External Accountability Arrangements - NICNAS Committees/Forums

NICNAS Industry Government Consultative Committee (IGCC) Terms of
Reference and Membership

Terms of Reference

In March 1997, the Government agreed to amend the Industrial Chemicals (Notification and Assessment) Act 1989 to introduce new funding arrangements for NICNAS. Under these arrangements, the chemical industry will directly contribute to the operating costs of NICNAS.

 

In order to ensure that industry has the opportunity to participate in the NICNAS budgetary process, a joint Industry Government Consultative Committee (IGCC) was established. The Committee meets at least twice a year.

The Committee has eight members, including four industry representatives and four Government representatives. The membership consists of one representative from each of the following organisations:

Industry

•  ACCORD Australasia
•  Plastics and Chemicals Industries Association (PACIA)
•  Australian Paint Manufacturers‘ Federation (APMF)
•  Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)

Government

•  NICNAS (Chair)
•  National Occupational Health and Safety Commission (ASCC)
•  Australian Government Department of Industry,
    Tourism and Resources (DITR)
•  Australian Government Department of Environment and Heritage (DEH)

Given the integral relationship between the Director, NICNAS and the National Manager of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) Group of Regulators, the National Manager, TGA Group of Regulators, will be an exofficio member of the IGCC.

The IGCC:
(a)  reviews the utilisation of resources against NICNAS objectives;
(b)  reviews the performance of NICNAS against agreed performance
       indicators (including those established in the NICNAS Service Charter
       and Corporate Plan), and in particular the impact on industry
       and the protection of human health and the environment;
(c)   develops strategies for improving the efficiency and effectiveness
       of NICNAS operations within the context of (i) established goals
       and objectives and (ii) developing and emerging issues; and
(d)  develops compliance strategies and monitors the effectiveness
       of these strategies in promoting compliance with the Scheme.

 

The Chair of the Committee reported as necessary (at least every six months) to the Minister on the outcomes of the Committee.


IGCC Membership at 30 June 2005 and attendance at 2004-05 meetings

NICNAS Community Engagement Forum (CEF)
Terms of Reference and Membership

Terms of Reference

The Terms of Reference for the Community Engagement Forum ensure that it will provide advice on:
•  strategies to improve public access to chemical health and safety
    and environmental standards;
•  community right to know issues including the development
    of a community right to know charter;
•  the development of NICNAS’s stakeholder engagement policies;
•  all NICNAS reform programs and participate where practicable; and
•  other issues, as required.

The Community Engagement Forum consists of seven members and is
chaired by the Director of NICNAS. Membership comprises of the:
•  Chair (Director NICNAS);
•  two community members representing the interests of the environment;
•  two community members representing the interests of public health;
    and
•  two non-government members representing the interests of worker
    safety.

Nominations for membership were sought from peak national bodies recognised by Department of Health and Ageing as representing the interests of public health, environmental standards and worker health and safety. Members were chosen for their expertise in the following areas:
•  knowledge of industrial chemicals in a regulatory context;
•  ability to represent a broad cross section of community views;
•  understanding of community concerns related to the regulation
    of chemicals; and
•  knowledge of Government processes involving industrial
    chemicals regulation.

While members have been nominated by specific organisations, they represent broad community interests in their respective areas and not simply the interests of their nominating or originating organisations. Members are appointed by the Parliamentary Secretary for a two year term.

The CEF met formally twice in 2004-05.

CEF Membership at 30 June 2005 and attendance at 2004-05 meetings

1 Dr Wafa El-Adhami, Acting Director NICNAS chaired meeting.
2 By telephone.
3 Ms Renata Musolino (representing worker health and safety interests) was appointed
to the CEF in August 2004 replacing Ms Sue Penniciuk who resigned her position on
27 August 2004
4 Ms Liz Hanna (representing public health) was appointed on 18th August 2004.

Teleconferences were held on 12 July 2004 and 10 March 2005, also, to discuss NICNAS‘s
Community Engagement Charter.

NICNAS/States and Territories MOU Group –
Terms of Reference and Membership

Terms of Reference

The States and Territories MOU group exists as a conduit for the free flow of information and needs between the States and Territories and NICNAS on OHS, environmental and health matters relating to the use of chemicals in Australia.

Each jurisdiction has a representative nominated as a member of the MOU. That person liaises with contacts from various departments with a role in chemical safety, such as environment, health, and Workcover within their State or Territory. This allows those regulating and controlling chemicals to raise issues of concern regarding chemicals with the Australian Government through their MOU representative and for NICNAS and its partner agencies to pass information to those involved in the day-to-day implementation of chemical regulation and policy.

The MOU was signed in 1991 with the intention of formally recording arrangements to facilitate the operation of the Act, under which NICNAS was established, and States and Territories legislation relating to industrial chemicals. Under the MOU, each State and Territory is to consider and wherever possible implement each recommendation in an assessment report published by the Director, NICNAS and to inform the Director of any consequential action taken in respect of any recommendations. The agreement also provides mechanisms in relation to facilitating the operation of specific sections of the Act relating to new and existing chemicals.

MOU Group Membership as at 30 June 2005 and attendance at 2004-05 meetings


1. Dr Jayewardene replaced Ms Sabic as the MOU chair in January 2005.
2. Mr Ted Szafraniec attended in Mr Robbins‘ place.
3. Mr Brown replaced Mr Janssen as the ACT representative in December 2005.
4. Mr David Torr attended in Dr Langley‘s place.

Existing Chemicals Program Review Steering Committee

Planning for NICNAS to undertake a review of the Existing Chemicals Program, which has been in existence for five years, commenced during 2004-05. International changes to existing chemicals assessment programs mooted in Europe and elsewhere delayed the start of the review, which scheduled for two years ago.

The aim is to review the current Program with a view to its:
•  Efficiency and effectiveness
•  Flexibility and responsiveness to stakeholder needs, and
•  Harmonisation with comparable schemes and reflecting
    international trends.

The review will look at how to determine national priorities for assessment of existing chemicals, better utilise overseas testing and assessment program outputs, and address the needs of the community and industry regarding access to sound information on chemicals hazards and risks.

The Steering Committee was established to assist the NICNAS office, and will be an expert group consisting of ten members, including an independent chair (Dr Wafa El-Adhami from the Office of Chemical Safety), three community representatives, three industry representatives and three government representatives.

The Steering Committee will set a framework for the Review, and oversee its activities. It will be able to seek additional expert advice, for example from individuals, technical working groups or consultants as needed.

The Committee will report to the Director, NICNAS. Draft Final Report and Recommendations on the future of the Existing Chemicals Program are to be presented to the Director, NICNAS by February 2006.

 

 
 

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