Effective compliance and enforcement regimes are essential to enhancing the ICT regulatory, investment and user environment in any economy.
1. The Regulator
1.1. A regulator must be effective and empowered to convince the industry to comply with rules, and to enforce compliance:
1.1.1. The regulator should be independent -- separate and not accountable to any telecommunications supplier -- to ensure that regulated entities cannot intervene or influence decisions.1.1.2. The regulator should be empowered with clear authority and jurisdiction over the telecommunications market.1.1.3. The regulator should be granted a range of enforcement tools to enforce the decisions that it issues. These should include sanctions such as financial penalties, warnings, interim directions, and modification, suspension, and revocation of licenses.1.1.4. The regulator should be fair and transparent in its rulemaking as well as its enforcement decisions.
2.1. A compliance framework promotes industry self-regulation and would include:
2.1.1. A compliance statement that explains to operators the benefits of self-regulation;2.1.2. A transparent set of instructions informing operators what constitutes both compliance and non-compliance;2.1.3. A set of actions to be adopted by suppliers to demonstrate compliance; and2.1.4. A process to oversee compliance and enforcement actions.
2.2. A compliance framework, or industry self-regulation, needs to be supported by an effective enforcement regime as a means to encourage industry to comply with a set of behaviours and practices as determined by the regulator.
3.1. An effective enforcement regime should embrace four principles:
3.1.1. Fast: Enforcement decisions must be made quickly, decisively and clearly to reduce uncertainty in the market, and deter future violations.3.1.2. Firm: Penalties must be severe enough to deter violations.3.1.3. Fair: The enforcement system should be perceived as fair and transparent and decisions for enforcement action must be based on evidence and made publicly available.3.1.4. Flexible: The regulator must also have a wide variety of tools available to it to ensure that the severity of the punishment matches the severity of the violation.3.2. To let the regulator enforce its rules effectively, there should be the following provisions:3.2.1. The regulator should have the power to investigate the actions and records of all telecommunications providers. The regulator should be able to initiate an investigation where it has complete control over the process from start to end.3.2.2. A timely way for carriers to bring complaints against other carriers with the regulator as the adjudicator.3.2.3. A mechanism to appeal a decision to a higher level in the hierarchy, whether within the regulatory body, or to the court system.