Brunei to have statutory body for HSE enforcement

National 1 minute, 55 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI is expected to establish a statutory body for the enforcement of health, safety and environment (HSE) regulations in the first quarter of 2017.

A draft order for the establishment of a national governance and compliance authority for HSE has been submitted to the Attorney General’s Chambers, said Captain Jamie Rebelo, senior inspector at the Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office’s (EIDPMO) Health, Safety, Security and Environment Division.

The aim is for the authority to be gazetted early 2017, he said on the sidelines at the World Day for Safety and Health at Work 2016 held at Universiti Brunei Darussalam. The statutory body is expected to streamline the process of complying with government HSE regulations.

Noting the various departments in the ministries concerned, Captain Rebelo said “the requirements for HSE are spread out and these departments request for different information”.

He added: “The understanding is that when companies interface with the government, they are interfacing with many departments. Every step that Brunei is taking now is to improve business and create a set-up where any new business coming into Brunei has the opportunity to fast-track it and allow them to start work.”

The HSE authority will act as a one-stop shop, he said. “We understand that the industries need the one place and this is the answer.” The authority will carry out enforcement of HSSE legislation, inspection, investigation and ensuring that standards are met, he added.

Captain Rebelo said it will be headed by a CEO, and will have chief inspectors and inspectors under it.

The CEO will report accordingly to the Prime Minister’s Office.

The statutory body will also be self-funded through a charging regime. Relevant legislation mandates that industries pay a fee when obtaining a licence to operate.

“The (authority) would then charge for a licence to operate, such as charging for a safety case under the Control of Major Accident Hazards regulations. With that, the value of it is that there is some income generated that would help sustain the organisation,” he said.

It will be a government authority, but at the same time stand outside the government’s framework, he said.

“This will be a body that reports to the government, and will have an advisory committee comprising permanent secretaries.”

The Brunei Times