Members of the Dispute Resolution Committee being sworn in by Okatakyie Ababio Boakye Danquah II (left), Board Chairman, NCA.  Picture: ESTHER ADJORKOR ADJEI
Members of the Dispute Resolution Committee being sworn in by Okatakyie Ababio Boakye Danquah II (left), Board Chairman, NCA. Picture: ESTHER ADJORKOR ADJEI

9-Member dispute resolution committee established by NCA

The National Communications Authority (NCA) has established a 9-member dispute resolution committee (DRC) to deal with disputes in the communication industry.

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The DRC registry, to be located at the NCA Tower in Accra, will be open to the public on July 1, 2024. The Board Chairman of NCA, Okatakyie Ababio Boakye Danquah II, said “for the first few months, there will be no filing fees for the submission of claims”.

The committee, which was launched in Accra yesterday, is chaired by a former Adjunct Professor at Webster University Ghana Campus, and the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Patrick Boateng.

Other members

Other members of the committee are STEM Policy Advisor and Coordinator of the Reform Delivery Unit of the Ministry of Education, Prof. Mark Adom-Asamoah; the Member of Parliament for the Juaben Constituency, Ama Pomaa Boateng; the Executive and Technical Director of Media and Strategic Communications at the Office of the President, Dr Jemima Nunoo, and a Broadcast Engineer and member of the National Media Commission, Prince Hari Crystal.

Others are a Fintech entrepreneur and technology lawyer, Kofi Owusu-Nyira; an IT and telecommunications expert, Kusum Appiah; a professional secretary and lawyer, Golda Sowah Adjei, and a social development activist and lawyer, Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante.

The board chairman said the use of an avenue outside the adversarial court system should be encouraged, and said the establishment of the DRC was in line with the Electronic Communications Act, 2008, (Act 775).

He said disputes were more likely to be amicably resolved when the arbiter applies industry knowledge and understanding of the rudiments of business, as well as the needs of stakeholders as opposed to the rubrics of sometimes inflexible legal procedures.

Expertise

Okatakyie Baokye Danquah II said in deciding the composition of the first-ever DRC, relevant expertise in the electronic communications industry were prioritised. He said the members were well versed professionals in telecommunications, law, business, engineering and the academia.

“With a mixed bag of seasoned professionals, the DRC will ensure that all stakeholders are provided with effective and efficient adjudicatory services to keep the wheels of this industry running,” Okatakyie Danquah added.

He said the NCA would begin a sensitisation programme, including the publication of guidelines on their website on procedures for initiation of claims, among others. Okatakyie Danquah also said that a fully functional DRC complex would later be put up with caucus rooms, real-time transcription of hearings and automated translation, among others, and, therefore, urged the public to make good use of the avenue created.

Ensuring standards

The board chairman further charged the committee members to be guided by the tenets of the 1992 Constitution, ensuring high moral standards and proven integrity in the discharge of their adjudicatory roles.

He said the NCA had begun work on the implementation of the 5G policy directive from the Ministry of Communications and Digitalisation programme and “we assure you that we will do our best to ensure a rollout that will be beneficial to all stakeholders within the industry”.

For his part, the Director-General of NCA, Joe Anokye, said the establishment of the DRC was not to replace the consumer complainant centre but serve as another avenue to deal with disputes.

Subscribers must first go to the complaints centre before petitioning the DRC if they are not satisfied with the help received, he said, adding that work on an Electronic Communications Tribunal was also being finalised to handle appeal cases in the industry.

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