Response 214949397

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Name and contact details

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Leonard Ian Burrell

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Policy objectives for legal metrology in Australia

Are the following policy objectives appropriate for legal metrology in Australia?

Supporting confidence in the measurement system
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Facilitating a level playing field for business
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Consumer (or the broader term customer) protection
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Supporting industry development and technology innovation
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What is the relative importance of the following policy objectives for legal metrology in Australia?

Supporting confidence in the measurement system
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Facilitating a level playing field for business
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Consumer (or the broader term customer) protection
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Supporting industry development and technology innovation
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Further comments

Further comments policy objectives
There may be a more appropriate place to comment, however, the above categories are vague. I have long promoted a 'Continuous, In Service, Durability Test' for weighing equipment, especially for belt weighing equipment. (6/14d). If it was standard practice to test the equipment periodically before maintenance, we could ascertain its true suitability, stability, accuracy, reliability in the field. If equipment does not pass tests its certification period should be reduced. All such equipment should be properly tested at least every two years. The industry practice of not checking but just maintaining and re-calibrating is plainly irresponsible and supports much bad equipment and bad practice. To support confidence in a measuring device and the system bring in CISDT.

International cooperation and harmonisation

What should be the criteria for Australia's participation in the development of international documentary standards relevant to legal metrology?

Your response on criteria for Australia's participation in international standards
If it is the basis of law in Australia we should participate. We should also participate in the formation of law relevant to measuring equipment if we have an FTA with the trading partner in question. (I have personally participated with NIST in developing HB44 law in the USA).

What should be NMI’s approach to determining Australia’s pattern approval requirements where documentary standards from organisations such as the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) more fully account for recent developments in technology and operation of measuring instruments than equivalent OIML standards?

NMI's approach to pattern approval requirements
Only weighing specialists should be involved. ISO, IEC will likely want to just consider the electronic/computer aspect of the equipment. I would definitely depend upon OIML for this.

To what extent should NMI consider flexibility to allow for particular circumstances in Australia when adopting international standards for pattern approval?

Further comments
If you bring in my suggested Continuous, In Service, Durability testing, it will be fine whatever is let into our market. Under this proposal, ie under CISDT, true performance in the field will be seen. I have detailed the content of such a system in a paper I can provide. It should be noted that belt weighing equipment is built into a conveyor which is different in every case, laboratory testing cannot simulate field conditions, so CISDT is the only prudent and responsible measure which can solve the problem of true field performance.

Principles-based approach to regulation

What are the key principles that should drive Australia’s regulatory approach to legal metrology?

Key principles
Verifiable Standards and verifiable performance in the field hence CISDT. No Opt out by users from using trade certified equipment, very often, the reason for opt out is due to an unequal power balance between the parties, this is where the government can make a difference. The use of trade certified equipment should apply to international trade, ships survey should be phased out, it is corrupt. (It is not an independent measurement).

What concerns, if any, could there be for a business when managing compliance in a principles-based regulatory environment?

Business concerns managing compliance in principles-based envirnment
I would suggest this is a small issue. Generally the benefits from accurate W&M far outweigh the costs.

What level of guidance material, if any, should be available to ensure stakeholders have sufficient understanding of the policy objectives and outcomes being sought?

Level of guidance material
The current standard as represented by the NITP documents do a good job. It needs to be spelled out otherwise the audience will not understand.

What should be the legislative status of such guidance material?

Source of guidance material
Mandatory

Risk-based approach to compliance monitoring

What are the appropriate factors to inform risk management related to setting priorities for regulation of legal metrology, including compliance and enforcement activity?

Factors to inform risk management
Unequal power in transactions corruption Value of transaction relative to the smaller party. A compliance measure such as CISDT would educate and achieve the result, it has built in enforcement.

Regulatory approaches for legal metrology - Fit for purpose

How important is it that NMI considers the broader context of 'fit-for-purpose' when developing requirements/policies in relation to measurement?

Further comments
What does it even mean? It sounds like an excuse to do something second best.

How should NMI focus its regulatory activity in relation to conformity to type assessment?

Focus of regulatory activity in relation to conformity
Carry on as is but add CISDT

Regulatory approaches for legal metrology - Compliance and enforcement

How should NMI focus its compliance activities to ensure businesses are meeting their obligations under trade measurement law?

Comments-NMI focus of compliance activities
More reporting. I think the Liberal Governments desire to reduce red tape is commendable but out of place in legal metrology. I have seen customers wilfully follow false procedures including the tacit fabrication of results on the basis that they are following an NMI procedure but that its not a real certification so they didn't have to report it. They should have to advise the NMI what they are doing before they carry out the verification process. This would make it clear what they are actually doing. In tender situations we see our integrity as costing us work as other suppliers enter the process with shonky procedures without any structure to QA their results. Reporting should be mandatory both before and after. First the intention then the results.

What relative weight should NMI give to: identifying that certain thresholds have been breached; and individual risk assessments, before financial penalties are imposed?

Comments-relative weight
Bring in CISDT and you wont have to worry about it.

What are the appropriate circumstances for NMI to consider referral for prosecution as a regulatory response?

Appropriate circumstances for prosecution
The decision to not use a certified system.

Further information

Further comments

Further comments
It is hard to provide very relevant responses in this format. An interview with interested parties might have a better result. I have written documents supporting my CISDT system which I have presented to NIST and OIML.