The job has been made much easier with the support of the high quality, professional services provided by NATA for the ILAC Secretariat and the dedicated volunteers on the ILAC Executive Committee.
The ILAC Secretary Annette Dever and her ILAC Secretariat colleagues are lauded for their outstanding work, especially considering the number of challenges and increasing workload they have faced this year. Queries and demands for information continue to increase. However, the Secretariat unfailingly responds promptly and very diplomatically. In a way, ILAC is a ‘victim’ of its own success as we increase the users of the ILAC MRA. The number of comments and votes on new and revised ILAC documents keeps increasing, yet this workload is handled expertly and promptly by the Secretariat. The Secretariat would be greatly assisted if ballots are returned promptly so that reminders can be avoided.
The Secretariat has also been working diligently to understand changes in Dutch law which will require changes to the ILAC Articles of Association. Revised text is being developed. This has provided an opportunity to also review the ILAC bylaws and update them to reflect actual practice or improvements.
The Executive Committee has been addressing a number of matters. Among them, rules changes, fee formula modification, efficiency of future meeting arrangements, and closer collaboration with our IAF counterparts. We have agreed to have one interim set of meetings next year during the first week of May in Epsom or Frankfurt (rather than the previous March and June arrangements). This will save travel costs but require us to be more disciplined in managing our agendas. We are making use of virtual meeting software to address issues between meetings.
The ILAC Executive Committee is pleased to have successfully negotiated with NATA for another four years of managing the Secretariat. The General Assembly will be asked to ratify the updated Deed of Agreement. The Executive Committee has set up a task group led by Merih Malmqvist to update the Strategic Plan entering its fourth and final year in 2012.
I am very pleased to work with my good friend, IAF Chair Randy Dougherty, to jointly promote accreditation and the MRA/MLAs globally. Our joint presentation at the June meeting of the WTO TBT Committee was very well received and we repeated the presentation at the IAAC General Assembly in Quito, Ecuador to an audience of 200 people. Our collaboration provides an opportunity to economize on representing IAF and ILAC for an ever growing list of liaisons that both ILAC and IAF continue to support. We are grateful for the tremendous contribution of all our volunteer liaison officers and their organisations. Also to Al Squirrell, the Secretariat Liaison Coordinator for keeping track of the liaison activitues and representing ILAC at numerous meetings of some of our liaison organizations such as ISO and BIPM.
Finally, work continues for the launch of the extension of the ILAC MRA for inspection body accreditation.