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Arab Smart Government Competition Consumer Protection wins two awards for “e-consumer guide” and “Tawasul Programme”
The efforts of the PACP were crowned with two awards in the Arab Smart Government Competition, for the “e-consumer guide” and “Tawasul”. The ceremony was held in Cairo, Egypt, under to auspice of H. E. Dr. Hala Alsaid, minister of planning, follow up and administrative reform, and was attended by a large number of ministers, undersecretaries and invitees.
H. E. Dr Said Bin Khamees Al Ka'abi, chairman of the Public Authority for Consumer Protection, stated that “Winning two awards in a single competition is a crowning glory for the excellent e-services we provide to the consumers. What makes us happier is that such success coincides with our 6 year anniversary celebration, which means more responsibilities, and that hopefully our efforts will be more.”
H. E. indicated that the purpose of the e-consumer guide application was to keep pace with the latest developments, and to develop e-participation, which in turn contributes in enhancing the relationship between the consumers and PACP, and allows the consumers to work hand in hand to protect their rights. This is an excellent application design to serve all the consumers and traders in Oman. The application is also a significant technological access provided to be a bridge connecting the authority with the consumers to exchange information, with special features including PACP roles, latest news, recommendations, consumer price index throughout Oman and the shops covered by the various surveys by the PACP. Consumers can also create consumption basket with the required information and find out the cheapest prices for such basket, in addition to e-complaints and online follow up with the authorities concerned according to the geographical location.
H. E. stressed that “Winning the two awards for the same competition is a medal of honor to all the people involved with the authority, who have exerted all their efforts to serve our beloved country, and promote our services for the benefit of the consumers. This is the second award in this theme, and is an extension of other awards and certificates awarded to PACP in its short existence.” Adding that PACP is improving its projects to reach a level of quality enabling it to compete at the regional and international levels, by leveraging its manpower and the latest digital technology, to achieve the anticipated transformation into the e-government. “PACP winning such honor is the result of comprehensive team work in the head office and all the governorates; they all deserve our thanks and appreciation.” He added.
“This success is the result of the efforts of all the employees working on the development of e-services, and their tangible role in achieving such awards, while the consumer is the real partner for the authority to perform its mission, thus the consumer is a fundamental partner in its decision making process, and this is an incentive to move forward and achieve more.” He added.
His Highness Sayyid Faris Turkey Al Said, fellow professor in Sultan Qaboos University (“SQU”), marketing faculty, explained that the formation of the Public Authority for Consumer Protection came to regulate the market, and to create a mechanism to protect the market (consumers and institutions) from the evils of wrong practices by some companies, thus it plays an important role in realigning the compass of certain individuals who try to exploit or monopolize the market.
He added that throughout the past six years of its existence, PACP played a significant role in controlling the market and referring the violating entities to the authorities concerned. However, its most significant role is in disseminating awareness amongst the consumers on how to protect themselves from exploitation and illegal practices, and also protecting the consumers from their own by implanting wise consumption culture through its various media.
H. H. confirmed that that what is required to support PACP is honesty and rationalize consumption from the consumers, credibility of the companies and the transparency of their exhibits in the market and technical and legal support from the government authorities, adding that PACP focuses on protecting the consumers first, and it is the consumers’ duty to educate themselves, and to try their best not to enter into suspicious transactions. For the private companies, they should observe the laws of Oman, and avoid any suspicious transaction that may expose it to penalties. In term of the various public authorities, consumer protection is a team work and not singular, thus various parties provide support in their jurisdictions to enable PACP to perform its role. The media also should honestly and clearly present the consumer protection issues, and contributes in educating the communities and the dissemination of credible information. He stressed that PACP, consumers, private companies, public institutions and the civil society are all partners in building economy free from commercial corruption and violations that have negative impact on the market, while emphasizing that achieving several awards is a clear indication of the success achieved so far, which forms incentives to achieve more in the future.
