The Competition Authority of Kenya (CAK) on Thursday, January 21 urged Kenyans to embrace the newly operationalized Informant Reward Scheme.
An informant who provides credible intelligence leading to closure of an investigation through penalization will be entitled to 1% of the administrative penalty. The authority will however not pay an amount exceeding Ksh1 million.
“The scheme is targeted at persons with credible intelligence regarding restrictive trade practices, mainly cartel-like conduct.
“Such conduct includes agreements between undertakings to fix purchase and selling prices, maintenance of minimum resale prices, controlling production levels and market allocation, and collusive tendering,” the authority noted in a statement.
The scope of the programme also covers other issues including misrepresentation and safety of products, abuse of dominance, abuse of buyer power, mergers and acquisitions implemented without approval, and unconscionable conduct.
CAK Director-General Wang’ombe Kariuki welcomed the introduction of the scheme, asserting that it would greatly boost the authority’s ability to crack down on cartels.
He further gave assurances that the authority was committed to ensuring the identities of informants are not compromised.
“Cartels, which harm consumers through impeding choice, innovation and increasing prices, flourish under a veil of secrecy.
“Through this scheme, the authority has the objective of deepening its intelligence gathering capacity with regard to such clandestine operations using informants who are close to the conduct, but not party to it,” Kariuki stated.
Offering an example, CAK noted that an informant could be, for instance, an employee directed by superiors to attend a meeting where price-fixing was discussed but he/she did not actively participate in the decision making.
Prospective informants and individuals seeking more information on the scheme were advised to contact the CAK.