JIS News

Some $25.5 million has been allocated to the ‘Strengthening of Jamaica’s National Quality Infrastructure’ project in the 2004/05 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives.
The funds provided will be used for the provision of technical consultancy for laboratories selected to participate in the Laboratory Accreditation Technical Assistance (LATA) Programme, completion of the legislation for the National Quality Policy, and the establishment of the National Accreditation Body. Employees are also to be trained in accreditation activities.
Funded by the Government of Jamaica (GoJ) and the Swedish Development Agency (SIDA) the scheme is being implemented by the Bureau of Standards of Jamaica (BSJ).
Up to December 2003, a number of workshops and training and awareness seminars were conducted. Jamaica’s national quality infrastructure was also analysed and proposals developed for its modernization. The project, which began in April 2000 and was slated for completion in March 2002, has since been extended to July of this year.
Meanwhile, some $13 million has been earmarked for the Jamaica Implementation of Quality, Environmental and Food Safety Systems project, also being implemented by the BSJ.
The funds will be used to educate 300 representatives of various entities on the need for and benefits of International Standards for Organisations and Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point Management Systems, while 90 local consultants will be trained in the implementation of these management systems.
About 400 owners/managers of small and medium enterprises will be supplied with specialized information, 30 local consultants will be trained as external auditors, and 50 firms will receive matching grants.
The project, which was commissioned in April 2003 is expected to end in April 2006 and is funded by the GoJ and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
In the meantime, the Information and Communications Technology Project has received $7.5 million for the further development of the Information and Communication Technology sector.
The money will be used to fund the implementation of Phase 1 of the e-Government Component, put fiscal and trade agencies online as well as start the strengthening process for the Central Information Technology Office (CITO). The project, which began in April 2003, is expected to end March 2006 and is being jointly funded by the GoJ and the IDB.
All the projects fall under the Ministry of Commerce, Science and Technology.

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