Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Jean Dixon says the proposal to make the Pesticides Control Authority (PCA) an independent body, come April 2011, will help to create a more efficient and effective regulatory agency.
“It will also give the Board and management the opportunity to examine the strategic plan for the organisation,” she said, while addressing the PCA’s annual awards function, held at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, on December 3.
Currently, the Ministry of Health has portfolio responsibility for the PCA. “The recommendations in the Green Paper before Parliament suggest that the PCA will be completely removed from the budget in April 2011. This is a good thing,” she said.
Dr. Dixon further noted that the restructuring of the public sector now underway should provide an opportunity to review where the country’s regulatory entities are located, to examine options for rationalising them, to streamline and strengthen functions and to re-examine the governance arrangements.
Chairman of the Pesticides Control Authority, Dr. Alverston Bailey (left), presents Raymond Green of Manchester Livestock Limited with the award for ‘Most Compliant Food Store’, during the PCA’s annual awards function at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston, on December 3.
She said a strong regulatory framework is important to protect consumers; ensure fairness in markets; spur growth; and safeguard the health and wellbeing of the population and environment.
“To be effective, the regulatory arm of government must be sufficiently removed from the day-to-day operations of the entities they regulate. This is necessary to safeguard the solemn promise of objectivity as a regulator. I’m of the firm belief that our regulatory agencies must be beyond the reach of the regulated, and immune to any direct and inappropriate influence of the state,” Dr. Dixon said.
The PCA’s annual awards function is held in recognition of its committed staff and clients, several of whom were honoured this year in a number of categories.
Awardees for 2010, in the category of ‘Most Compliant Food store’ were: Farm Home and Garden Supplies, St. Ann; Manchester Livestock Limited, Manchester and Schlimn Chicks and Feeds, St. Mary.
The University of the West Indies Pesticides Research Laboratory received the award for the organisation that provide the most ‘Support to PCA Programmes’, while Andrew Smith of Davis Pest Control; and Raul Smith, Orkin, were honoured for receiving top marks in the PCA’s quarterly written examinations.
Marketing Arm Jamaica got top prize for the category of ‘Least Toxic Pesticide Registered’, while Reginald Burgess, Carib Agro Distributors; Cyril Bridge, Lascelles Agricultural Chemicals; and Trevor Armstrong, Latin America Exporters were recognised for ‘Long Service to the Industry’.
The PCA is a statutory body of the Government of Jamaica, mandated through the Pesticides Act of 1975 to regulate, manage and control pesticide usage in Jamaica. Other Acts also impinge on pesticide control, but the Pesticides Act (1975) was legislated to allow for specific control of the pesticide industry.