Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Ceisteanna (284)

Alan Kelly

Ceist:

284. Deputy Alan Kelly asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the contacts, meetings and correspondence between her office or her officials and INAB in 2019; and the dates, attendees, participants and topics, in tabular form. [24984/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Business)

The Health and Safety Authority is a State Body, which operates under the aegis of my Department. In this context, my Department officials are in daily contact with the Health and Safety Authority on a range of matters relating to the resourcing, funding and policy and legislative activities of the Health and Safety Authority. The Irish National Accreditation Board, which is the national body with responsibility for the accreditation of laboratories, certification bodies and inspection bodies, operates as a committee within the Health and Safety Authority, and has its own independent Board.

Normal day-to-day interactions and discussions between Departmental officials and the Health and Safety Authority would include discussions on issues concerning the staffing and resourcing of INAB in the context of the overall operational management of the Health and Safety Authority.

INAB is the sole accreditation body for Ireland in line with Regulation (EC) 765/2008.  The functions of INAB include the provision of accreditation in accordance with the relevant International Organisation for Standardisation ISO 17000 series of standards and guides. INAB is  regularly peer reviewed by other European Accreditation Bodies, the most recent peer view was carried in September 2018.

My Department interacts directly with INAB on a range of topics but primarily in the context of the Notifying Authority role that the Department has in respect of a number of EU Directives.  This role includes the appointment of Notified Bodies to carry out conformity assessments of products for example machinery, pressure equipment, personal protective equipment being placed on the internal market. Officials from my Department liaise directly on a regular basis with INAB in relation to confirmation of accreditation audits and provision of certificates by INAB to Conformity Assessment Bodies seeking to be appointed as Notified Bodies.  All applicants seeking to be appointed as Notified Bodies by a Notifying Authority must in the first instance have been accredited by INAB in accordance with Regulation (EC) 765/2008.

In addition to the accreditation function that INAB carries out in relation to accreditation of Conformity Assessment Bodies, it separately also accredits laboratories.  INAB acts independently in carrying out all of its accreditation functions.

INAB is also a member of the Market Surveillance Forum, an inter-Departmental/Agency forum, chaired by my Department, involving all the Market Surveillance Authorities within the State in addition to other relevant stakeholders. This forum meets on a quarterly basis with the first meeting of 2019 held on the 4th of April and the second meeting of 2019 scheduled for the 27th of June.

Given the nature of the ongoing regular contact with the Health and Safety Authority and INAB, it is not possible to account for each individual exchange.  However, the detail in the following table should assist in informing the Deputy.

Schedule of meetings mentioned

Market Surveillance Forum* – 2018/2019

2018

2019

24 April

4 April

25 July

27 June

27 September

September TBC

6 December

December TBC

HSA Liaison Meetings* – 2018/2019

2018

2019

14 March

2 April

7 August

27 June

16 October

September TBC

18 December

December TBC

*These meetings are scheduled to meet quarterly and all meetings have agendas and minuted.

Accreditation awards from INAB to Conformity Assessment Bodies in 2018/2019

Eight (8) Accreditation awards from INAB to Conformity Assessment Bodies in 2018/2019 have led to seven (7) Notified Body type appointments by the Minister.

The companies involved are SATRA Technology Europe Ltd.; Safenet Certification Services Ltd.; FM Approvals Europe Ltd.; HPI Vertification Services (Ireland) Ltd.; Industrial Pressure Testing Ltd.; Vertigo inspection (ROI) T/A Irish Engineering Services and WQ Inspection & Certification (WQic).

INAB peer reviewed by other European Accreditation Bodies carried in September 2018

INAB underwent a Peer Evaluation in 2018. A team made up of peer evaluators from across Europe, visited the INAB offices in September 2018. The Peer Evaluation team, made up of 8 persons, reviewed and scrutinised INAB accreditation activities. The evaluation lasted approximately 5 days.

At a meeting of European Accreditation organisation on the 8th /9th of May 2019 in Iceland, the successful outcome of the peer review was confirmed to INAB. Additional information relating to that meeting is available at the following link:

https://european-accreditation.org/extension-of-scopes-and-new-signatories-to-the-ea-mla-decided-during-the-ea-mac-41th-meeting/