NICNAS launched internally and externally directed projects to ensure continued improvement to levels of efficiency and effectiveness in managing matters involving its New Chemicals Program.

The projects are aimed at improving the quality of applications and timeliness of notifier responses.

As part of its commitment to best practice risk assessment, NICNAS introduced an internal database system for information sharing and knowledge management by assessors.

In addition, assessors have continued to build and maintain an in-house decision repository. During 2008-09 this will be used as the basis of a decision manual for notifiers.

The pilot of a new screening framework and refund policy was implemented, delivering considerable improvements in the timeliness of notifiers responses for additional information and preventing the build-up of inactive notifications.

Only six non-active notifications were recorded at the end of the year, down from 14 in 2006-07. Inactive assessments are those that are more than six months old, where the assessment clock is either never started or is stopped.

Waiting for responses for further information from a notifier generally causes inactivity.

Improvements were made to simplify the documents and to assist the notifiers in providing complete notification packages. The new templates will be available early in 2008-09.