Qatari regulator’s powers strengthened

26 Feb 2018

The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) of Qatar yesterday announced that newly implemented legislative amendments under Law No. 17/2017 have strengthened its executive powers, replacing certain provisions of the Telecommunications Law (No. 34 of 2006). Mohammed Ali Al-Mannai, President of the CRA, said: ‘The new amendments under the aforementioned Law will enhance the executive powers of the CRA, which will contribute in regulating the ICT sector and monitor the compliance [of operators] in a more effective manner. It will also enhance the sector performance … benefitting both consumers and service providers.’

The Law gives CRA employees who are authorised as Judicial Control Officers the ‘power to inspect, verify and control’, including access to relevant premises, records and documents, to examine equipment and communications systems, as well as request any data and clarifications from operators that they consider necessary. Under the Law, a new ‘Financial Penalties Committee’ will be established at the CRA, specialising in imposing financial penalties on licensed service providers in the event of telecoms law violations, e.g. regarding interconnection, consumer protection, non-competitive practices or misinformation.