JIS News

The Ministry of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications yesterday launched the first in a series of focus group meetings to commence a public education programme designed to inform the public of its role, rights, responsibilities and benefits under the Electronic Transactions Act (2007), as well as to stimulate interest in e-transactions among the business sector.
The programme was launched by Minister of Energy, Mining and Telecommunications Clive Mullings at the Knutsford Court Hotel and featured a presentation from attorney-at-law, Peter Goldson explaining the provisions of the Act. This was followed by a question-and-answer session and a focus group meeting with the business community. The jingle for the public education programme was also launched at the event.
In his address Minister Mullings noted that the objective of the public education programme is to both inform as well as “encourage citizens to conduct business online”.
As such, the Government will be hosting a total of eight focus group meetings, followed by regional meetings to be held across the entire island, he informed.
“The feedback received during the various focus group meetings will be used to inform the eight regional meetings,” he explained. He said that a total of eight regional meetings will be held and that these will be open to all citizens and “will provide a forum for the public to seek clarification on all aspects of the Electronics Transactions Act.”
The Minister stressed that both the focus group and the regional meetings will be held across the entire island to allow for the active participation of representatives from key sectors, industries, the general public and varying interest groups. Minister Mullings noted that the passing of the legislation “marks another milestone in the transformation of Jamaica into a digital society.” The public education programme, which is designed to promote public confidence in the integrity and reliability of electronic documents and electronic transactions, will involve radio, print media and television advertisements. In addition, brochures, posters and fact sheets will be distributed to the public and key agencies.
The Electronic Transactions Act came into effect on April 2, 2007.
The Act gives legal recognition to electronic transactions, including electronic communications and digital signatures. Its main provisions support e-commerce, e-banking, and e-governance, and includes a number of consumer protection provisions as well. The public education programme will be conducted during the period October 2007 to January 2008.

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