rights Day           ucts, production processes and
representation (2002); corporate                                             services which are hazardous to       privatization and public ownership invest-
                                      was first observed on 15 March
accountability (2001); genetical-     1983. Two days later, on 9 April       health and life.                      ment, regulation, maintenance of infrastruc-
ly modified foods (2000);             1985, the United Nations’                                                    ture and water conservation, with civil soci-
assessment of consumer rights         General Assembly adopted the              The right to be informed:          eties taking a leading role in the debates.
(1999); poverty alleviation           UN Guidelines for Consumer                To be given the facts needed          The complex technical and political
(1998); sustainable consump-          Protection, following a decade of      to make an informed choice, and
                                                                                                                   issues surrounding water are often seen as
tion (1997).                          hard lobbying by Consumers             to be protected against dishon-
    World Consumer Rights Day                                                est or misleading advertising and     the concern of technical experts and gov-
                                      International, then known as
has its origins in former US                                                 labeling.                             ernment regulators. But the international
                                      IOCU, and consumer organiza-
President John F. Kennedy’s dec-                                                                                   consumer movement has a long history of
                                      tions. The guidelines embraced
laration of four basic consumer       the priciples of the eight con-          The right to choose: To be          successful advocacy on water and other
rights:                               sumer rights and provide a             able to select from a range of        public utility issues at the grassroots, local
    ● The right to safety                                                    products and services, offered at     and national levels. Consumer organizations
                                      framework for strengthening
    ● The right to be informed        national consumer protection           competitive prices with an assur-     have acquired a wealth of experience in
    ● The right to choose and         policies. With the UN’s adoption       ance of satisfactory quality.
                                                                                                                   using the promotion of consumer rights and
    ● The right to be heard           of the Guidelines, consumer
                                                                               The right to be heard:              protection of consumer welfare as tools to
                                      rights were finally elevated to a
                                                                                                                   mobilize and help create solutions.
  To these, the consumer move-        position of international recogni-
                                                                                ■ continued on page 7

                                                         “Friend to Business, Friend to Consumers”                                                                   5
     Corporate Plan 2005 - 2007
       he establishment of the                grams of economic reform and market            ● Motor    Vehicle (Third Party                ● Promoting and protecting com-

T      Independent Consumer and
       Competition Commission came as
a direct result of a major regulatory
                                                 The treasurer also highlighted that
                                              “regulation is not just about constrain-
                                                                                               Insurance) Act, (Chapter 295)
                                                                                             ● Postal Services Act, 1996
                                                                                                                                              petition in the market and to
                                                                                                                                              enforce compliance with laws
                                                                                                                                              relating to market conduct and
reform conducted in 2001. It is predict-      ing the abuse of monopoly power…it is          Related Legislation:                             behaviour in Papua New Guinea
ed upon a number of important policy          also concerned with managing the               ● Community Services Trust Act,                  in accordance with Part V1 of the
considerations and factors including:         development of competition and the                 2002                                         ICCC Act;
    1) The importance and the need for        promotion of the Government’s social           ●   Trade Marks Act, 1978                      ● Monitoring the operation of, and
         economic regulation as a means       and economic objectives”.                      ●   Commerce Act, 1952                           review from time to time, codes
         to correcting market failures and       In the context of the economy, the          ●   Baby Food Act, 1977                          and rules relating to the conduct
         distortions aimed at maximizing      Treasurer emphasized the Government’s          ●   Bread Act, 1974                              or operation of regulated entities;
         economic efficiency in industries    commitment to improving the living                                                            ● Advising and make recommenda-
                                                                                             ●   Commercial Advertising Act,
         through measures such as pro-        conditions of the people through posi-                                                          tions to the Minister in relation to
         moting competition, price sur-       tive and forward looking initiatives that                                                       an matter referred to the ICCC by
                                                                                             ●   Dental Charge Act, 1960
         veillance and monitoring, con-       will ensure the economy and agencies                                                            the Minister, and to advise and
                                                                                             ●   Drugs Act, 1952 & 1953
         sumer protection, third party        of the Government are performing. He                                                            make recommendations to the
         access and setting minimum           highlighted the regulatory contract with       ●   Goods Act, 1951
                                                                                                                                              Minister with respect to any mat-
         service delivery standards;          PNG Power as the case in point where           ●   Hire Purchase Act, 1966
                                                                                                                                              ter connected with the ICCC Act
    2) The recognition by the                 PNG Power is under obligation to per-          ●   Instrument Act, 1953
                                                                                                                                              or with respect to any matter con-
         Government of the short com-         form and reduce its prices over a period       ●   Motor Car Dealer Act, 1976                   nected with the ICCC Act or with
         ings of existing economic regu-      and improve its service delivery or the        ●   National Standards Act, 1976                 respect to any matter connected
         latory framework; and                consumers will be entitled to a rebate.        ●   National Technical Standards Act,            to any other Act which confers
    3) The recognition by the govern-            The ICCC therefore, is at the centre of         1978                                         functions on the ICCC; and
         ment that well functioning mar-      the Government’s efforts in this respect.      ●   Packaging Act, 1974                        ● Such other functions as may be
         kets require a strong foundation     As part of the new approach and while          ●   Pawnbrokers Act, 1951                        conferred on the ICCC by any
         in effective governance and insti-   encouraging well functioning markets,          ●   Poisons      and      Dangerous              other Act.