H. E. Dr. Khalid Salim Al Saidi, Secretary General of the State Council, commended the efforts of PACP and its continuous monitoring of the markets fighting against commercial fraud, stressing the success achieved by PACP in preserving the consumer rights and awareness of such rights in selection, equality, fair treatment and honesty. His Excellency said that “The Public Authority has established its active role, and its ability to protect the consumers and defend their rights, and stand up against many practices considered harmful to the national economy including fraud, manipulation and monopoly by continuously monitoring the markets to verify compliance with the quality standards and logical prices.” H. E. added that despite of its short age, PACP managed to gain the consumer trust and satisfaction, thanks to its efforts to protect the rights, and to disseminate awareness and safe consumption culture through a package of activities and awareness functions, targeting all the members of the communities. What lead to increasing its effectiveness is the methodology of active field work to inspect and seize violating goods, resulting in visible achievements.
H. E. added that “All these efforts combined, and these achievements and awards at all levels, made is experience a role model at the regional level, and highly praised at the international level, as witnessed by the awards and certificates, and recently two awards in the 8th Smart Arab Government competition for smart applications and the best position for economic, financial and commercial authorities for the second time in a row for the e-consumer guide, and Tawasul programme. This competition is organized by the Excellence Award Academy.” The two awards are the crowning glory for a rich history of success and achievements thanks to its dedication and tangible efforts to protect the consumers, and a fitting commendation for its development methodology by enhancing its e-services to keep pace with the modern time and fulfill the consumers’ needs.
H. E. commended PACP for its efforts to disseminate awareness, considering it the foundation of real consumer protection, and is the first line of defense of the rights by knowing such rights and reporting any infringement thereon. His Excellency indicated that the success is the result of looking at awareness as a main and pivotal part of the consumer protection procedures, and accordingly PACP dedicated great efforts to reach everybody by varying its message, and focusing on the young generation to implant safe consumption culture and educate them about their rights and obligations.
H. E. reiterated that the success in performing its duty and preserving the consumer rights, and the local and regional position achieved, is an incentive for PACP to continue promoting and developing its services, while stressing the wise government support. H. E. confirmed that PACP contributes in preserving the consumer rights within the legal framework, the laws regulating its function, and thanks to its people working hard to achieve the objectives of ensuring quality goods and services to the consumers.
Dr. Mohammed Awad Al Mesheikhi, head of the media section, SQU, considers that PACP is at the forefront of large and successful institutes serving Oman. He explained that the authority performed more than what was expected, and its people made tremendous efforts resulting in continuous achievements, and stressed the importance to continue with its efforts and the enhance its jurisdiction with the laws to enable it to continue its good work.
H. E. Ali Khalfan Al Kuteiti, head of the Health and Environment Committee at the Shoura Council, considers that the existence of PACP is a must, for it plays a fundamental role in regulating the consumption relation, and is also a safety line for the consumers. He added that PACP has made its mark and is now accepted by the people thanks to its various services.
He reiterated that winning two awards in Egypt at the Smart Arab Award competition is another landmark added to its success, and a confirmation of its efforts. H. E. expressed his hope that other government institutes will follow in the footsteps in providing their services, and wished PACP all the success and called on all to cooperate with it.
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No one imagined that greed and deviousness would reach such a staggering level that thought exist only in movies and investigative drama shows , yet it became a stark reality when some merchants sought to make a profit on the account of health and safety of the young and adults alike utilizing the God-given intellect that they posses into destruction and evil instead of serving public good , the devious plan used ( Back to school ) season by carving holes inside books and hiding chewing tobacco inside in away from the inspectors notice targeting the younger generation with these destructive materials that effect the health , mind and safety of our kids .
The Judicial officers noticed that consumers come very frequently to a specific shop during one of the inspection tours which raised their suspicions to strengthening the monitoring and follow up on that matter , students were spotted in the shop as well , the Officers expediently intervened to inspect the shop , the inspection did not reveal anything at first , however , the officers noticed a stack of books and decided to inspect it , surprisingly , they found more than 600 pouches of chewing tobacco on its way to be sold and distributed on consumers and students , the officers immediately issued a violation and referred the case to the General Prosecution to deal with the matter as per the Law
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