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Council Meeting





Ocho Rios, 26th September 2000

Attendance list


Oscar Harasic, SIM Executive Secretary (OAS)
Hector Nava-Jaimes, Past President (CENAM)
B. Stephen Carpenter, Chairman, Technical Committee (NIST)
Yoshito Mitani, Chairman, Professional Development Committee (CENAM)
Jose Dajes Castro, ANDIMET, Deputy Coordinator (INDECOPI)
Beatriz Paniagua V., CAMET, Coordinator (ONNUM)
Roosevelt DaCosta, CARIMET, Coordinator (JBS)
Willie E. May, NORAMET, Representative (NIST)
Luis Mussio, SURAMET, Coordinator (LATU)
Léa Contier de Freitas, SIM Secretary (INMETRO)


Hratch Semerjian, Deputy Representative to the JCRB (NIST)
Felipe Urresta, ANDIMET, Representative (INEN)
Janusz Lusztyk, NORAMET, Representative (NRC)
Raul Nuñez, SURAMET, Representative (INN)
Ed Nemeroff, Participating Member (NCSL)
Josefa Paredes Villalobos, Assistant to SIM Secretary (INMETRO)




1) Verification of quorum
2) Approval of the Agenda
3) Approval of previous meeting minutes
4) Reports:
-President (Armando Mariante Carvalho)
-Past President (Hector Nava Jaimes)
-OAS SIM Secretariat (Oscar Harasic)
-Chairman Technical Committee (Steve Carpenter)
-Chairman Professional Development Committee (Yoshito Mitani)
-Coordinator ANDIMET
-Coordinator CAMET
-Coordinator CARIMET
-Coordinator NORAMET Coordinator SURAMET
5) Election of SIM President for the 2000-2002 term
6) Other business: Working group to elaborate business plan Webpage on OAS server Letter of support to SIM project Next Council meeting
7) Next Council Meeting


Oscar Harasic thanked the Jamaica Bureau of Standards (JBS) for the excellent facilities and arrangements for the meeting and welcomed the Council members and invited observers. He offered apologies for absence on behalf of the president of SIM, Armando Mariante Carvalho (INMETRO), who would be arriving for the General Assembly (GA), and conducted the meeting. Léa Contier de Freitas distributed to all council members the 6th Annual General Assembly workbook (GA workbook, thereafter).


1) Verification of quorum
The quorum was verified to exist, nine out of ten Council members or their representatives being present. The original signed presence list was filed at SIM Secretariat.

2) Approval of the Agenda
The agenda was approved with amendments and it is shown, in its amended version, on the first page of these minutes.

3) Approval of previous meeting minutes
The minutes of the meeting held in Rio de Janeiro, on 2nd and 3rd May 2000, were approved with minor amendments that were fed directly into the final text. The minutes had been distributed to the Council by e-mail in May 2000.

4) Reports

4.1) President:
Léa Contier de Freitas, appointed by the President to report on his behalf, explained that a summary report was prepared based on the work plan presented by INMETRO at the 1998 General Assembly, held in Costa Rica, and it was included in the GA workbook (pages 23to 24). The main topics were addressed.

4.2) OAS SIM Secretariat:
Oscar Harasic noted that the 2001 SIM Project, to be submitted to OAS for financial support, came up to a total sum of US$ 250,000. He emphasized that there was still a strong need of support from countries since only letters from the governments of Canada, Ecuador, Jamaica, Mexico, Uruguay and USA had been received by the OAS. Since the project was to be examined by a committee, for a final decision, at the end of October, countries should be still encouraged to forward support letters.
The Council recognized the hard work that had been entailed in the organization of the GA and workshop that was being prepared as an associated event. As agreed in the discussion of the budget for 2000, US$ 20,000 (twenty thousand dollars) out of SIM funds would be used towards covering the costs of the meeting. It should be noted that, as agreed before, funds used to support the participation of representatives were only used to cover travel or per diem expenses due to lack of adequate funds. Participants had been encouraged to seek financial support from their own institution.
Hector Nava Jaimes agreed that support to the project was need and re-emphasized that governments should send the support letters through their official mission to the OAS.
The project for 2001 could be found on pages 103 through 122 in the GA Workbook.

