Governance implementation oversight group established for standards body transition to MBIE

A governance group has been established to oversee the transition of the national standards body function into the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

Programme co-sponsor, Mark Steel, MBIE’s General Manager Trade and International Environment said the group will have oversight of the transition and implementation processes for decisions made by Cabinet on 14 October 2013.

‘The Government’s decisions are aimed at maintaining and strengthening the development and delivery of New Zealand standards, following the 2012 Standards and Conformance Infrastructure Review by MBIE.’

The decisions included that:

  • a new standards model will replace the Standards Council and Standards New Zealand
  • standards and standards development committee membership approval will be undertaken by an independent statutory board
  • standards development will be undertaken by an independent statutory officer function within MBIE using independent committees
  • independent committees will continue to comprise industry and technical experts, consumer representatives, and regulators.

‘The oversight group is made up of senior staff from MBIE and Standards New Zealand, as well as the chair and a member of the existing Standards Council,’ Mr Steel said.

Programme co-sponsor, John Lumsden, Standards Council chair, said the establishment of the group was an important step in the transition and implementation process, but there was still a lot of detail to be worked out.

‘The oversight group is responsible for the timely and efficient implementation of Cabinet’s decisions and there is still some work to do on how that will happen. We plan to meet with key stakeholders in the near future to discuss times and processes. We have already met with Standards Australia to progress how we will work with them. A renewed Memorandum of Understanding between us will be developed that is similar to the current one.’

A Standards Bill will be required to make the necessary legislative changes before the new standards model takes effect.

In the meantime Standards New Zealand will continue to provide support for standards development, approval, maintenance, and access.

Summarised from Bulletin 1 by MBIE and Standards New Zealand, 18 November 2013.

Published in business and ICT.