HC Deb 04 August 1980 vol 990 cc2-3W
Mr. Forman

asked the Secretary of State for Trade what action the Government are taking to implement the recommendations of the Warner report on standards and specifications in the engineering industry.

Mrs. Sally Oppenheim

The Warner report called for action by the Government in four principal areas: greater use of standards in public purchasing; increased use of standards in legislation; an acceleration in the process of metrication; and rationalisation of quality assurance procedures.

On public purchasing, major purchasing departments and nationalised industries are giving high priority to ensuring that their requirements are related to standards and progress is being monitored.

On legislation, increasing reference to standards is being made under the Consumer Safety Act 1978. The Upholstered Furniture (Safety) Regulations 1980 that were made in May are an example of this. I also understand that the Health and Safety Executive is examining specific standards to see if greater use of standards can be made under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.

On metrication, there are no legislative obstacles to prevent the change in the engineering sectors; the pace of change rests with the industries concerned.

On quality assurance, my right hon. Friend has consulted interested bodies and intends to present a paper to NEDC in the autumn on this subject.

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