Quality and Deregulation

Article

Puri, Subhash C.   (1986, ASQC)   Agriculture Canada, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

40th Annual Quality Congress, May 1986, Anaheim, CA    Vol. 40    No. 0
QICID: 3234    May 1986    pp. 542-547
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Article Abstract

There is a growing universal concordance on the most essential factors for survival in a highly competitive environment of the 80's: productivity, quality, effectiveness and customer satisfaction. At the same time, there is an emerging desire towards free and deregulated trade. Market competitiveness, increasing product complexity, variety and volume, the burden of standards and regulations, and scarcity of inspection resources are imposing constraints on the amount of inspection that can be carried out on the final product by the regulatory agencies. They face a dilemma: "to deregulate and sacrifice quality at the altar of regulatory reform or to strangulate the industry, in the hope of achieving high quality, with excessive regulations leading to competitive inoperability".For a regulatory authority, the only means of assessing and assuring quality is through inspection of the final product. The greater the quality expectations, the more stringent are the regulatory requirements. This philosophy hinders a company's effective operability and ability to compete. On the other hand, if the industry is deregulated and the producer is unable to fully accept the quality responsibility, and the state of the art of quality is not properly monitored, then the product quality can go into such a morbid chasm that it can take up to a decade to bring it back on track. This is intolerable, at least, for many products meant for human consumption, safety and health. On top of all this, due to scarcity of resources, the regulatory authorities wish to put their inspection operations on cost-recovery.Thus, the optimal objective is to lessen the burden of regulations, maintain high quality levels, and operate on cost-recovery. This paper suggests a simple and practical system which accommodates all three elements for achieving the total objective.The system involves establishing a quality registration program. Criteria are established under which producer establishments are registered. If a producer does not wish to be registered, he operates under a totally regulated plan with a full inspection level and an inspection fee. Once a producer is registered, he follows a 3-tier regulatory system to reach complete self-regulation. The process depends on the quality model he can achieve. The freuqency of inspection and the inspection fee are also determined accordingly. A regular audit is done to ascertain the status of the producer. A producer not conforming to the quality requirements of the registration program can be reverted back to the deregistered, totally regulated plan. A schematic representation of the system is shown in Figure 1.

Keywords

Product safety,Liability prevention


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