In March 2006, the Pacific ICT Ministerial Forum held in Wellington, New Zealand, recognized the importance of pooling scarce resources in the regulation of telecommunications services, and directed officials to approach World Bank (the “Bank”) and other development partners with a view to the provision of regulatory and policy capacity development.
In 2008, the Bank commissioned a study of the options for the establishment of a regional-level telecommunications and ICT resource centre or technical advisory facility to assist telecommunications and ICT policymakers and regulators in the Pacific. The Options Report was completed in December 2008 and recommended the establishment of a Pacific Regional Regulatory Resource Centre to provide an efficient and independent source of advice and information to telecommunications and ICT regulators and policymakers and to strengthen the capacity of regulators and policymakers
These recommendations were presented to the Pacific ICT Ministerial Forum held in Tonga in February 2009. The Ministerial Communiqué endorsed the recommendation and directed officials to work towards establishing a shared regulatory resource centre for the Forum Island countries.
The Bank subsequently agreed to administer seed funding for the establishment of the Centre provided by the Pacific Region Infrastructure Facility, a multi-partner infrastructure coordination and financing mechanism.
The meeting of Pacific Regional Information & Communication Technology Ministers held on 18 June 2010 in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, endorsed the establishment of the Pacific ICT Regulatory Resource Centre (“PIRRC”) to be located at the Japan-Pacific ICT Centre of University of the South Pacific (“USP”), and the establishment of the Centre Working Group (“WG”). Ministers directed that the Working Group progress the governance framework of the Centre and report back to countries.
The meeting of Pacific Regional ICT Ministers held on 4-8 April 2011 in Noumea, New Caledonia, endorsed proposals concerning membership and governance of the PIRRC. With this endorsement, the focus has shifted to the commencement of PIRRC operations.
PIRRC will encourage sharing of information and industry data, and provide direct assistance to ICT policymakers and regulators throughout the Pacific. PIRRC is being established as a collaborative effort among national regulators, policymakers, regional institutions, including SPC, the University of the South Pacific (the “USP”), and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (the “PIFS”), and other development partners.
Forum island member countries are eligible to become Centre members and non-Forum island member countries/territories may apply for membership. The membership entitles countries/territories to governance rights and to receive services from the Centre. An annual membership fee is payable by each member country or territory
Governance & Location
PIRRC is governed by a Steering Committee consisting of 6 country and 1 USP representatives. The Steering Committee will approve the PIRRC annual business and financial plans and appoint a Management Committee to oversee operational matters. The Steering Committee consists of representatives from Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Federated States of Micronesia, Samoa, Cook Islands and Australia. A USP representative is to be appointed
PIRRC is hosted by USP at Level 4 of its Japan-Pacific ICT Centre, in Suva, Fiji as an autonomous operating unit of USP
Mandate of PIRRC
The mandate of the PRRRC is:
LIRNEasia has been selected as consulting firm for the Project and the Centre Director (Mr. Aslam Hayat) has moved to Suva, Fiji to setup office of PIRRC. Other technical and administrative staff will be engaged as the PIRRC work program develops