4.3) Chairman Technical Committee:
Dr. Steve Carpenter reported the visit paid to Suriname and El Salvador, in order to help governments designing their national metrology structure. Felipe Urresta said that Honduras also requested help to set up their National Metrology Laboratory.
The minutes of the last two TC meetings, held in Anaheim, January 17th, and in July, in Toronto during the NCSL meeting, could be found included in the GA workbook. Next TC meeting will take place during the Metrologia 2000 Congress, in São Paulo, Brazil.
Steve Carpenter also told the meeting that two sets of data were ready for approval:
(i) length and
(ii) temperature and humidity.
Once approved, those data would be transmitted to the JCRB. He then proceeded to highlight the work done by the Chemical Metrology WG, one of the more active groups in the TC. That WG agreed on an activity to start looking into transgenic food. He also informed that the Legal Metrology Working Group held a meeting during the National Conference of Weights and Measures, in Richmond, VA, in July 2000, and that there was a new chair, Cezar Luis da Silva, from INMETRO. That WG had now established two sub-groups.
Steve Carpenter noted the excellent work done by Alan Robertson, from NRC, Canada, who served as SIM representative to the JCRB until September, when he retired. Ismael Castelazo, from CENAM, Mexico, was appointed as the new representative and Hratch Semerjian, from NIST, USA, as alternate.
The report of the TC Chair could be found from pages 41 to 47 and 197 to 255 of the GA workbook.

4.4) Chairman Professional Development Committee:
Yoshito Mitani presented a summary report, which could be found on pages 35 - 40 of the GA workbook. He informed the meeting that the PDC was suffering from lack of quorum, even when it was scheduled to meet on the same occasion as the TC. He reported that, during the meeting held in Toronto, the PDC came to the conclusion that training activities should be more tied up with the TC activities. The list of activities proposed for 2001 was included in the GA workbook. He mentioned that a catalogue of professionals could be prepared.
A letter was presented to the Council suggesting the creation of three working groups for scientific, industrial and legal metrology. The Council suggested back to the PDC that, instead, one representative of the legal metrology group and two or three representatives of the Technical Committee could enlarge the Committee.
Yoshito Mitani said that the PDC welcomed that suggestion, which had been already given previously, but had not incorporated it yet. He said that if there was good communication within a group, the demand for training activities would arise naturally, information being the key to that effect.
Ed Nemeroff, of NCSL, informed that a training course in CD version had been already prepared in Spanish and that he had feedback that the Legal Metrology group wanted a closer with the PDC.
Steve Carpenter questioned who was responsible for the volume course, upon which Roosevelt DaCosta informed him that the contact person was Pedro Spina, from NIST.
The Council discussed the planned thermometry course and expressed their concern with such a high level course being held, in which the main issue would be a comparison of PTRs. There was a large demand from the less developed SIM institutions for a course on thermometry, addressing general issues and applications, which could involve much more people. The Council argued that a comparison of glass thermometers would be of much more use to SIM. NIST refused to go to the meeting, because did not agree with the proposal of the thermometry WG. Upon discussing the matter the Council told the TC Chairman that no budget should be available to support BIPM key-comparisons. Although they were important to SIM as a whole, so that traceability at the highest level could be established in the region, they were the sole responsibility of each country signatory to the CIPM MRA. The Council also agreed that developing countries should be the preferential recipients of financial support obtained with the projects submitted by SIM to the OAS, the IDB or any other cooperation agency.
Steve Carpenter thanked the Council for such message, saying that he fully agreed with it and that the activities financially supported by SIM should preferentially address broad based, multi-national issues. He also expressed that WGs should conduct activities characterized as SIM activities only after proposing them to and obtaining the approval of the TC and ratification by the Council. Therefore, Working Group chairmen should seek the approval of the TC before conducting comparisons and of the PDC before conducting training activities.

The Council then proceeded to approve the following resolutions:

Resolution CR 20/2000
Working Group chairpersons should seek the approval of the Technical Committee before conducting comparisons and of the Professional Development Committee before conducting training activities.

