Office of the Public Counsel
The Office of Public Counsel (OPC) was established under the provisions of the Consumer Guarantees Act CAP 326E which came into effect on January 16, 2003. The mandate of the OPC is to protect and promote the individual and collective interests of consumers in matters related to the supply of goods and services within the scope of trading and exchange activities in the local business environment.
To achieve this objective, the OPC acts on the behalf of consumers and engages with suppliers of goods and services across the business landscape of Barbados in specific instances where breaches have occurred in product or service delivery interactions.
Further to the role of consumer protection, the Office Of Public Counsel is charged with the responsibility of advising and educating consumers on matters relating to their rights and responsibilities under the Consumer Guarantees Act, investigating and mediating complaints brought against suppliers relating to breaches in the delivery of products or services under the Act and representing consumers before the Consumer Claims Tribunal in matters that are referred for hearing and final adjudication.
In addition to this role, the Office of Public Counsel is charged with the mandate of representing consumers and other interest groups in preparing submissions for utility rate reviews and hearings and presenting arguments on behalf of consumer and consumer advocate groups before the Fair Trading Commission. The representation offered by the OPC encompasses areas relating to the setting of utility rates, the determination of principles, the setting of standards of service and addressing complaints regarding billing and the standards of service supplied by utility service providers.
To foster an enabling environment that readily provides legal advice and representation to utility regulatory consumers while empowering consumers generally through education to pursue their rights and remedies against manufacturers and suppliers.
To continue to be the region’s premier consumer advocacy office providing sound advice and quality representation to consumers in Barbados.