The Standards Council of the Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality held its inaugural meeting at its new offices at Source River Centre, Bacardi Road, Thursday, May 28, 2015. At the inaugural meeting the council finalized the name and logo of the Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality, formed sub-committees, and set its next meeting in two weeks.
Minister of Financial Services the Hon. Hope Strachan addressed the meeting, stating that while the country, by Acts of Parliament, officially established the Standards Act and the Weights & Measures Regime in February of 2008, her Ministry is advancing full steam ahead to ensure that the Bureau of Standards is fully operational, effectual, and that this standards body is afforded the legislative teeth to ensure compliance with regional and international treaties.
She said: To date, some of the achievements of the Ministry include:
Minister Strachan pointed out that her Ministry intends to gainfully employ an additional 10 members of staff (Cabinet approved), particularly with technical competency, to give effect to the work of the Bureau of Standards in the new budget year commencing this July.
And also, the Bureau has conducted several sensitization workshops throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas on the benefits and importance of standardization at which there was public outcry that the Bureau of Standards is long overdue.
Minister Strachan said, “the mandates for the Bureau of Standards will help to advance the national economy, support sustainable development, benefit the health, safety and welfare of workers and the public, assist and protect consumers, facilitate domestic and international trade and further international cooperation in relation to standardization.
“While this work ahead is a gargantuan task, I am confident this Standards Council will undoubtedly begin to make certain these systems are effectively implemented.
“The Standards Bureau will be the institution to help the Country build its national quality infrastructure (NQI). Quality Infrastructure refers to all aspects of metrology, standardization, testing, certification and accreditation that have a bearing on conformity assessment. This includes both public and private institutions and the regulatory framework within which they operate.”
She continued, “if the Caribbean is to see continued growth as an emerging market for foreign investment and also export its goods and services to the rest of the world we must implement an effective QI system to improve and support health and safety, environment, competitiveness, trade, research and development, and innovation.”
In concluding Minister Strachan said: “I now ask that you study the Standards and Weights & Measures Act and begin to ensure the following policies and procedures are set in motion:
I anticipate that your work will produce a policy to serve the Bureau of Standards; and in so doing serve the people of The Commonwealth of The Bahamas. God bless you all.”