The House of Representatives on Tuesday (May 16) passed the Consumer Protection, Validation and Indemnity of Tribunal Act, 2023 during its sitting at Gordon House.
Piloted by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr. Nigel Clarke, the Bill aims to validate and confirm as lawful, the purported continuation in office of members of the Consumer Protection Tribunal (CPT) beyond the initial period of their three-year tenure.
The CPT was established under Section 44 (a) of the Consumer Protection Act to settle disputes arising from customer complaints to the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC).
Clarke indicated that the members were appointed by the then Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce to serve from May 28, 2018 to May 27, 2021.
He advised that the appointments were published in the Gazette, in accordance with the Third Schedule to the Act.
However, Clarke advised that after the expiration of their tenure, the members continued in office, from May 28, 2021 until May 8, 2022, without being reappointed.
“Consequently, the Bill seeks to validate and confirm as lawful, the purported continuation in office of the members of the Tribunal and all official acts purportedly done by them in good faith,” he said.
Dr. Clarke noted that the Bill further seeks to indemnify other persons who are liable to be proceeded against on the grounds that the acts they performed were unauthorised, illegal or improper, and for connected matters, cited in the new legislation..
“Therefore, it is desirable to validate and confirm as lawful the continuation in office of the Tribunal and the official acts of the members of the Tribunal [and others] during the period May 28, 2021 to May 8, 2022,” Clarke said.
The Bill, which was unanimously supported by Government and Opposition members, was passed without amendment.
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