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Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority

Contact Address:
PURA

Website

Banjul area HQ office
94 Kairaba Avenue, Fajara M Section
P.O. Box 4230, Bakau
kanifing Municipality, Ksmd
The Gambia, West Africa

Tel no: 4399601 / 4399604 / 4465180
            148 (Consumer Enquiries)
Fax:     4399905

Email: info@pura.gm

Information:
The Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority Act of 2001, provides for the establishment of the  PURA authority to regulate the activities of providers of certain public utilities in the various economic sectors.

Amongst them energy services (electricity, petroleum and gas), communications services (telecommunications, broadcasting and postal services), water and sewerage services and transport services (on land, water and in the air). Currently the authority regulates the following companies namely, Nawec, Gamtel, Gamcel, Africell, Comium and the Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

The Act only came into force towards the end of 2003, while the Authority was set up in 2004. The setting up of PURA emanated from the Private Sector Participation and Regulatory Framework for The Gambia Study, funded by PPIAF, which is administered by the World Bank.

The first Director General of the Authority was appointed in February 2004, while the Chairman and other non-executive members of the Board of Commissioners were appointed in October 2004. Subsequently an executive commissioner and four other directors were appointed in December 2004.



Their Mission Statement:
To create a competitive environment for Utilities to expand their services and strengthen their infrastructure, thereby ensuring that services to consumers are available, accessible, and affordable.

Main Roles:
Provide guidelines on rates and fees for the provision of regulated public services
   
Promote fair competition among public utilities
   
Protect the interest of consumers and of public utilities
   
Initiate and conduct investigations into standards of services by public utilities
   
Monitor and enforce standards of performance by public utilities
   
Examine rates and fees chargeable for the provision of regulated public services
   
Collect and compile data on regulated public services and their provision necessary for the performance of the Authority’s functions
   
Maintain a register (which may be in electronic form) of public utilities and the services they provide
   
Conduct studies relating to economies and efficiency in the provision of regulated public services to consumers
   
Recommend and administer, in accordance with the PURA Act 200, a licensing system in respect of public utilities
   
Provide advice in respect of regulated public services and their provision
   
Prepare or cause to be prepared any relevant documentation (including drafts of any required legislation) necessary to give the Authority the power to regulate public utilities in accordance with the PURA Act 2001; and,
   
 
  Provides advice or assistance to a public utility to assist or enable the public utility to comply with a requirement of this Act or of any license
 
  Perform such other functions as may be imposed on it by any other legislation.
 
  Publish appropriate information relating to the Authority’s functions and activities



Organizational Structure:
• Telecommunications Division
Advises the Board (through the Director General) on issues relevant to the regulation of the telecommunications sector, including spectrum management and numbering administration, but not including broadcasting or the Internet. It monitors investment programs, compliance with regulations and service quality.

• Water and Electricity Division
Advises the Board (through the Director General) on issues relevant to regulation of the electricity and water sectors. It monitors investment programs, compliance with regulations and service quality.

• Economics & Finance Directorate
Advises the Board (through the Director General) on rates and tariffs; performs economic and financial analyses; conducts research and develops special studies and forecasts.

• Administration and Human Resources
Oversees personnel functions of the PURA; coordinates administrative activities, including internal accounting procedures; man-ages the information technology functions.

• Consumer Affairs Directorate
Receives consumer complaints of utility services and reviews these with the relevant service providers. It monitors the level of consumer satisfaction with services provided by utilities and the PURA itself. It evaluates the performance of the utilities against the respective quality of service standards and assists the Board in publishing information relating to the PURA’s functions and activities. Advises the Board of the public perception of PURA’s performance, and, where appropriate, suggests actions to improve PURA’s image.

• General Counsel
Advises the Board (through the Director General) and management on all legal matters affecting the Authority. Draft all legal instruments such as licenses, contracts and regulations of the Authority. Also acts as Secretary to the Board of Commissioners



Challenges:
The PURA challenge is to ensure the proactive and effective implementation of sound policies governing the regulated sectors of the Telecommunications, Electricity and Water sectors in the first instance in a predictable, equitable and transparent manner. This should be supported by sound regulatory legislation, coupled with the building of the requisite human capacity within PURA to assure efficient and effective regulation of these vibrant sectors that serve as pacesetter for the transformation of the Gambian economy into the new Millennium and in the realisation of Vision 2020.

Electricity & Water:
The agency has the mandate to regulate the electricity and water markets in the Gambia. In 2008, NAWEC had a monopoly in the provision of Electricity and Water services.

Telecommunications:
The Gambia Telecommunications industry comprises a fixed network, GAMTEL and two mobile network service providers GAMCEL and AFRICEL, whilst the four Internet service providers (ISPs) are GAMTEL’s ISP, QuantumNet, NetPage and AirTip. There are other non-commercial ISPs such as MRC, Shell Oil Company, Standard Chartered Bank and UNDP.

Petroleum Sub Sector:
The Department of Energy, which has developed the National Energy Policy, aims to bring the downstream petroleum sub-sector in line with modern international standards, and as envisaged in the Policy Document so that consumers can get the most benefits.
 
 
 
       
 

 
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