|Commenced in January 2007||Frequency: Monthly||Edition: International||Paper Count: 2|
The Colombian government has defined an e-government strategy to take advantage of Information Technologies (IT) in order to contribute to the building of a more efficient, transparent and participative State that provides better services to citizens and businesses. In this regard, the Justice sector is one of the government sectors where IT has generated more expectation considering that the country has a judicial processes backlog. This situation has led to the search for alternative forms of access to justice that speed up the process while providing a low cost for citizens. To this end, the Colombian government has authorized the use of Alternative Dispute Resolution methods (ADR), a remedy where disputes can be resolved more quickly compared to judicial processes while facilitating greater communication between the parties, without recourse to judicial authority. One of these methods is conciliation, which includes a special modality that takes advantage of IT for the development of itself known as virtual conciliation. With this option the conciliation is supported by information systems, applications or platforms and communications are provided through it. This paper evaluates the level of maturity in how the service of virtual conciliation is under the framework of this strategy. This evaluation is carried out considering Shahkooh's 5-phase model for e-government. As a result, it is evident that in the context of conciliation, maturity does not reach the necessary level in the model so that it can be considered as virtual conciliation; therefore, it is necessary to define strategies to maximize the potential of IT in this context.
The EU Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 under which air passengers can claim compensation in the event of denied boarding, cancellation or long delay of flights has to be regarded as a substantial progress for the consumer protection in the field of air transport since it went into force in February 2005. Nevertheless, different reviews of its effective functioning demonstrate that most passengers affected by service disruptions do not enforce their complaints and claims towards the airline. The main cause of this is not only the unclear legal situation due to the fact that the regulation itself suffers from many undetermined terms and loopholes it is also attributable to the strategy of the airlines which do not handle the complaints of the passengers or exclude their duty to compensate them. Economically contemplated, reasons like the long duration of a trial and the cost risk in relation to the amount of compensation make it comprehensible that passengers are deterred from enforcing their rights by filing a lawsuit. The paper focusses on the alternative dispute resolution namely the recently established conciliation bodies which deal with air passenger rights. In this paper, the Conciliation Body for Public Transport in Germany (Schlichtungsstelle für den öffentlichen Personenverkehr – SÖP) is examined as a successful example of independent consumer arbitration service. It was founded in 2009 and deals with complaints in the field of air passenger rights since November 2013. According to the current situation one has to admit that due to its structure and operation it meets on the one hand the needs of the airlines by giving them an efficient tool of their customer relation management and on the other hand that it contributes to the enforcement of air passenger rights effectively.