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Model regulatory and policy framework for FICs

10th December 2010

Forum island countries now have a model regulatory and policy framework focused on competition, access and pricing, fair trading and consumer protections which they can adopt at the national level.

This follows the recent adoption of the Framework by the Forum Economic Ministers’ Meeting (FEMM) held in Niue in October.

The Framework was prepared after the 2007 FEMM noted the potential for a policy framework and common regulatory laws for the Forum members. In 2008 FEMM endorsed the Regional Regulatory Stepladder which includes specific activities and actions to be taken at national and regional levels to improve regulation through regional cooperation. FEMM then directed the Forum Secretariat to develop a model regulatory and policy framework in coordination with relevant development partners.

“The adoption in principle of the Framework by FEMM, provides FICs guidance for adapting and implementing regulatory reforms at the national level,” says Tuiloma Neroni Slade, Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.

Mr Slade added: “The Framework was designed to provide for the adoption amongst FICs that is comparable, appropriate and enforceable, and that provides the basis for legislative and policy convergence within the region.”

In developing the Framework, the study, mandated by the Forum Secretariat, reviewed in the context of small markets, international and regional best practice regulatory, legislation and policy guidelines including the FEMM Policy Guidelines for Economic Regulation and OECD Guiding Principles for Regulatory Quality and Performance.

The key features of the policy and legal framework includes:

• A cross-sectional and general application approach;
• Adopts an approach such that the model law is crafted in straight-forward terms. Which may be readily implemented, even in a very small economy context; and
• Seeks to balance a robust substantive framework with practical consideration driven by the desirability that it be readily enforceable in each FIC that adopts it.

At the 2010 FEMM, Ministers encouraged FICs to liaise with development partners and donors, to provide the resources required to adapt the model policy and legislative framework, and seek support for on-going technical assistance, as may be necessary for institutional strengthening required for its associated administration.

ENDS

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