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Independent consultant to examine AQIS



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MINISTER FOR RESOURCES

PIE91/126G

ALAN GRIFFITHS

7 May 1991

INDEPENDENT CONSULTANT TO EXAMINE AQIS

The Federal Minister for Resources, Mr Alan Griffiths, today announced that he would be appointing a consultant to examine and report on the most appropriate corporate arrangments and organisational form for the Australian Quarantine and

Inspection Service (AQIS).

The consultant will review the submissions lodged in response to the Minister's call last December for comment on a range of issues concerning AQIS'future structure, financing and role. The consultant will also consider the views of the Department

of Primary Industries and Energy and AQIS, and consult with other interested parties as appropriate.

The consultant is to report to the Minister by mid June.

The Minister said AQIS had developed innovative quality assurance approaches to food inspection and had realised significant savings in resource use,

"Over the past year new staffing standards for meat inspection and quality assurance arrangements in certain areas have been successfully introduced," Mr Griffiths said.

"These changes, and the introduction of full cost recovery for use attributable services in the 1990/91 Budget prompted consideration of the best organisational form for the services in the 1990s.

"The aim of the examination is not to review quarantine or inspection policy, but to consider the form of organisation which would best allow AQIS to meet the challenges of delivering cost-effective and responsive quarantine and food

inspection services which meet the needs of industry, consumers and the Australian Government, as well as Australia's international obligations and treaty requirements.

"Clearly, an overriding consideration1must be to preserve AQIS' reputation for independence and integrity, which is fundamental to the effective performance of the quarantine and inspection functions."

Mr Griffiths said the consultant's report would complement the internal review of AQIS currently being undertaken.

For further information: Lisa Amor 06 277

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: (06) 2777480 Fax: (06) 2734154