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28.11.2004 Business & Finance

Standards not properly implemented - GSB Director

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Ho, Nov, 27, GNA - Even though the Ghana Standards Board (GSB) has developed standards for products, these are not properly implemented, understood or appreciated by the public.

Mr Lawrence Ezuah Yankey, Acting Executive Director of the Board, said that people consequently bought anything on the market, adding that, some importers even misdirected manufacturers to vary quality standards to make their orders cheaper.

He said this accounted for the differences in the quality of the same brand of goods from the same company depending on their destinations.

Mr Yankey was speaking at a Workshop at Ho on Saturday for representatives of industry, government, research institutions and Directors of GSB to discuss the Board's intended new policy directions. It was also to sensitise Ghanaians on the concept of standards as part of its renewal programme aimed at improving its services. Mr Yankey said the Board was soon begin validating the efficacy of medical measuring devices for diagnosis of diseases as well as water and electricity meters used by the utility companies.

It would also set standards in the telecommunication sector and promote values to ensure quality customer satisfaction in the service industry.

Mr Yankey said the new approach of the GSB was to develop standards, which were "responsive to the needs of users and could assist producers and traders to produce better, export more and import better". He said the laws establishing the GSB were being reviewed to enable it commercialise some of its services early next year.

Mr Yankey called for a review of the mandates of the GSB and the Food and Drugs Board (FDB), which currently overlapped.

He observed that a sustainable economy required a reliable quality regulatory infrastructure and regretted that while multinationals in the country had corporate standards, indigenous companies did not have any. Mr Joachim Davies, a Chemist of the Customs Excise and Preventive Service (CEPS), called for the rationalisation of the process of standardisation and certification of goods to make it less cumbersome for traders, manufacturers and duty collectors.

Areas being discussed at the three-day workshop included reform strategies, GSB's commercialisation plan and change management issues. Another workshop to evaluate the formulated action plan would be organised to adopt a final blueprint for the reorganisation of the GSB.

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