First Amendment To Law No. 23/96, Of July 26, Which Creates The Legal System Some Mechanisms To Protect The Wearer From Essential Public Services

Original Language Title: Primeira alteração à Lei n.º 23/96, de 26 de Julho, que cria no ordenamento jurídico alguns mecanismos destinados a proteger o utente de serviços públicos essenciais

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Read the untranslated law here:

1 DRAFT law No. 263/X draft law amendments to the law No. 23/96, of July 26 explanatory memorandum to the law No. 23/96, of 26 July (essential public services law) is an innovative instrument designed to ensure the protection of the wearer of a minimum set of services considered essential to the quality of life in contemporary society in the face of a liberalized services market. The fruitful experience of applying this cool device made it possible to identify a set of situations whose framework, after almost ten years after your entry into force, it is important to update in order to maintain the high level of protection of road users ensured at the time when your approval. The extension of the scope of the electronic communications diploma results, thus, of developments in the market that came to consecrate the widespread use of diversified means of communication with the use of new technologies. It is already touched upon matters in the initial version of the law. On the other hand, the formalization of the mention within the diploma for piped gas supply services aims to clarify the scope of the protection that the law guarantees. Also the fitness for other integrated services in the areas of competence of regulators of essential services, such as postal services, waste water and solid waste. Was clarified the scope of the concept of the provider of the service, having been established a general rule concerning the information on the tariffs charged by those entities. It was establish a ban on the collection of sums relating to users use of the meters and other measuring instruments applied by providers of services 2 to consumption control carried out. The costs of these instruments, being inherent in the pursuit of the activity of the service provider, must be supported by them and not included in the invoice for services paid by the user. The use of billing procedures by estimated consumption has given rise, in some cases, to serious distortions in payments required of users. For this reason, the right to require such payments in respect of the limitation and expiry was also the subject of a clarification, given some of the practices used by providers of services represent an obstacle to the application of article 10 of the law. Shall be the rule of compensation for overpayments made by users through consumption billing by invoice, estimate the company proceeds to setting the actual consumption and estimated consumption actually paid. Establishing itself in the seat of the expiry and limitation regime, a rule setting a minimum antecedence to the communication to the user of payments required. Has been extended the scope of the rule on burden of proof borne by the service provider, all matters relating to the provision of the service, involving the performance of the service provider.

Thus, in accordance with the rules applicable and constitutional, are Members of the parliamentary group of the Socialist Party to submit the following draft law: article 1 (Amendment of law No. 23/96, of 26 July) articles 1, 4, 8, 9, 10, 13 and 14 of law No. 23/96, of July 26, are replaced by the following: article 1 (subject matter and scope) 1. (The current Wording of article 1 1 number) 2. (drafting of the current body of number 2 of article 1)) (the current Wording (a))) 3 (b)) (the current Wording (b))) c) service for the supply of natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas piped; d) electronic communications service; e) postal services; f) service of wastewater collection and treatment; g) services municipal solid waste management. 3. (the current number 3 of article 1) 4. The service provider shall be deemed to be covered by this law any public or private entity that provides to users any of the services referred to in paragraph 2, regardless of the legal nature of your title to the make or the existence or not of the concession contract.

Article 4 (duty information) 1. The service provider must inform in a clear and appropriate to the other party of the conditions under which the service is provided and all clarifications that are justified, according to the circumstances. 2. The service provider reports directly, in a timely and effective, users on the applicable tariffs for the services provided, providing clear and complete information about these rates. 3. (the current number 2 of article 4) article 8 (minimum Consumption and counters) 1. (The current Wording of article 8 body) 2. It is prohibited to charge purchasers:) any importance in respect of price, rental or depreciation of counters or other measuring instruments of the services used; b) any other effect rate equivalent to the use of the measures referred to in the previous paragraph regardless of the name used; 4 c) any fee that does not have a direct correspondence with a charge in which the provider of the service actually incur. 3. Do not constitute minimum consumptions, for the purposes of this article, the fees and charges due for the construction, care and maintenance of the water systems and sanitation in accordance with the applicable statutory scheme.

Article 9 (Billing)-1 (...) 2-the invoice referred to in the preceding paragraph must have a minimum monthly periodicity, and discriminate against the services provided and the corresponding rates. 3-(Wording of the current paragraph 2) article 10 (limitation and revocation) 1. The right to receive the price of the service expires within six months after your payment. 2. If, for any reason, including the error of the service provider, was paid less than the importance that corresponds to consumption, the right of the provider to receive the difference falls within six months after that payment. 3. The requirement of payment for services rendered is communicated to the user in writing at least 10 working days prior to the date fixed limit for payment. 4. the time limit for the filing of the action by the service provider is six months, counted after the provision of the service or the payment, as the case may be. 5. (the current number 3 of article 10) article 13 (settlement of disputes)

5 the resolution of disputes arising from the provision of an essential public service must be found in the first place through the use of extra-judicial mechanisms of consumer disputes, suspending your course in the time limit for the filing of the lawsuit.

Article 14 (final provisions) now article 13 article 2 (Amendment to law No. 23/96, of 26 July) are added to law No. 23/96, of July 26 articles 10A, 10B and 15 to read as follows: Article 10A (burden of proof) 1. It is the responsibility of the service provider proof of all the facts concerning the fulfilment of their obligations and to the development of arrangements arising from the provision of the services referred to in this decree-law. 2. Focuses on the service provider the burden of proof of the completion of the communications referred to in article 10, relating to the requirement of the payment and the time that they were carried out.

Article 10B (Arrangement of values collected) where, by virtue of the billing method used, is charged to the user a value that exceeds the corresponding to the consumption, the excess value is down the invoice on which the setting has been made, except in cases of declaration to the contrary, manifested expressly by the user of the service. 6 article 15 (Term) Current article 14 article 3 (application in time) the present law applies to relations that exist at the date of your entry into force.

Article 4 (entry into force) the present law shall enter into force 90 days after your publication.

Palácio de s. Bento, July 16 2006 Members