Minister Gibson Promotes Support for Consumer Affairs Unit

Posted on: April 4, 2016

Authored by: Gena Gibbs
Source: Bahamas Information Services
Date: April 4, 2016

 

NASSAU, The Bahamas — Minister of Labour, National Insurance, and the Public Service, the Hon. D. Shane Gibson announced in the House of Assembly, March 30, that the Consumer Affairs Unit continues its daily vigilance of policing the Breadbasket Schedule and all other items falling under the Price Control Act and the related Regulations.

Additionally, he said “the Consumer Protection Commission has now been structured and can be accessed to deal with consumer complaints and redress of those matters of concern.”

The Minister announced that the Commission will hold a public launch in early April to fully engage the public on their rights as consumers and what issues can be advanced to the Commission for assistance. “Many Bahamians are not aware of the rights that they are entitled to under the United Nations Consumer Bill of Rights, including the right to safety; the right to be Informed; the right to choose; the right to be heard; the right to satisfaction of basic needs; the right to redress; the right to consumer education; and the right to a healthy environment,” said Minister Gibson.

“Once the Commission is publicly launched in April, the programs which will be pursued are as follows:

* Consumer Education – Direct and Indirect Contact

* Business Education

* Market Intelligence Services

* Ad-hoc Research on relevant issues

* Complaint Resolution Services

* Consumer Advocacy

* Sensitizing the public to Consumer Protection Legislation.”

Minister Gibson noted the Commission will meet with the following organizations over the next few weeks to advise them of its mandate, and to establish protocol and memoranda of understanding in relation to consumer issues.  He listed URCA, the Bureau of Standards, the Bahamian Contractors Association, the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, the Bahamas Bar Association, the Data Commissioner, BEC, BTC, Water & Sewerage, Cable Bahamas, the Association of Clearing Banks, and the Bahamas Motor Dealers Association, as the entities the department is watching.

The Commission, he said, invites the public to partner with it to tackle consumer issues and restore the ‘customer as king.’ The Commission also invites non-governmental organizations with consumer interests at heart to also partner with them and encourage the establishment of private consumer advocacy groups to assist them in accomplishing their legislative mandate.

“The Commission is developing a website that will contain all of its information and allow consumers to file their complaints online.  A full media campaign will be undertaken shortly,” said Minister Gibson.

Minister Gibson added he also wishes to advise that the Consumer Affairs Unit has been successful in negotiating a decrease in the price of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).  This reduction has, no doubt, served consumers well over the Christmas Holidays. Consumers are now spending less for a 100-pound tank of cooking gas throughout The Bahamas.

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