Simataa tables bill to regulate electronic transactions

12 Jun 2019 14:50pm
WINDHOEK, 12 JUN (NAMPA) - Information and Communication Technology Minister Stanley Simataa on Tuesday tabled a draft law in the National Assembly that provides for a framework for the promotion, legal recognition, admission and use of electronic evidence in Namibia.
The Electronic Transactions Bill further regulates the liability of service providers for the actions of their clients and provides for consumer protection in electronic commerce and incidental matters that may arise.
Motivating the Bill, Simataa described it as one of the compendiums of the deliverables towards the realisation of digital transformation as envisioned in Namibia's development endeavours.
“This Bill will certainly serve as an effective tool to regulate electronic transactions in a rapidly changing digital world. It will also enable the Ministry of Industrialisation, Trade and SME Development to launch the long overdue single window system,” he said.
It is composed of seven chapters.
Chapter one of the draft law deals with preliminary provisions on key definitions, the objectives of the Bill and the minister's functions and powers.
The second chapter provides for the establishment of a five-member body to be called the Electronic Information Systems Management Advisory Council to, among other things, advise the minister.
The council will also render the necessary assistance to the minister with monitoring of compliance with policy documents.
Meanwhile, chapter three deals with the legal recognition and effect of data
messages and electronic transactions.
The fourth chapter provides for remedies for the protection of consumers to lodge complaints to the Online Consumer Affairs Committee, while the next part of the draft regulation outlines the accreditation of security services or products.
It covers criteria for the accreditation of products, condition of accreditation, revocation or suspension of accreditation, accreditation regulations, as well as offences relating to accreditation.
The sixth chapter makes room for the liability of service providers for unlawful material by outlining instances where telecommunications service providers will be held accountable for liabilities arising from unlawful materials.
The last component of the bill deals with regulations and repeal and the amendment of the laws.
“The minister may make regulations relating to any matter that may or must be prescribed and to any matter that is reasonably necessary or expedient to be prescribed to achieve the objects of this Act,” reads a section of the bill.