         tutions that perform mandated        the ICCC represents a strong foundation            Substances Act, 1949
         activities with predictability and   of effective and good governance.              ●   Public Health Act, 1974                    In performing its functions and exer-
         in a transparent manner.                                                                                                        cising its powers under the ICCC Act,
    This is a reflection of a totally new     Corporate Mandate & Direction                Role, Functions and Objectives of the         the ICCC will have regard to the follow-
approach to regulating economic activi-       The Independent Consumer and                 Commission                                    ing primary objectives;
ty in Papua New Guinea.                       Competition Commission derives its           The primary role of the Commission is            a) Enhance the welfare of the people
    A much more improved performance          powers and functions primarily from the      to administer and implement the                      through the promotion of compe-
of the economy and improved service           Independent         Consumer         and     Independent          Consumer          and           tition and fair trade and the pro-
delivery levels of State owned entities       Competition Commission Act 2002, but         Competition Commission Act, 2002 and                 tection of consumers’ interests;
are at the core of the current economic       it also exercises power and responsibil-     other related legislations.                      b) Promote economic efficiency in
recovery drive. Regulatory reform, par-       ities under other legislation.                   In fulfilling this primary role, the             industry structure, investment
tial privatization, improving corporate           The objective of the ICCC Act is to      ICCC performs a number of functions                  and conduct; and
governance, transparency and account-         enhance the welfare of Papua New             including:                                       c) To protect the long term interests
ability, among others, are essential ele-     Guineans through the promotion of               ● Performing such functions relat-                of people with regard to the price,
ments of the drive to improve perform-        competition and fair trade in the market,           ing to price regulation, regulatory           quality and reliability of significant
ance. The establishment of the ICCC           protection of consumer interests and                contracts, licensing, industry reg-           goods and services;
therefore, is critical to realizing the       regulation of prices and service delivery           ulation and other matters as con-
objectives of the reforms and drive to        standards in respect of State owned                 ferred on the ICCC by or under the       These broad objectives are comple-
enhancing economic performance.               enterprises.                                        ICCC Act or any other Act, includ-     mented by a set of facilitating objectives
    Under the new and revitalized                 The ICCC is the only national regula-           ing, without limitation, in relation   which are detailed under Section 5(2) of
approach, the ICCC is an independent          tory body that acts as a consumer and               to issuing, administering and          Par II of the ICCC Act 2002 as follows;
body and and as such maintains the            business watchdog. The provisions of                enforcing regulatory contracts           a) To promote and protect the bona
highest levels of integrity and profes-       the ICCC Act apply to all businesses in             under Part 111;                               fide interests of consumers with
sional conduct and, of course, account-       Papua New Guinea including govern-              ● Promoting and protect the bona                  regard to price, quality and relia-
ability. It is for this reason that the law   ment enterprises. The ICCC Act also                 fide interests of the consumers               bility of goods and services;
provides that the decisions of the            applies to conduct outside PNG which                and businesses in relation to the        b) To ensure that users and con-
Commission may be appealed through            affects the PNG market.                             acquisition and supply of goods               sumers (including low-income or
an Appeals Panel.                                                                                 and services;                                 vulnerable consumers) benefit
    In terms of policy objectives, the        Primary Legislation:                            ● Making available information in                 from competition and efficiency;
ICCC is expected to play a major role in        ● Independent Consumer and                                                                 c) To promote and encourage fair
                                                                                                  relation to matters affecting the
the Government’s efforts to building on            Competition Commission Act,                    interest of consumers and busi-               trading practices;
earlier reforms and to sustain economic            2002                                           nesses, including information            d) To prevent the misuse of market
recovery but, the necessary building            ● Prices regulation Act, 1949                     with respect to the rights and                power;
blocks must be in place before this can         ● Trade Measurement Act, 1973                     obligations of persons under             e) To promote and encourage the
be done and this is where ICCC comes            ● Telecommunications Industry                     Papua New Guinea laws that are                efficient operation of industries
in.                                                Act, 2002                                      designed to protect the interest of           and efficient investment in indus-
    In his speech at the launching of the       ● Electricity Commission Act,                     consumers;                                    tries.
