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The Jamaica Implementation of Quality, Environmental and Food Safety Systems project has been allocated $28 million to improve the international competitiveness of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by implementing International Standards for Organisations (ISO) management systems.
As contained in the 2006/07 Estimates of Expenditure, now before the House of Representatives, the project, which is being implemented by the Jamaica Bureau of Standards, is aimed at increasing capacity for the implementation of these management systems and to achieve objectives in four phases.
In phase One, the objective is to raise awareness among SMEs regarding the importance of management systems as tools for continuous improvement and competitiveness. Phase Two will see the development of a local supply of qualified consultants trained in ISO and Hazard Critical Control Point (HACCP) management systems; phase Three will facilitate implementation of ISO management or HACCP system in 100 firms; while phase four will be aimed at institutional strengthening and promotion to enhance the ability of the Jamaica Bureau of Standards to attain international recognition as an ISO and HACCP certification body.
The project, which started in April of 2002, was initially targeted to be finished in January of 2005, but was further extended to July of 2007, with a revised total estimated cost of some $91.4 million.
As at February 2006, 1700 SME operators have been made aware of HACCP; 597 SME personnel trained in general HACCP; 48 persons were trained as management consultants to implement HACCP in SMEs; 48 management consultants are working with 30 SMEs to achieve readiness for HACCP; 108 of 300 persons trained as internal auditors in SMEs; while 12 of 30 SMEs have completed audit interventions and are ready for pre-certification audit.
Anticipated physical targets for 2006/07 include: the training of 192 persons in HACCP internal auditing; training of 50 lead auditors; training of 300 persons in general ISO requirements; the training of 250 persons in ISO 9000/14000 documentation; training of 300 persons in ISO 9000/14000 internal auditing and the implementation of ISO 9000/14000 and HACCP systems in at least 60 companies.
There is also expected to be an update to the quality manual and operational procedures as well as preparation of the Bureau of Standards Jamaica for accreditation no later than March 2007.
The project, which is funded by the Jamaican government, the Inter American Development Bank (IADB) and the Multi-lateral Investment Fund, falls under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Science and Technology.