Response 35572834

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Privacy Collection Statement

Do you agree to the Privacy Collection Statement?

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(Required)
Ticked Yes, I agree
Yes, I agree and would like to make a confidential submission
No, I do not agree

Your details

Name and contact details

Name
Brenton Cunningham

I am submitting on behalf of

Submission for
Please select one item
Myself
Ticked Business
Consumer association
Government department/agency
Industry association

Industry information - Business

Your industry

ANZSIC: div_name
Please select one item
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing
Mining
Manufacturing
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services
Construction
Wholesale Trade
Retail Trade
Accommodation and Food Services
Transport, Postal and Warehousing
Information Media and Telecommunications
Financial and Insurance Services
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
Administrative and Support Services
Public Administration and Safety
Education and Training
Health Care and Social Assistance
Arts and Recreation Services
Ticked Other Services

Type of business

Type of business
Please select one item
Ticked Servicing licensee (verifier)
Legal metrology authority
Measuring instrument supplier/distributor
Measuring instrument user
Other

Number of Employees

Number of Employees
Please select one item
0-4
5-19
Ticked 20-199
200+

How many measuring instruments does your business interact with per year? (e.g. used/sold/verified)

Number trade instruments
Please select one item
1-10
11-50
51-100
Ticked 100+

Submission process

How would you like to submit your response

Please select one item
Ticked Through the online survey
Emailing a confidential response

Policy objectives for legal metrology in Australia

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

Supporting confidence in the measurement system
Please select one item
Ticked Yes No Unsure
Facilitating a level playing field for business
Please select one item
Yes Ticked No Unsure
Consumer (or the broader term customer) protection
Please select one item
Ticked Yes No Unsure
Supporting industry development and technology innovation
Please select one item
Yes No Ticked Unsure

What is the relative importance of the following policy objectives for legal metrology in Australia?

Supporting confidence in the measurement system
Please select one item
Not important Somewhat important Ticked Highly important Unsure
Facilitating a level playing field for business
Please select one item
Not important Somewhat important Highly important Ticked Unsure
Consumer (or the broader term customer) protection
Please select one item
Not important Somewhat important Ticked Highly important Unsure
Supporting industry development and technology innovation
Please select one item
Not important Ticked Somewhat important Highly important Unsure

Further comments

Further comments policy objectives
There are concerns regarding the context facilitating a level playing field. Within experienced metrology businesses and operators, that is O.K, but definitely not to new entrants....just because it is a business. There is significant risk that the quality of legal metrology services will decline if too easy for any entrant. Supporting technology and innovation is important by understanding processes, but not to lessen accuracy, performance, repeatability and measurement outcomes in general. Accuracy/metrology/repeatability requirements should not be less than any other instrument regardless of type or process. If exceeded, that could be considered subject to field testing with more frequency.

Are there any other policy objectives for legal metrology that would assist in delivering successful outcomes for Australian businesses and consumer?

Any other policy ogjectives
Far more enforcement and resources is required. More broadcast to industry of such enforcement activity and prosecutions will make a positive difference. We see many examples of business who effectively disregard law now, as they do not get caught. NMI is treated with some contempt now, and further weakening of policy to satisfy red tape reduction will seriously undermine what strength NMI still has.

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
NMI Australia should have participation and align ourselves with OIML recommendations and with countries who are of the highest level in measurement such as Netherlands and Canada. We must not allow NMI to align with low level countries and methodology simply because it is easier, and ticks the box for government of the day. Australians have an expectation that everything is governed and assume that what we pay for is what we get....or else consequences will apply to the trader.

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
ISO & IEC do not have any direct link to measurement or metrology. Should these bodies make recommendations that are not related to measurement as such, they should be adopted without further investigation. However measurement recommendations should not be tampered with.

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

Further comments
Minimal and only where environmental circumstances cause it to be considered. (NOT CONVENIENCE)

Principles-based approach to regulation

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

Key principles
1) Ensuring that consumers can be confident that measurements are always accurate & repeatable. 2) Consistency with enforcement

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
A wider range of interpretation will cause more dispute. Lowering of compliance as many new entrants without experience will enter the sector with a "She will be right" attitude. At the moment, and whilst old and clunky, the current Weights & Measures act does at least cause 'shot gun" entrants to reconsider playing in a filed which is not their expertise.

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
There should be a high level of material available on line.

What should be the legislative status of such guidance material?

Source of guidance material
Information Only.

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
There needs to be a method in which a negative ruling has been made, where an appeal can be made, and considered using a combination of committee of NMI and business. But we cannot have the cake and eat it too. I.E If the method or equipment has some measurement inaccuracies or flaws, it would be hypocritical to disregard it based on financial impact on the business or economy. Please refer to Front End loader saga of 15 years ago.

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?

Please select one item
Not important
Somewhat important
Ticked Highly important
Unsure
Further comments
As long as accuracy is evident & repeatable.

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

Focus of regulatory activity in relation to conformity
More frequent field audits on equipment users. Notification to industry of enforcement and prosecutions.

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 enforcement and news of it.

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
1) Warning 2) Fine 3) Prosecute

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

Appropriate circumstances for prosecution
3 x strikes on same incident. Continuous breach. More than 5 combined breaches per annum.

Further information

Further comments

Further comments
We are concerned as to the intent and it is clear that the current heads of legal Metrology have more of an agenda to just remove compliance rather than understand it or improve it. The comment made to me personally, that what does it matter how the outcome is achieved as long as it is achieved, demonstrates lack of understanding and inexperience. We have clearly identified in this consultation and previous, that there needs to be more resources provided to catch offenders, rather than dismantling the law, which will make it so much easier for more to offend. Flexibility in pattern approval could be improved if it is subject to the experience of the submitter.