Saint Lucia this afternoon put quality infrastructure, and metrology in particular, on the map in a big way, when the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards was awarded the prestigious Award for Excellent Achievements in Legal Metrology in Developing Countries’ from the International Organisation of Legal Metrology (OIML).

The award was accepted on behalf of Saint Lucia by Head of Metrology at the SLBS, Mr. Anselm Gittens at the Inter-American System for Metrology (SIM) General Assembly being held in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. The small CARICOM country, and Member State of the CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), is the first Caribbean island and the smallest country in the seven-year history of the award, to receive this accolade.

Although the SLBS is not a member of OIML, Mr. Gittens’ work and involvement in the international organisation has been well known for many years. An invitation has been extended for him to attend the next meeting of CIML (International Committee of Legal Metrology), which is the functional decision-making body of OIML, to present on the work done to develop legal metrology in Saint Lucia.

The OIML is the world’s premiere body for legal metrology and is an intergovernmental treaty organisation which was established to develop model regulations, standards and related documents for use by legal metrology authorities and industry. Legal metrology, which traditionally was called weights and measures, is the application of legal requirements to measurements and measuring instruments.

The award recognises what the OIML says is “steady and sustained progress in the area of legal metrology over the last 22 years”. It noted the significant contribution of the SLBS to legal metrology at the national and Caribbean levels despite Saint Lucia being a Small Island Developing State.

About the achievement, Director of the Bureau, Dr. Mkabi Walcott recently expressed the organisation’s appreciation for the recognition from such a prestigious international body, noting that such an award was the result of the commendable work of the staff of the Metrology Department over the past 22 years.

 

CROSQ congratulated the SLBS and Saint Lucia on the achievement, noting, “Whilst we were all well aware of the diligent efforts of the SLBS to develop a strong legal metrology system, it is fabulous to now see these energies being translated into international recognition, both for St. Lucia and by extension, the Caribbean Community.”

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Saint Lucia, through the Metrology Department of the Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS), has become the first Caribbean country to receive, in 2015, the prestigious OIML Award for Excellent Achievements in Legal Metrology in Developing Countries from the International Organization of Legal Metrology (OIML).

The award was announced at the 50th Meeting of the International Committee of Legal Metrology, CIML, held in Arcachon, France on 20–22 October 2015.

The OIML is the world’s premiere body for legal metrology and is an intergovernmental treaty organization which was established to develop model regulations, standards and related documents for use by legal metrology authorities and industry. Legal metrology which traditionally was called weights & measures is the application of legal requirements to measurements and measuring instruments.

The award recognizes what the OIML says is “steady and sustained progress in the area of legal metrology over the last 22 years.” It noted the significant contribution of the SLBS to legal metrology at the national and Caribbean levels despite Saint Lucia being a Small Island Developing State. Saint Lucia is the smallest country to receive this major accolade from the OIML in the Award’s seven-year history.

The Saint Lucia Bureau of Standards, energized by this Award for Excellence in Legal Metrology, will by continuous improvement, ensure that its services in metrology, standardization and conformity assessment are world class.

The Director of the Bureau, Dr. Mkabi Walcott, expressed her agency’s appreciation for such recognitionfrom an international body noting that such an award was as a result of the commendable work of the staff of the Metrology Department over the past twenty two years.

Mr. Anselm Gittens the head of the Metrology Department will receive the Award during the Annual General Assembly of the Inter-american Metrology System (SIM) to be held in the Dominican Republic in November.

The CARICOM Regional Organisation for Standards and Quality (CROSQ), of which Saint Lucia is a Member State, also congratulated the SLBS on the achievement, noting, "Whilst we were all well aware of the diligent efforts of the SLBS to develop a strong legal metrology system, it is fabulous to now see these energies being translated into international recognition, both for St. Lucia and by extension, the Caribbean Community."

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The countries of the Caribbean region are too small to be followers of world trade. What they must become are creators of standards that will benefit them on the international stage.

Trade Advisor with the Ministry of Commerce in St. Lucia, Mr. McDonald Dixon, made this observation as the St. Lucia Bureau of Standards (SLBS) celebrated World Standards Day on Tuesday with a Staff and Technical Committee Awards ceremony.

We are too small to follow the dictates of others, geared towards the fulfillment of aspirations not of our own making. Therefore it is timely for us not only as a country, but also as a sub-region, the OECS, to begin formulating standards that will satisfy the needs of our people,in the broad areas of health and safety and in specific fields such as security, environment and the elimination of corruption and deceptive practices.

“We must design technical regulations that guarantee the integrity of what we eat, the air we breathe and the water in which we bathe. No longer should we allow our large international trading partners to continue to dump inferior meats and foodstuff into our small markets with impunity, and when we seek to take action they are quick to point out that our measures are not in tandem with international regulations,” said Mr. Dixon.

The trade advisor added: “We must also seek to achieve in whatever we do, technical harmonization with other OECS member states and also within the larger CARICOM Community. We cannot compromise on quality or arrive at positions that can distort our efforts at trade facilitation. I know that the prescription is complex, but since when has there been a modicum of fairness in trade and commerce without some good sweat?”

Determined to not just focus on the problems without offering solutions, Mr. Dixon noted that the “education of civil society in the use of standards” would be key in the procurement of superior goods and services.

“Too often we forget that the main purpose for standards, regulations or measures is to improve the way of life our citizens. But the only way there can be appreciation is when benefits can be clearly enumerated and the people they are intended to assist or protect understand their purpose.”

He congratulated the St. Lucia Bureau of Standards on its awards, singling out those who work behind the scene to contribute to the development of standards in any way.

 

The Bureau concluded its week of activities with a bakers’ workshop at the Coco Palm Hotel on Thursday, followed by presentations today to the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College.

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