ICCC held on the 8th May 2003, the                 Chapter 78                                 ● Investigating complaints con-              f) To ensure that regulatory decision
Treasurer emphasized the need for the           ● Harbours Board Act, (Chapter                                                                  making has regard to any applica-
                                                                                                  cerning matters affecting or likely
continuation of market-based macro-                240)                                                                                         ble health, safety, environmental
                                                                                                  to affect the bona fide interests of
economic policies, which promote                ● Essential Services Act, 2002                                                                  and social legislations; and
                                                                                                  consumers and businesses in
investment in the context of low inflation                                                                                                 g) To facilitate effective competition
                                                ● Compulsory Third Party Motor                    relation to acquisition of goods
and effective macroeconomic manage-                                                                                                             and promote competitive market
                                                   Vehicles Insurance Act, 2002                   and services and to enforce com-
ment but at the same time highlighted                                                                                                           conduct.
                                                ● Insurance Act, 1995                             pliance with laws relating to such
the Government’s commitment to pro-
 6                                                          “Friend to Business, Friend to Consumers”
                         Noticeboard                                                                                       MEMORANDUM OF
                                                                                                                              ICCC NETWORKING WITH
                                                                                                                            OTHER STAKEHOLDERS AT THE
        Indicative Retail Prices Notice 8th March 2005                                                                       NATIONAL, PROVINCIAL AND
                                                                                                                             LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEVEL
    The following prices are the anticipated prices for Mogas, Diesel and Kerosene to apply at the pump (including
    GST) at the centres identified. These prices will take effect from 12.01am on Tuesday 8th March 2005, and reflect
                                                                                                                                 he ICCC is empowered under the ICCC Act to
    the Import Parity Prices (IPP) that will apply from that month until the next price change. The prices are for bulk
    fuel delivered to these centres and sold at the retail service stations.

    Centre                                  Mogas (Petrol)              Diesel                    Kerosene
                                                                                                                           T     enter into agreements with other regulatory
                                                                                                                                 bodies or authorities, whether in Papua New
                                                                                                                           Guinea or overseas, for the purpose of assisting the
                                                                                                                           Commission to carry out its functions and to meet
    POM (ex Napa Napa)                      245.15                      187.66                   182.42
    Lae                                     251.71                      195.62                   189.57                    its objectives under its own Act or any other Act.
    Madang                                  250.77                      194.69                   188.63                    This mandate is derived from section 27 (1) & (2) of
    Rabaul                                  251.53                      195.45                   189.39                    the ICCC Act.
    Kokopo                    253.96 -      254.73           197.88 -   198.65          191.82 - 192.59                       The Commission is pro-active in its endeavors to
    Kimbe                                   251.65                      195.57                   189.51
                                                                                                                           communicate with the wider population at the
    Alotau                                  272.22                      219.55                   211.51
    Wewak                                   265.40                      211.52                   204.25                    national, provincial and local government levels
    Kavieng                                 269.80                      216.69                   208.98                    about its roles and functions as a statutory organi-
    Manus                                   298.62                      250.02                   239.67                    zation as well as to foster an effective network with
    Goroka                    258.58 -      259.68           202.09 -   203.60          196.44 - 197.54                    relevant stakeholders in a bid to share information
    Mt Hagen                  268.69 -      270.89           212.61 -   214.81          206.55 - 208.75
    Oro Bay                                                             214.49
                                                                                                                           and/or data in a reciprocal manner for the advance-
    Kerema                                  280.62                      223.12                   217.88                    ment of its objectives as a consumer watchdog and
    Kundiawa                                272.33                      216.25                   210.19                    economic regulator.
