Bureau of Standards Jamaica
The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) has restructured its operations from an inspection and enforcement agency to a trade facilitator and business enabler. Executive Director, Stephen Wedderburn has recently explained that this restructuring will see the National Compliance and Regulatory Agency (NCRA) taking on the regulatory arm of the Bureau, and the BSJ will drive standards development. “With the changes, the BSJ will be able to facilitate business growth and efficiency through the application of standards and quality practices. This is in line with international best practices,” he shared.
Mr. Wedderburn said the repositioned Bureau will also assist businesses through the development, promotion and use of standards. He further noted that training, testing, label assessment and calibration services, as well as certification through the NCRA will be added functions to support the new directive of the agency. The Executive Director noted that the refocused roles of the BSJ should see significant benefits to the local business community, adding that the use of standards is an important tool for increasing innovation, quality, consistency and business competitiveness. He further encouraged businesses to take advantage of the Bureau’s new thrust to guide companies in becoming standard-bearers in the industry.
Mr. Wedderburn explained that separation of the functions was necessary for the country’s compliance with international considerations of the World Trade Organization (WTO) Technical Barriers to Trade Agreement. “The BSJ was once seen as the ‘policing agency’. Businesses would be reluctant to turn to the Bureau for help to improve their quality practices. The new move will see us helping businesses to understand standards and how to integrate these best practices in their operations,” he noted.
For his part, Director in the Science and Technology Division at the BSJ, Dr. Dwight Ramdon, said the rebranded BSJ will focus on the scientific and engineering laboratories. He said the BSJ will be more responsive to the needs of the various industries that it serves. “We want to drive this change in the mindset of Jamaicans, starting with the staff of the BSJ who focus on service and support to businesses rather than regulations,” the Director said.
Mr. Stephen Wedderburn was speaking at a Jamaica Information Service (JIS) Think Tank session on June 7 at the JIS Headquarters in Kingston: https://jis.gov.jm/bsj-restructures-operations/