Gopee-Scoon: Thanks to Bureau of Standards, consumers getting value for money

Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon at a media conference at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain on June 26. - Photo by Faith Ayoung
Trade Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon at a media conference at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain on June 26. - Photo by Faith Ayoung

THE Bureau of Standards celebrated its 50th anniversary on July 8 and says it hopes to continue “building a quality nation, one standard at a time.”

The corporation marked its golden anniversary at the Bureau of Standards Auditorium, Macoya.

Minister of Trade Paula Gopee-Scoon highlighted the bureau's achievements over the past 50 years, including improvements to the National Measurement System and Metrology and Standards Act, aiming to enhance technical capabilities, boost export competitiveness and safeguard national health, safety and environment.

Since opening its doors in 1974, the bureau has issued 700 standards, of which 350 are still relevant and in use.

Gopee-Scoon said the government views the bureau as critical in trade facilitation.

"It is responsible for ensuring the safety of goods being imported into Trinidad as it continues to expand its inspection capabilities for the inspection of goods such as tyres and electrical products."

Gopee-Scoon called the bureau's work "profound and visible" since implementing the Metrology Act in 2018.

She described metrology, the science of measurement, as: "a commitment which recognises the need to ensure there is quality and accuracy of measurements in all areas of trade."

She said it builds on the government's commitment to provide a globally competitive marketplace which protects both consumer and producer interests.

Since the inception of the fuel verification exercise in 2018, 24,648 fuel dispenser nozzles had undergone verification.

"The number of CNG nozzle dispenser verifications conducted was 448.

"The number of supermarket courier and industrial weighing devices verified was 792.

"It just goes to show you how many people are on their feet," Gopee-Scoon said.

Through these efforts, she said, consumers are guaranteed value for money.

She commended the bureau on its internationally recognised achievements in metrology in specialised areas. The bureau received international acclaim for its calibration and measurement capabilities mass and related quantities and for establishing the first Caribbean reference lab for temperature measurements.

"That has resulted in a strengthened national measurement system in our country.

"These developments are not just fundamental to health, safety and the environment, but will also play a significant role in local businesses reaping the best benefits of global trading opportunities."

Additionally, the bureau runs the only fibre laboratory in the Caribbean for testing paper products, fabrics, materials and safety footwear.

Gopee-Scoon said the bureau's sustainability efforts have not gone unnoticed.

"With the launch of the first regional centre of excellence for the testing of energy efficiency lighting products."

She called it a testament to the government's dedication to further reducing the country's carbon footprint.

Gopee-Scoon noted the development and achievement of the National Quality Policy. The policy sets out the guidelines to strengthen the national quality system and lays the infrastructure to improve Trinidad and Tobago's socioeconomic development.

"This policy aims to bolster quality assurance performance, regulatory coherence and consumer protection nationwide."

Gopee-Scoon said having an effective national quality system supports the continual improvement of market products and services.

"Improving the quality of our goods and services will result in amplified competitiveness in the marketplace as producers will have cause to innovate and operate at optimal levels."

She said the policy will allow businesses to achieve compliance with international standards to bolster exports.

Executive director of the bureau Jose Trejo said collective will had got the bureau to where it is.

"More importantly, it is what will help us tomorrow to make our next best step into the future."

He encouraged his colleagues to stand firm in their collective will in spite of whatever the future holds.

"We must be strategically focused on short, medium and long term gains and adopting a sustainable approach."

Trejo said the bureau cannot claim world-class status if it is unable to attract and retain top talent.

'It will help us create a culture for cross-communication to leverage diverse perspectives and expertise for the development of one bureau."


"Gopee-Scoon: Thanks to Bureau of Standards, consumers getting value for money"

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