Boards of government bodies inefficient, says UNBS

Ms Patricia Ejalu, the deputy executive director UNBS, addresses journalists in Kampala on Wednesday. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE

What you need to know:

The regulatory body now wants to equip board members with skills to ensure profitability of government institutions.


The Uganda National Bureau of Standards (UNBS) has said it is embarking on training all board members of government institutions to equip them with modern management standards to improve efficiency.

While addressing journalists on Wednesday, Ms Patricia Ejalu, the deputy executive director UNBS, said the ISO 9001 management standards provide modern standards which the board members should acquaint themselves with so as to acquire skills to provide strategic leadership and policies to the institutions they supervise.

This, she said, ensures their sustainability and profitability.
“The efficiency of a board is seen from the services or products of the company it supervises. Such a company does not have to struggle for customers because its services or products speak for themselves,” she said.

Ms Ejalu said if board members are equipped with such skills, the companies they supervise would reduce losses because of the management systems they would have set.

“Even you media houses, you need these management systems to ensure that what you produce meets your customer requirements because customer satisfaction is a deliberate process which must start from the top,” she said.

Asked how many government institutions are currently complying with the standards, Ms Ejalu said despite many government institutions having boards of governors, none of them have applied these standards because it has been a voluntary exercise.

Training mandatory
This is now going to be mandatory because of the inefficiencies which have been registered in government ministries, departments and agencies.

According to Ms Ejalu, the 2015 ISO 9001 standard is the fifth one to be adopted since 1987.

It mainly focuses on leadership and commitment to attainment of quality to satisfy customer needs irrespective of whether a business provides services by examining the company risks, opportunities and the environment where it operates to design products which answer the customer needs.

Few firms in action

Ms Ejalu decried the low uptake of Quality Systems Management Standard (ISO 9001:2015) by companies.

She said currently, UNBS has about 30 to 40 companies using the standard most of which are large companies.

“The uptake of the standard by companies is still low because of limited sensitisation of the importance of the standard but also because it is not a compulsory standard,” she said on Wednesday during a stakeholder engagement on the new edition of the (ISO 9001:2015)

A quality management system (QMS) is a set of policies, processes and procedures required for planning and execution (production/development/service) in the core business area of an organisation.

The standard enhances competitiveness of companies once a product or service meets the quality requirements, it remains relevant in the market.

It also helps find the source of a problem in order to prevent it from reoccurring.

It encourages self-regulation because intervention from regulators is minimised once the standard is followed.