Apr 20, 2017
Legislation: Legal and regulatory structures are recognized as a critical component and enabler for the ICT environment. In this regard the Government of Trinidad and Tobago has included the following legislation and policies in its Legislative Agenda:
The Electronic Transactions Act 2011
The Electronic Transactions Act is a key enabling framework necessary to support E-commerce in Trinidad and Tobago and seeks to create a clear and predictable legal environment that can be trusted by citizens, institutions and businesses. In facilitating E-commerce the Act provides for the legal recognition of electronic documents, electronic records and electronic signatures. The legislation also aims to establish uniformity of rules and standards regarding the authentication and integrity of electronic records and to promote public confidence in the integrity and reliability of electronic records and transactions conducted in an electronic environment.
To date the following parts of the legislation are yet to be proclaimed:
Part V Electronic Authentication Providers
Part VI Intermediaries and Telecommunications Service Providers
Part VIII Consumer Protections
Part IX Contravention and Enforcement and
Part X Miscellaneous
The full proclamation of the Act and the preparation of regulations are being pursued. In this regard, The National Technical Advisory Committee on Electronic Transactions (NTAC) completed a National Policy Review in 2015.
e-Payments: Exchequer and Audit (Electronic Funds Transfer) Regulations
The Exchequer and Audit Act was amended in 2014 to provide for e-Payments within Government. The Regulations outline the general rules for Electronic Funds Transfer and were laid in Parliament in May 2015.
(Please note that the Exchequer and Audit Act is not under the purview of the Ministry of Public Administration but rather is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance.)
The Data Protection Act 2011
The Data Protection Act was assented to on June 22, 2011, and has partially come into force by Legal Notice No 2 of 2012. The Act provides for the protection of a person’s right to privacy, and establishes affirmative responsibility, on both the public and private sector, with respect to the security of personal information which is collected, stored and processed in the course of business operations. It applies to all individuals and organisations that handle, store or process personal information. To date the following parts of the legislation are yet to be proclaimed:
Part II Office of the Information Commissioner (to facilitate the enforcement of the Act)
Part III Protection of Personal Data by Public Bodies
Part IV Protection of Personal Data by the Private Sector
Part V Contravention of Enforcement
The Government of Trinidad and Tobago worked with the Commonwealth Cybercrime Initiative and the International Telecommunications Union in 2015 to develop the Draft National Polices on Data Disposal and Data Classification. In accordance with international best practice, the elaboration of the policy and standards is being pursued in four phases, as follows:
a) Phase 1 - Current State and Readiness Assessment to be conducted for Ministries and Agencies, including a review of existing legislation, frameworks and national ICT plans (completed).
b) Phase 2 - Stakeholder Needs Assessment (completed)
c) Phase 3 - Design of a National Data Classification Policy, Data Classi?cation strategy and Data Classification Guidelines (ongoing)
d) Phase 4 – Dissemination of Policy and Stakeholder Consultation (not yet commenced)
Telecommunications Amendment Bill
The Telecommunications Act, Chapter 47:31 has been in effect since 2001. Several amendments have been made to treat with Spectrum, Quality of Service, Universal Service, Pricing and Obligations. These amendments are intended to strengthen the framework established under the Act and to address competition issues.
Telecommunications (Consumer) Quality of Service) Regulations 2015
These regulations seek to provide the general overarching framework that would safeguard the interests of consumers in the Telecommunications and Broadcasting sectors and ensure that consumers have the right to the following:
? Access to essential telecommunications and broadcast services;
? Access to the information required to make informed consumption decisions;
? Personal privacy which is respected and protected;
? Minimum standards for consumer related service quality;
? Protection from unfair and anti -competitive business practices;
? Effective and efficient complaint recognition, handling and resolution; and
? Information which creates an awareness of relevant consumer obligations.
The regulations have been submitted to the Minister of Public Administration for approval and promulgation through negative resolution of Parliament in accordance with Section 78 of the Telecommunications Act.
Universal Service Regulations - Draft Universal Service Regulations were completed in July, 2013, and were subsequently revised in October 2013 following stakeholder consultations. Following review by the Legislation Revision Commission (LRC) and completion of the administrative groundwork, a Universal Service Committee (USC) was established in 2015 and the Telecommunications (Universal Service) Regulations 2015 came into effect via Legal Notice No. 63 of 2015.
Work is underway, and pending approval by the Minister with responsibility for Telecommunications, for the following pieces of legislation:
- Draft Telecommunications (Fees) (Amendment) Regulations;
- Telecommunications (Interconnection) (Amendment) Regulations;
- Telecommunications (Access to Facilities) (Amendment) Regulations;
- Telecommunications (Radio Spectrum Management) Regulations; and
- Telecommunications (Authorization) Regulations