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Procedural Measures Taken by the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP) as a Result of COVID-19

Via Cabinet Resolution No. 11 of March 13, 2020, the Cabinet Council declared a State of National Emergency as a result of the effects caused by the Coronavirus disease. Similarly, Executive Decree No. 472 of March 13, 2020 and Executive Decree No. 489 of March 16, 2020, ordered extreme sanitary measures following the Declaration of the Coronavirus Disease as a Pandemic by the World Health Organization.

As a result, the National Authority of Public Services (ASEP), via Resolution AN No. 1072-ADM of March 13, 2020, ordered the suspension of the terms and deadlines for all the administrative processes conducted before said Authority.

Subsequently, Executive Decree No. 490 of March 17, 2020 (which establishes a national curfew) exempts personnel of the National Institute of National Aqueducts and Sewers (IDAAN), as well as of the industries dedicated to the production of energy, telecommunications, internet providers, and communication media (radio and television).

Later, Resolution AN No. 1073-ADM of March 18, 2020 instructs concession- and license-holding companies to adopt the necessary measures to guarantee the continuity of public services regulated by the ASEP in an efficient, continuous and uninterrupted manner for the entire population.

Via Resolution No. 1075-ADM of March 25, 2020, ASEP established an esulexceptional service or process (notice) procedure for its communications and administrative acts, which will only be in force during the state of national emergency.

The procedure will operate as follows:

  1. Communications and administrative acts issued by ASEP will be served to the parties via email;
  2. The email address on file with the ASEP or provided by the parties will be used for this purpose;
  3. Communications and administrative acts sent via email will be considered duly served on the date and time the message is registered as sent on ASEP’s electronic mailbox;
  4. Once the state of emergency declared by the National Government is lifted, a copy of the message thus sent will be attached to the file kept by ASEP.

Additionally, via Resolution AN No. 1076-ADM of 3 April 2020, ASEP extended the suspension, until April 30, 2020.

Finally, through Resolution AN No. 1078-ADM of April 30, 2020, issued by ASEP, it was established:

  • Extend the suspension of the terms: only in those administrative processes and appeals that were in process as of March 11, 2020. This measure implies the interruption of the terms of expiration and prescription of the different processes carried out by the National Authority of Public Services.
  • Except: what is established in administrative acts and administrative actions carried out by this entity in the exercise of its supervisory function, and during the period of National Emergency, as well as the actions carried out through the Telecommunications Administration System. (SATEL), those carried within the administrative files that have a transitional procedure approved by this Regulatory Authority that allows the process electronically or digitally, as well as the receipt of customer complaints.
  • Reiterate users, concessionaires, and their agents the use of computer and technology to exchange information on their respective processes or procedures with the different departments of said entity.
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