Editors' Forum | 80% in 21 days - BSJ sets ambitious target for testing and certification
An ambitious target of three weeks for the testing and certification of 80 per cent of all requests from local manufacturers has been set by the Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) in an effort to reduce the frequent complaints about long waiting time.
The commitment was given by Stephen Wedderburn, executive director of the BSJ, last week during a Gleaner Editors' Forum with officials of the entity, which has among its responsibilities support for "consumer protection by providing standardisation, metrology, testing, certification and training".
According to Wedderburn, "We set an objective for three weeks for the majority of our tests. Twenty-one days, and one of our targets which is measured, we really aim to complete on time and in full, a target of minimum 80 per cent of all the jobs that come in. It must be completed within that time."
He told Gleaner editors and reporters that the BSJ has increased its staffing numbers and this has resulted in reduced waiting time for testing. More functioning laboratories have also aided the process.
"We have largely addressed the problem of long wait for testing. Essentially, it's much improved and our staff levels have expanded to serve people better," said Webberburn, as he boasted that requests for tests by local manufactures, producers, and importers are not being unduly held up.
Richard Lawrence, director of the engineering division at BSJ, said that the organisation has inputted other processes to improve delivery, which has improved the testing of non-foods products.
"We have had technological improvements through assistance from the World Bank for capacity building in the engineering division. One of our new laboratories - the energy-efficient testing lab - is able to test air conditioners, a capacity which was not available prior," Lawrence told the forum.
He said that support from the Public Sector Transformation Project has also increased the BSJ's technological performance, with the testing of large units such as refrigerators and freezers increased by more than 100 per cent.
"We had one test chamber that could do both refrigerators and freezers. We now have six and we can do 16 all at once, including one kilos. Our capabilities for testing mass - calibration of measuring devices - we are the Caribbean's reference lab, and we recently got accreditation for our flow and volume lab, which does the calibration approvals that the inspectors take to the gas pumps," added Lawrence.
The BSJ executive said that labs are being developed incrementally and in the construction industry the entity is now able to test curb walls, which it was previously unable to do.
He added that the agency is now looking to improve its capabilities in the civil engineering department.