February 14, 2024 11:58

Communications Commission Invites IDFI to its Public Session

The Communications Commission is responding to the 8 February 2024 announcement by the Institute for Development of Freedom of Information (IDFI). Specifically, IDFI urged ComCom not to approve the methodology for determining market competitiveness and authorised persons with significant market power before bringing the Law of Georgia on Electronic Communications into compliance with the European Code of Electronic Communications. It is not clear to the Commission what information or factual circumstances IDFI has based its statement on, when the legal basis for the Commission adopting the methodology and procedures for determining authorised persons with significant market power is directly defined by the Law of Georgia on Electronic Communications.[1] On that basis, the methodological rules and procedures are established by the relevant normative act of the Commission. It is within the framework of the current administrative proceedings that the existing normative base is updated and improved. 

Generally, the Communications Commission welcomes the active involvement of the civil society in the public administrative proceedings of the Commission in the form of formal or informal consultations. At the same time, it is important that civil society representatives avoid making non-constructive interventions or unsubstantiated statements in an attempt to cast a shadow on the legitimate processes conducted by the Commission that are necessary for the industry. This is especially true when, throughout the rather long informal consultations and public administrative process, IDFI did not attend any of the meetings and did not comment on the said process. 

The Commission is conducting public administrative proceedings to adopt the relevant normative acts for the approval of methodology and procedures for determining market competitiveness and authorised persons with significant market power.[2] The public administrative proceedings include public consultations, where all interested parties had the opportunity to present their opinions within the timeframe determined by the Commission. Numerous stakeholders took advantage of this opportunity and presented a number of objections and comments. 

It is also important to note that, prior to the public administrative proceedings, the Communications Commission held informal consultations on the draft of the relevant normative act to approve the methodology and procedures for determining market competitiveness and authorised persons with significant market power. The draft was published on the website of the Communications Commission, and stakeholders had the opportunity to submit their views from 10 August to 20 September 2023.[3]. The Commission reviewed the stakeholder feedback in a working format, and the official public administrative proceedings were started based on the revised draft that took account of the said comments. IDFI was not involved in this process at any stage, and did not familiarise itself with the Commission’s position and arguments. Against this background, the organisation's attitude towards the legitimate, inclusive process conducted by the Communications Commission, which ultimately serves to improve the regulatory legal framework of the telecommunications sector, is even more baffling. 

To discuss this issue, a public session will be held by the Communications Commission on 14 February 2024 at 15:00. IDFI and all other interested parties will have the opportunity to attend the session and present their opinions to the Commission.


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