TAG Technical Committee 207 Plenary
Joe Cascio, Chair, presided over the meeting. Membership continues to range around 200 members. The major workload continues to be the revisions of ISO 14001 and ISO 14004 standards. Country members of Technical Committee (TC) 207 conducted the most recent review in Johannesburg, South Africa. Many comments had been received on both Committee Draft 1 (CD 1) versions. Both working groups were unable to complete the reviews in Johannesburg and will continue the review in Cancun later this month.
Jim Highlands, Connie Ritzert, and Phil Stapleton gave an overview of the issues perceived by the U.S. TAG experts.
Various committee reports and Sub-TAG reports were given at the closing plenary session. Considerable time was spent discussing the recommendations of the NAPA Study and the U.S. TAG response to the recommendations. Sub-TAG 1 and Sub-TAG 2 reports are summarized below.
Joe Cascio reminded the TAG that his tenure as Chair would expire at the end of his present term of office. The rule on tenure prohibits him from seeking another term.
Sub-TAG 1/Z-1 on Environmental Management Systems
The U.S. positions on ISO 14001 and ISO 14004 issues generated in Johannesburg were reviewed and discussed. The respective chairs, Connie Ritzert and Phil Stapleton, presented each issue for discussion toward reaching sub-TAG consensus.
Some members believe that the ISO CD 1 versions, as they now stand, are not compatible with ISO 9001 and ISO 9004 Control Element - Corrective Actions and Preventive Actions. The requirement in ISO 14001 and guidance in ISO 14004 continues to be unclear, weak, and confusing compared to ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 9004:2000.
Sub-TAG 2 on Environmental Auditing: ISO 19011
Gary Johnson announced that the ISO FDIS 19011 has been approved by member nations and should be published as an ISO standard by October 2002.
He reported that the United States believes small and medium-size enterprises will have difficulty implementing the requirements because of a lack of clarity and guidance. One example is auditor competence. The U.S. Joint 176/207 Committee submitted a New Work Item Proposal (NWIP) to form a Joint Task Group (JTG) under the ANSI Z1 Committee to develop a supplemental guidance document for ISO 19011. The NWIP was approved, and the JTG was organized to prepare the guidance.
Some 10 members from U.S. TAGs to TCs 176 and 270 volunteered to serve on JTG 19011S. EED members Gary Johnson, Eric Madsen, and Terrell Horne were among those who volunteered. It is expected the effort will last about a year.
The JTG reviewed each topic addressed in the standard to determine if some additional guidance was needed regarding how the requirement might be met and implemented. There was agreement that additional guidance would be helpful for many of the topics reviewed in aiding companies to effectively implement the requirements.
Charles Moseley, EED Standards Chair, made a presentation concerning the refocusing of the committee. It is understood that the revision to E-4, Quality System Requirements for Environmental Programs, will soon be issued by ASQ.
TAG TC 176, TG 9001/9004
The U.S. TAG to TC 176 Plenary meeting was informative. Chairman Jack West presented the TC 176 structure. He also announced that he would run again as Chair for another term.
The U.S. TAG continues to obtain feedback from companies regarding the implementation of ISO 9001:2000. These findings will help the TAG more clearly understand the problems companies are experiencing as they implement ISO 9000:2000 requirements.
The next joint U.S. TAG-Z1 meeting will be held in Dallas, Texas, in March 2003.