Apr 2, 2012, 12:35 PM
The Gambia Standards Bureau’s annual activity report, and financial statement for the year ended 2013, was Monday presented to the joint session of the Public Accounts Committee and Public Enterprises Committee, PAC/PEC, of the National Assembly.
Presenting the report before the two committees, Papa Secka, Director General of Gambia Standards Bureau, said the successes registered in the first year of operations of the Bureau were followed in 2013 by consolidation of those gains.
These were achieved through a focus on capacity-building, enhancement of the competency of staff and strengthening the National Metrology Laboratory, he said.
He added that there had been effective participation in the international standards-setting bodies in which the bureau is a member, and better networking with its peer organizations around the world.
At the regional level, he continued, the bureau was active in putting forward The Gambia’s interest in the area of standardization (deriving its position from national stakeholders.)
According to Secka, the bureau achieved a lot during the year under review, as it published for the first time in the history of the country ten official national standards.
These standards have both the international element (being mainly of food commodities based on CODEX) and the national alignment where necessary, he added.
“These are available for all and sundry,” he said, calling for governance to be appropriately leveraged on their availability as a means to safeguard the health and safety of the people.
Another highly beneficial output was the finalization of the National Quality Policy, in partnership with its line Ministry of Trade, he said.
He added that other achievements were registered in information-dissemination, stakeholders’ capacity building and engagement, as well as metrology.
DG Secka further informed the assembly’s joint committees’ session that there are many constraints and challenges they are facing, highlighting that the one considered the most urgent is the acquisition of a suitable land for an office.
“The requirement for establishment of inspection, testing, certification and metrology facilities is overdue hence the urgency for a land,” he added.
According to the GSB director, the bureau is a technical organization and service-oriented for the development and promotion of the National Quality Infrastructure and industrial development in addition to being a facilitator to businesses.
Therefore, he went on, the importance of ensuring that its staff are well trained and skilled in their respective positions could not be over-emphasised.