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JIS News

Cabinet has given its approval for the establishment of an independent agency, with the responsibility of providing accreditation services to public and private laboratories.
This was announced yesterday (September 11), by Minister of Information and Development, Senator Colin Campbell, at the weekly post-Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House.
“The new name for this organization will be the Jamaica National Accreditation Company, and the Board will have representation from the Ministry of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce; the Ministry of Health; the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands, academia, the laboratory association, as well as the scientific community,” the Minister informed.
He pointed out that the laboratory accreditation function was formally done by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ), but was phased out two years ago when it was recognized that this arrangement was not compatible with the World Trade Organization (WTO) requirements.
Senator Campbell informed that the Bureau of Standards performed the function of inspection, testing, certification and it was agreed that there would be a conflict of interest if the Bureau of Standards continued to provide accreditation services.
“The new requirements of the WTO/Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) agreement, which seeks to remove conflict of interest and promote independence, objectivity and impartiality, renders the BSJ as an inappropriate organization. Countries are now moving towards the establishment of an independent accreditation agency, which is in conformity with the new WTO agreement,” said the Minister.
He said it is expected that countries which have accreditation groups as part of their standard organization, would gradually move towards the international best practice over time.