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Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Audley Shaw, has lauded the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) on becoming ISO 9001:2015-certified, which demonstrates the agency’s commitment to significantly improving its quality of service.

“This certification will allow the COJ to operate based on international best practices. While this does not guarantee that its service will always be perfect, it means that the organisation has put in place the quality management system (QMS) to identify and correct any weaknesses identified,” he said.

The Minister was speaking at a certificate handover ceremony hosted by the National Certification Body of Jamaica (NCBJ) at its office at the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) on Winchester Road in St. Andrew, on Thursday (November 12).

Mr. Shaw said he was pleased that the COJ is the third government agency and second under his Ministry to become ISO 9001-certified.

“Regrettably, in Jamaica there is the sentiment that many government ministries, agencies and departments (MDAs) do not offer quality, expeditious service. It is, therefore, important for public agencies to implement globally recognised quality management systems such as ISO 9001, in order to improve the quality of service to citizens.

MDAs which are unable to produce a high-quality public service become a liability to the Government due to adverse public reaction,” he said.

The Minister noted that the ISO 9001 Implementation Programme is a strategic Government intervention to assist in the transformation and organisation of Jamaica’s public sector, and is being administered under the World Bank-funded Strategic Public Sector Transformation Project.

“The implementation of the ISO 9001 Quality Management System is intended to improve the quality of public services delivered by MDAs, improve the business environment and attractiveness of Jamaica for Foreign Direct Investment, and improve the global competitiveness of our country,” Mr. Shaw said.

The Ministry of Finance and the Public Service is supporting the ISO 9001 QMS implementation across all MDAs, with the first batch of 18 selected agencies now implementing this system.

“We expect, as well, that before the end of the calendar year, another two or three agencies could become ISO 9001-certified, as the second and final batch of agencies has started to implement the ISO 9001 Quality Management System. This batch of agencies is expected to become certified before the end of the project in 2021,” the Minister said, while urging other government agencies to follow suit.

In her remarks, the COJ’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Judith Ramlogan, said achieving ISO 9001:2015 QMS certification “is a proud moment for the management and staff of COJ”.

“We are confident that this can only make it easier for us to fulfil the executive agency’s mandate, which is to provide exemplary service to the people of Jamaica,” she further stated.

Ms. Ramlogan noted that the COJ has consistently demonstrated that it is on the path to becoming an efficient organisation. She said the entity strives to be efficient “because it is the foundation on which to build exemplary customer service as well as foster greater partnerships with stakeholders”.

“Though the scope of the certification focuses specifically in the registration of new business names, new companies and security interest in personal property, as an agency, we are committed to going beyond that and ensuring that all our processes are documented and mapped to reduce inefficiencies,” she pledged.

The CEO also encouraged agencies presently working towards achieving certification to stay the course, noting that while the undertaking may seem arduous, the targeted end result “is well worth the effort”.

“You should always keep front of mind the benefits of ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System certification. The focus on how business is conducted requires that each process is documented, which becomes the foundation for continuous improvement. Documented procedures eliminate variation, lead to improved efficiency, cost reduction and, ultimately, enhanced profits,” Ms. Ramlogan pointed out.

The ISO 9001 Quality Management System is the world’s most popular international standard, and focuses on the quality of goods and services produced by an organisation.

Certification to this standard will allow companies to significantly improve their processes, procedures and overall profits.

The certification procedure is undertaken by the NCBJ, which offers this service in Jamaica and the wider Caribbean.

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