2014 was a defining year for the Mauritius Standards Bureau. First and foremost, the year marked the launching of MSB’s Strategic Plan 2014-2020 which sets down a Roadmap for a new course direction of the organization. It also provides broad measures to underpin the new emerging economic sectors in Mauritius.
The Strategic Plan 2014-2020 is premised on three overarching objectives which are:
§ to diversify the scope and activities of the organization with a focus on voluntary inspection, eco-labeling and regulatory testing;
§ to transform the Bureau into a financially sustainable organization and;
§ to facilitate regional and international trade through the elimination of Technical Barriers to Trade and by enhancing the export- preparedness of Mauritian Enterprises.
The Strategic Plan is anchored on the Principles of Good Governance as it is widely acknowledged that the success of an organization depends to a large extent on the way it is managed and governed.
2014 also witnessed the reconstitution of the Governance Body of MSB, that is, the Standards Council and Mr. S Tengur was appointed as Chairperson. The Standards Council pledged to forge ahead with the new Vision and Strategic Plan of the organization.
In 2014, the Mauritius Standards Bureau achieved a number of milestones that undoubtedly re-affirmed its position as a World Class Standards Writing and Conformity Assessment Body.
Several standards development projects were initiated in 2014 to meet the needs and demands of the various stakeholders. Notable among them is the development of the Standard on Eco labeling for the Hotel Industry (MS 165). This is the first ever entirely indigenous standard formulated by the Bureau upon the demand of interested parties in the hotel and hospitality sector.
Equally worth mentioning is the set of Standards on the Eco-labeling of energy-efficient electrical appliances which has been referenced in Technical Regulations and is being administered by the Energy Efficiency Management Office.. The initiative taken by the Bureau to set up a Mirror Committee for the adoption of the latest version of ISO 9001 is also a laudable achievement in standards formulation in Mauritius. In fact, on the very day ISO 9001 will be declared as a Final Standard by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) , it will also become a Final Mauritian Standard.
In the same vein, much progress was made in 2014 in upgrading the testing facilities of MSB and extending the range of tests conducted.
In this context a 4-point agenda was adopted for the modernization of MSB laboratories, viz;
§ completing the range of tests as per the relevant standards where earlier only partial tests were conducted;
§ upgrading the existing testing facilities through the acquisition of more sophisticated instruments;
§ creation of new testing facilities; and
§ improving the laboratory working environment.
In 2014, the Bureau also embarked in expanding the range of its certification activities. The certification of the hotel and hospitality sectors to MS 165 remains one of the top priorities. With the assistance of a Consultant made available by the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure, the auditing capacity of MSB is being improved and strengthened. In addition, a Pilot Project for the auditing and certification of at least five hotels has kickstarted under the Eco-label Scheme. Another major project is the Eco Labeling of Textile Products, Paints and related Products under the Maurice Ile Durable Fund. Technical Assistance has been sought to implement the Eco Labeling Scheme which will materialize next year.
These are the highlights of some of the activities initiated in 2014 whose impacts are likely to change the course of direction of the organization.
The Bureau also posted revenue of around Rs 34 million in 2014 from the sale of its services. It is a satisfactory performance given the current economic condition.
The Mauritius Standards Bureau will celebrate its 40th Anniversary in 2015. The Bureau has passed from an infancy phase to an adulthood phase and is now poised to enter a new stage in its lifecycle. It is a turning point in the life of the institution but the Staff, the Management and the Standards Council have the competence, the Vision and the Strategy to engineer this turnaround. The days of MSB have come but not gone.
I would like to end this message by quoting H G Wells who said:
‘Adapt or Perish, now as ever, is nature’s inexorable imperative’
The Mauritius Standards Bureau has an obligation to Adapt in order to Survive.
Mrs R Nanhuck