Bureau of Standards Conducts National Quality Policy Workshop

The Bahamas Bureau of Standards and Quality (BBSQ) held a one-day National Quality Policy Workshop on Tuesday, January 31, 2017.  Minister of Financial Services and Local Government, the Hon. Hope Strachan delivered the keynote address.  She said the workshop is part of the government’s commitment to establishing institutions that ‘position’ The Bahamas to participate in more significant and meaningful ways in the evolving global community. The workshop was held at SuperClubs Breezes.

“The changing dynamics of the 21st century is creating a new global environment that requires a major paradigm shift by Small Island Developing States like ours,” said Minister Strachan.

“If The Bahamas is to see continued growth as an emerging market for foreign investments, while creating opportunities for Bahamians to export goods and services to the rest of the world, it is imperative to implement an effective National Quality infrastructure that significantly improves the national quality standards, creates more competitive business environment that benefits consumers, while developing more vibrant regional and global trade agreements, while also continuing to create new markets for Bahamian products and services.”

The Minister said that the government is currently in the advanced stages of developing the National Quality policy. She said the policy would address organizational structure and corporate governance, the role of external stakeholders, legal financial and logistical issues, and the key regulatory framework.

Also delivering remarks was Senator the Hon. Jerome Gomez, Chairman, of the Consumer Protection Commission. Senator Gomez addressed the topic, The Importance of Consumer Protection Commission from the Perspective of the Consumer and its Relation with the National Quality Policy’.

He said that the Consumer Protection Commission (CPC) is the government agency that has primary responsibility for policing and enforcing the consumer protection legislation of The Bahamas, namely the Consumer Protection Act (2006) and also Chapter 337B of the Statute Laws of The Bahamas – Unfair Terms in Consumer Contracts.

“Despite this mandate, we are very cognizant of the fact that we cannot and ought not seek to function in a vacuum, or in isolation from other government agencies that also share and have a consumer protection function, BBSQ, URCA; NGOs such as Bahamas Bar Association and Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation (BCCEC); CARICOM, CSME, our regional counterparts and most importantly Bahamian consumers, whose best interests we were created to serve and protect,” said Senator Gomez.

Also bringing brief remarks were Dr. Nicola Virgill-Rolle, Government Lead on the National Development Plan and Director of Economic Development and Planning Unit of the Office of the Prime Minister, and Edison Sumner, Vice-Chairman of the BBSQ and CEO of the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employee Confederation.

The facilitator of the workshop was Graham Holloway, Team Lead of BKP Research & Development Consulting.

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