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Implement ISO 9001 for Government Departments

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ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of International Standards. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 161 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.

Standards make an enormous and positive contribution to most aspects of our lives. They ensure desirable characteristics of products and services such as quality, environmental friendliness, safety, reliability, efficiency and interchangeability - at an economical cost.

Implementation of ISO 9001 in a Government Department or Ministry has following benefits:

1. Enables the department to develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for its functions and activities.

2. Allows comparison and benchmarking of these standard operating procedures with other similar organizations.

3. Identifies areas for improving functioning of the department.

4. Codifies institutional and personal memories and experiences for future generations. He or she will be able to leave behind SOPs for others to follow and improve.

5. Brings in transparency and accountability in the operations of government machinery.

6. Allows the department to audit itself against the ISO 9001 standards.

7. Allows the Secretary/Head of the Department to focus on strategic issues

8. Keeps the department on its toes through the annual third party audit.

9. The potential for losing the ISO 9001 certification during the audit every third year allows the system to sustain itself over time.

1. Background

The Prime Minister approved the outline of a ―Performance Monitoring and Evaluation System (PMES) for Government Department, vide PMO I.D. No. 1331721/PMO/2009 dated 11.9.2009. Under PMES, each department is required to prepare a Results-Framework Document (RFD).

An RFD provides a summary of the most important results that a department / ministry expects to achieve during the financial year. This document has two main purposes: (a) move the focus of the department from process-orientation to results-orientation, and (b) provide an objective and fair basis to evaluate department‘s overall performance at the end of the year.

In addition to success indicators proposed by the department, there is a set of mandatory indicators proposed by the Government that are common to all departments preparing RFDs.

The High Power Committee (HPC) on Government Performance in its meeting of March 11, 2011, decided to include the following mandatory success indicator relating to implementation of ISO:9001 in the Results-framework Document (RFD) of government departments for the year 2011-2012.

Mandatory Success Indicator Unit Weight Target/Criteria Value
Excellent Very Good Good Fair Poor
Finalize an action plan to implement ISO 9001 certification Date 2% Mar 26
2012
Mar 27
2012
Mar 28
2012
Mar 29
2012
Mar 30
2012

2. What is ISO?

ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is the world's largest developer and publisher of International Standards.

Community of Practice for ISO 9001

ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 161 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system.

ISO is a non-governmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. On the one hand, many of its member institutes are part of the governmental structure of their countries, or are mandated by their government. On the other hand, other members have their roots uniquely in the private sector, having been set up by national partnerships of industry associations.

Therefore, ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society.

Because "International Organization for Standardization" would have different acronyms in different languages ("IOS" in English, "OIN" in French for Organisation internationale de normalisation), its founders decided to give it also a short, all-purpose name. They chose "ISO", derived from the Greek isos, meaning "equal". Whatever the country, whatever the language, the short form of the organization's name is always ISO.

3. Why Standards matter?

Standards make an enormous and positive contribution to most aspects of our lives.

Standards ensure desirable characteristics of products and services such as quality, environmental friendliness, safety, reliability, efficiency and interchangeability - and at an economical cost.

When products and services meet our expectations, we tend to take this for granted and be unaware of the role of standards. However, when standards are absent, we soon notice. We soon care when products turn out to be of poor quality, do not fit, are incompatible with equipment that we already have, are unreliable or dangerous.

When products, systems, machinery and devices work well and safely, it is often because they meet standards. And the organization responsible for many thousands of the standards which benefit the world is ISO.

4. What are the ISO 9000 standards?

ISO has developed over 19 000 International Standards on a variety of subjects and more than 1000 new ISO standards are published every year. The full range of technical fields can be seen from the listing of International Standards at http://www.iso.org/iso/iso_catalogue Users can browse that listing to find bibliographic information on each standard and, in many cases, a brief abstract. The online ISO Standards listing integrates both the ISO Catalogue of published standards and the ISO Technical programme of standards under development.

Relevant information:

Useful Links:

Background Material:

Presentations:

Hall of Fame
Chief Minister's Office, Gujarat PMD, Cabinet Secretariat NACWC, Cabinet Secretariat Defense Research & Dev. Organization M/o Steel D/o Agriculture Research & Education

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