    Mendi                     282.23 -      286.63           226.15 -   230.55          220.09 - 224.49                       In this regard at the national level, the
    Wabag                     282.57 -      286.25           226.49 -   230.17          220.43 - 224.11                    Commission has to date signed a memorandum of
    Vanimo                                  267.16                      217.13                   202.05
                                                                                                                           understanding (MOU) with three prominent stake-
    Note                                                                                                                   holders, namely, IRC, NSO and NAQIA and it is antic-
    Where a range is shown, this reflects the latest advice received of the freight charges that apply to these loca-      ipated that NISIT and others will follow soon.
    tions. Where the Commission has been advised of more than one freight rate, it has incorporated the rate into a           At the provincial level about sixteen MOU’S have
    range for the final retail price.
                                                                                                                           been signed with the provincial governments,
    Pump prices in these locations should fall within the specified ranges. In the event that prices are higher than the
    top end of the range, Section 3 of the Fuel Price Monitoring Form will apply accordingly.                              including one urban town authority. There are four
                                                                                                                           provincial administrations: East Sepik, Bougainville,
                                                                                                                           New Ireland and NCDC, who have yet to sign. These
    THOMAS ABE                                                                                                             four administrations have either declined to sign or
                                                                                                                           have shown no interest, despite all efforts by ICCC to
                                                                                                                           do so in the past twelve months.
                                                                                                                              There is still an opportunity for them to reconsid-
                                                                                                                           er their respective positions and come forward and
  World Consumer Rights Day - A world event                                                                                sign the MOU, so that the Commission can open up
                                                                                                                           dialogue with them in the hope of carrying out its
                                          consumer rights and responsi-              tions, to name only a few pos-        statutory functions at the provincial and local gov-
       ■ from page 5
                                          bilities and how to act on                 sibilities. Such initiatives          ernment level for monitoring, surveillance and inves-
   To have consumer interests             them.                                      sometimes continue well               tigation of prices of goods & services, including fuel,
represented in the making and                                                        beyond March 15, forming the          consumer complaints as well to create awareness
execution of government poli-               The right to a healthy envi-             basis for long-term work by           about the roles and functions of the ICCC and other
cy, and in the development of             ronment:                                   groups.                               related matters the Commission may have an inter-
products and services.                      To live and work in an envi-                World Consumers Rights             est in.
                                          ronment which is non-threat-               Day initiatives can be con-              Under the MOU’s, Business development Officers
   The right to redress:                  ening to the well-being of pres-           cerned with the food we eat,          (BDO) appointed by their respective provincial
   To receive a fair settlement           ent and future generations.                the medicine we take or the           administrators will act as the authorized agents for
of just claims, including com-                                                       products we use in our homes.         ICCC to monitor business behavior, carry out aware-
pensation for misrepresenta-                 How is Consumer Rights                  They can draw attention to            ness, inspect and investigate prices as well as com-
tion, shoddy goods or unsatis-            Day observed?                              unethical marketing practices,        plaints by consumers on any declared goods or
factory services.                            World Consumer Rights Day               expose hazardous technolo-            services. The BDO’S are required to send their
                                          depends on local initiatives,              gies and production process-          reports to their regional offices at the end of each
   The right to consumer edu-             planned and carried out by                 es, or point out the need for         month for purposes of updating the Commission on
cation:                                   consumer organizations on                  consumer legislation and its          their price surveillance & monitoring activities and
   To acquire skills and knowl-           every continent. Initiatives can           enforcement. Whatever their           other related functions of the Commission.
edge needed to make                       take the form of special cam-              objectives, they share the               The BDO’S will be trained by ICCC and will con-
informed, confident choices               paigns, press conferences,                 same underlying aim of bring-         duct themselves under specific guidelines and code
about goods and services,                 public exhibitions, workshops,             ing about important and need-         of ethics set by ICCC.
while being aware of basic                street events, or new publica-             ed benefits to consumers.

                        ICCC Brief is the official newsletter of the Independent Consumer and Competition Commission
             PO Box 6394, BOROKO, NCD 111, Papua New Guinea. Tel: (675) 3252144 Fax: (675) 3253980 Email:

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