The Independent Consumer and Competition Commission (ICCC) will have a fulltime officer in Chimbu to carry out the commission’s role such as consumer protection among other regulatory work.
This was made possible after an agreement was signed between ICCC Commissioner and chief executive officer Paulus Ain and Simbu provincial administrator Alphonse Naur.
Ain said the arrangement was a win-win outcome for both the commission and the provincial administration, particularly the business and consumers of Chimbu.
Under the agreement, a business development officer (BDO) within the commerce division of the Simbu administration will be formally recognised and resourced as an ICCC-appointed agent to perform the monitoring and enforcement functions of the ICCC in close collaboration with the commission’s Highlands Regional Office.
The agreement will therefore enable the ICCC to have fulltime personnel in Chimbu to represent the commission and the Simbu administration while serving the interest of the businesses and consumers in he province.
The BDO will be guided and required under the agreement to undertake 11 main activities such as:
- Representing the ICCC in scheduled provincial coordination and monitoring committee (PCMC) meetings and other relevant stakeholder meetings;
- Planning and conducting awareness and education programmes;
- Receiving and investigating consumer complaints;
- Conducting monthly fuel price checks of all retail fuel service stations in Kundiawa town;
- Liaising with the ICCC’s Highlands Regional Office to conduct periodic surveillance of prices of declared monitored goods (including rice, flour and sugar);
- Liaising with the ICCC’s Product Safety Officer and the Highlands Regional Office to undertake product safety surveillance and enforcing compliance of products banned by the ICCC in Chimbu;
- Collaborating with the Chimbu commerce adviser, the provincial police metropolitan superintendent/provincial commander, section head of the provincial Land Transport Board and other relevant stakeholders to ensure price of declared services (PMV and taxi fares) set by the commission, where applicable, are observed; and
- Monitoring and reporting on use of Trade Measurement (TM) equipment such as scales and weighing instruments used by businesses to charge consumers for goods and services and support ICCC’s Goroka-based inspectors to schedule TM inspections and certification in the province.