Communications Authority sets new guidelines for courier firms

Communications Authority asks all providers to buy equipment that will monitor delivery of parcels.

Monday February 1 2016

Communications Authority of Kenya Director Francis Wangusi. Communications Authority of Kenya has set new guidelines requiring Postal Corporation of Kenya and other operators to acquire standardised ICT equipment that will monitor delivery of consignments. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Communications Authority of Kenya Director Francis Wangusi. Communications Authority of Kenya has set new guidelines requiring Postal Corporation of Kenya and other operators to acquire standardised ICT equipment that will monitor delivery of consignments. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By LILIAN OCHIENG'
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Postal and courier services must adhere to new standards under a new regulatory regime to ensure quality service, failure to which their licences will be revoked.

The Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has published new guidelines that compel the Postal Corporation of Kenya and other operators to acquire standardised ICT equipment that will monitor delivery of consignments.

“These guidelines are aimed at boosting consumer confidence in e-commerce by requiring postal and courier operators to implement mechanisms that provide for, among others, remote payment options, enhanced security for packages, tracking of packages and compliance with set delivery standards,” read the rules contained in the Kenya Information and Communications Act.

CA director-general Francis Wangusi said the rules are meant to ensure that courier services become connected, to offer quality services at a fast speed.

The guidelines on postal and courier licensees on promotion of e-commerce, require operators to secure online or mobile payment platforms that are secure to enable customers pay for services with ease.

All 200 operators are required to ensure their processes conform to set security standards that see to it that items are constantly tracked for safe delivery.

Local operators must indicate, “time and location the package was received by the courier, the current estimated location, the expected delivery location and estimated delivery time. They must also set up a call centre and provide a customer care number for tracking of deliveries.”

QUARTERLY SURVEYS

The CA will hire a consultant to conduct quarterly surveys that will constantly ensure the systems are up to date. Operators rated on a scale that is below 80 per cent will be declared non-compliant although they will be given time to improve their processes.

Those with up to 30 per cent score will have their licences revoked without further consideration.

The postal corporation has over time experienced stiff challenges with the introduction of technology firms and mobile gadgets that eased communication. These regulations will help the corporation gain ground at a time when it is losing grip of the market.

CA in August last year brought in a new set of changes that would compel new companies entering the sector to take advantage of Posta’s premises countrywide as receiver points for their deliveries at a fee.

“The regulations have seen significant reduction of fees and licence categories principally to promote market entry and market environment. More players are expected to enter the market as a result,” said Mr Wangusi in a statement.

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