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The Bureau of Standards Jamaica has been allocated $64.51 million to fund the strengthening of the country’s National Quality Infrastructure Project.
This provision is made in the 2007/08 Estimates of expenditure which was tabled in the House of Representatives yesterday (March 29), by the Minister of Finance and Planning, Dr. Omar Davies. The project, which is being funded by the Swedish International Development Agency, aims to modernize Jamaica’s National Quality Infrastructure in keeping with internationally accepted principles and the requirement of a free market. It also seeks to develop an overall policy for the organization of the national quality infrastructure and to support the adaptation of the food sector to the new principles for technical regulations and conformity assessment. Anticipated physical targets for the new financial year are: continuation of the development process for legislation for the National Quality System; completion of the establishment of the National Accredited Body (NAB); completion of assistance to the Bureau of Standards to upgrade its dangerous goods packaging testing facility and to review and upgrade the current regulatory and enforcement mechanism for the food sector to bring them in line with international practice.
Other anticipated physical targets include: training of personnel in the food sector; assistance in the development of legislation for food safety; seminars for persons in the food and related sectors; training assessors for medical laboratories; training personnel in the food sector and expand the scope of operations of the national accreditation body to include medical laboratories.
Achievements to date include the revised and updated documentation for the Management System of the National Accreditation Body; development of a strategic action plan for the establishment of national food safety agency; National Quality Policy developed and approved by Cabinet in 2001; and Strategic Action Plan to implement the National Quality Policy developed and is currently being implemented. The project is set to be completed in September 2008.