Response 400142932

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Yes, I agree and would like to make a confidential submission
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Your details

Name and contact details

Name
Kevin Johnson

I am submitting on behalf of

Submission for
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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
Ticked 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
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

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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
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Ticked Yes No Unsure
Consumer (or the broader term customer) protection
Please select one item
Ticked Yes No Unsure
Supporting industry development and technology innovation
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Ticked Yes No 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
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Not important Somewhat important Ticked Highly important 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 Somewhat important Ticked Highly important Unsure

Further comments

Further comments policy objectives
Consumer protection is the lynch pin for any measurement system policies that are implemented. Consumers must have a high level of confidence in the system that is in place.

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
Providing a clear pathway for tertiary graduates that will attract them to working in the metrology field as a career. Legal metrology has always "flown under the radar" as a chosen career so attracting some of the brightest and best should be a clear objective

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
A&D Australasia are of the belief that the NMIA are highly regarded internationally as a consequence of the membership of the current fora. We see no need to change the current situation. Australia’s position in international negotiations should be determined by it’s highly regarded technical competency and robust recording and auditing systems.

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
We believe NMI's approach should be to embrace the standards that most fully cover the developments in technology and operation regardless of their origin. As always NMI would need to apply due diligence by validating any standards that proposed for implementation.

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

Further comments
There should always be scope for considering circumstances unique to our testing environment. We have all encountered situations where complying to the "letter of the law is onerous to the end consumer. We would like to see the potential for submittors of pattern approvals to accompany the submission with particular work procedures and testing regimes that could be included as a condition of the issued pattern approval certificate.

Principles-based approach to regulation

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

Key principles
Consumer protection Consideration of new technologies Competency of those within the system (verifiers) Greater government oversight (more inspectors)

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 principles based systems does call for a high level of interpretation of the requirements which may bring about a wide variation in the "acceptable" solutions for compliance. While most verifiers will do the right thing there will be a small component that seek to exploit the flexibility in interpretation.

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 level of literature is certainly enough to ensure understanding of the objectives and outcomes. The regulatory documents such as NITP's and certificates of approvals can be coupled with the information booklets available from NMI to form a comprehensive knowledge base.

What should be the legislative status of such guidance material?

Source of guidance material
The regulatory documents should form the basis of any legislation.

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
At A&D Australia we are still in favour of a principle based framework. We feel there are clear tangible directions and requirements under a principle-based system. A risk based system seems to remove the “certainty” of a measurement system in favour of what “could possibly be wrong” The greatest risk of the measurement framework would be a loss of public confidence in the National Measurement System and the appearance of the system to be “unnecessary”.

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?

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Not important
Somewhat important
Ticked Highly important
Unsure
Further comments
With emerging new technologies, such as in-motion weighing there needs to be a high level of consideration given to the instrument being fit for purpose and to the outcomes it enables. Industry consultation would be very beneficial as the capabilities of these new machines probably outperform traditional verification standards

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

Focus of regulatory activity in relation to conformity
We would like to see NMI consider a mutual recognition regime that would accept instruments covered by MID and NTEP and also give Australian businesses the opportunity to supply goods into the US and European markets.

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
We welcome the current systems of random inspection of end-user businesses that use trade instruments, we would like to see more funding given to higher numbers of inspectors if that was possible. Stronger enforcement of re-verification periods would also be welcomed. We also support the system of audits on verifying businesses as this ensures on going high standards within our industry.

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
We certainly subscribe to the adage "prevention is better than cure" so we would place a high weight on educating the user of instrumentation to ensure they do not breach the requirements. If however despite this education the user is still found to transgress then financial penalties should be sufficient to deter future similar behaviour. Our industry can be complex so it is reasonable to accept some level of misunderstanding from those who are unfamiliar but once it is displayed that non-compliance is intentional the penalty should be swift.

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

Appropriate circumstances for prosecution
As above, a clear and calculated decision to disregard the regulations. Everyone should be entitled to one warning but a further transgression must be met with prosecution

Further information

Further comments

Further comments
As a business A&D Australasia fully supports the current legal metrology system and feels that NMI play an integral role in maintaining consumer protection and confidence. We welcome any involvement you may grant us in future industry consultation