The Ministry of Economic Affairs is currently hosting a four-day training seminar for inspectors in the Consumer Affairs division. The event is being held at SuperClubs Breezes, February 20-23.
According to the Minister of Economic Affairs, the Hon. Michael Halkitis, the fallout from the pandemic resulting in supply chain issues and high inflation, has pressed the government to find solutions to respond to the high prices in all sectors of the economy.
As a result, he said, in addition to increasing manpower to conduct inspections — the Ministry is embarking on improved communication methods and plans to acquire housing facilities in the near future to directly address the needs.
“Supply chain disruption and inflation have challenged governments world-wide and so we see that in some quarters, the government has to do more.
We have especially seen an increase in consumer issues, therefore, to address this, we have increased consumer awareness,” he said.
“We need to also look at legislation in order to modernize and strengthen our laws and to implement best practices. We are currently in the midst of increasing digitization.”
He also said that new housing facilities are expected to be in place by the end of April.
Chief Inspector for the Northern Bahamas, Reno Smith, said that traditionally inspectors have enjoyed great rapport with retailers, especially food stores, however, there have been some challenges in Abaco after inspectors returned to New Providence following Hurricane Dorian.
Consequently, with the dismantling of the Abaco Consumer Affairs office, there has been an outcry for assistance with the prices attached to breadbasket items, and with rent control. He said Abaco has been especially hard hit in recent times.
Mr. Smith noted the training seminar is especially significant as it will provide training for new officers and a refresher course for more experienced officers. He also mentioned that the Consumer Affairs division oversees breadbasket items, LP gas, cars and parts, and rent control.