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Bureau of Standards says response to Auditor General findings coming

Published:Thursday | December 8, 2016 | 10:02 AM

The Bureau of Standards Jamaica (BSJ) has said it will issue a comprehensive response later this week on the findings of an audit which, among other things, point to insufficient monitoring of food establishments.

The findings contained in a performance audit report by the Auditor General Pamela Monroe Ellis, also pointed to uncertainty about whether product imported into Jamaica meet the requisite quality standards.

The Jamaica Standard Specification for Processed Food (General) stipulates that no one should operate an establishment for processing food until it is registered with the Bureau and issued with a transcript of registration.

However, the Auditor General says the evidence suggests that the BSJ is less than proactive in identifying operators of food processing establishments.

On the issue of quality testing, Monroe Ellis said the agency has conducted limited testing of products for conformance with quality standards.

She pointed out that from the sample of 82 monitoring reports, at ports of entry, laboratory testing was done in only seven instances.

Another example pointed out related to complaints from consumers about sub-standard tyres.

However, the BSJ's efforts to respond have been affected by the lack of the requisite equipment to do internal tyre inspections to complement visual inspections.

In response to the individual findings, the BSJ has highlighted the lack of funds and human resources to carry out aspects of its function.

Acting managing director Dr Dwight Ramdon, says the BSJ will be issuing a comprehensive response by Friday.