JIS News

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC), during this fiscal year, will focus on competition advocacy, by among other things, educating manufacturers and distributors on how to identify the various offences against competition.
The agency will also seek to influence decisions by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, as it works to keep Jamaica’s competition policy relevant, thereby contributing to the fine-tuning of competition law and policy within CARICOM.
As contained in a Ministry Paper, which was tabled recently in the House of Representatives, by Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce Minister, Phillip Paulwell, the FTC will also take steps to improve its technical capacity especially in the areas of network and industry.
Also cited in the Ministry Paper is the Commission’s intention to encourage improvements in services provided to consumers, by developing procedural guidelines for use in various sectors.
The proposed budgetary allocation to the FTC for financial year 2007/08 is $53 million.
During the 2006/2007 financial year, the FTC participated in meetings of the CARICOM Community Secretariat to review the draft model law on competition policy.
The FTC also participated in and presented at international seminars hosted by the CARICOM Secretariat, International Competition Network (ICN), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In addition, the FTC continued to embark on its education campaign to inform the public about issues relating to competition law and policy, including the launch of a series of related articles.
Meanwhile, the Commission investigated 851 cases during 2006/07, 282 of which have been closed and completed.
The agency received numerous complaints regarding the lack of refund policy in schools and completed investigations into the matter. According to the Ministry Paper, these investigations have revealed that many schools fail to provide clear refund policies, and oftentimes, regardless of extenuating circumstances, administrators offer few options for persons who wish to obtain refunds.
The Commission therefore suggested that the Ministry of Education and Youth should propose guidelines within which it might develop a framework for the formulation of a refund policy.
Investigations were also conducted into the accuracy of food labels, regulations of overseas tertiary institutions in Jamaica, cases of computer malfunction and airline special fees.

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