Resolution CR 21/2000
The Jamaica Bureau of Standards (JBS) and CARIMET are to be congratulated on the number of successful sub-regional activities conducted, in accordance to the SIM spirit of regional cooperation.

Report on March 2000 JCRB meeting:
Hratch Semerjian started presenting the report prepared by Alan Robertson, who could not be present at the meeting, by saying that only six of the 34 SIM members were signatories to the CIPM MRA. The most important decision made during the March meeting, held in Gaithersburgh, was that no CMC (calibration and measurement capability) would enter the database if it were not fully approved by either the WG or the TC. If it was under review, it should be cleared before going into the database. This meant that only data of the highest quality and credibility would enter the database. He also informed the meeting of the important discussion held on the need of comparable quality systems implemented in the national metrology institutes and of historical evidence of quality.
Another point to be highlighted was that data were to be submitted in a more organized manner, following an established calendar.
The report on the JCRB could be found on pages 49 to 64 of the GA workbook.
Luis Mussio asked if other countries had joined the Convention of the Mete, upon which he was informed that Jamaica and Ecuador had applied to associate membership.
Hratch Semerjian took the opportunity to inform that the SIM database was being established with data submitted to the JCRB and data reviewed in the same manner but submitted by SIM countries that were not members of the Meter Convention.

The Council expressed again its appreciation on the excellent work by Alan Robertson and proceeded to approve the following decisions:

Resolution CR 22/2000 The SIM President, following a proposal of the Technical Committee, is to send a letter to Alan Robertson, recently retired from NRC, Canada, expressing gratitude for his excellent work as the SIM Representative to the Joint Committee of the Regional Organizations and the BIPM (JCRB) until September 2000.

Resolution CR 23/2000 The appointments of Ismael Castelazo (CENAM) as the SIM Representative to the Joint Committee of the Regional Organizations and the BIPM (JCRB) and of Hratch Semerjian (NIST) as his alternate, as forwarded by the Technical Committee, are ratified.

Resolution CR 24/2000 The Council strongly support the project "Metrology for the Americas: measurement infrastructure in support of free trade and protection of the environment for the Americas", considering that the multilateral cooperation as envisaged by SIM is important to the development of the metrology infrastructure in the Americas and strongly encourage SIM members to contact their missions to the OAS so that letters of support for the project can be produced.

The Council noted again that SIM activities that promote harmonization and mutual recognition of measurements, which facilitates trade, should have the support of the individual countries so that the OAS can be assured that the proposed project is actually in the interest of most countries in Americas.
The Council learned of the preliminary proposal of activities and budget for 2002 and 2003, which have been included in the business plan that is being prepared and in the project submitted by INMETRO, Brazil, to the Inter-American Development Bank, seeking a pluri-annual financial support to SIM.

4.5) Coordinator ANDIMET:
Jose Dajes Castro, Peru, ANDIMET alternate coordinator, inquired about the visit of both Oscar Harasic and Steve Carpenter to the OAS Foundation, last June. Steve Carpenter informed that the visit was paid in order to discuss permanent funding to SIM. He also explained that a business plan was asked for and it was prepared.
Ed Nemeroff, representing NCSL, offered their 5-year business plan as example and explained that each vice-president of NCSL prepared their part of the business plan and that the parts were brought together. Although the plan encompassed a period of five years, it was reviewed every year using the process described. In this sense, the NCSL business plan could be considered a 5-year rolling plan. NCSL would send a copy by e- mail to the SIM Secretariat.
Jose Dajes Castro informed that ANDIMET took part in the mass course in Mexico and in the 20-liter comparison. However, they could not take part in the pressure comparison due to lack of information. He complained that, over the past two years, the communication had been only from country to country and not truly in the region. He suggested that one course should be conducted in ANDIMET and remarked that there was an urgent need for the mass comparison report, which had not been issued yet.

4.6) Coordinator CAMET:
Beatriz Paniagua noted that it was important that the institutions were informed, well in advance, what activities were planned for SIM so that they could be included in their own budget for the following year. She asked whether metrologists from a developed NMI could go to the Metrology Seminar to be held in Costa Rica.
Hratch Semerjian replied that the answer would be the 5-year business plan. However, he recognized there were many meetings and that it could be difficult to have some sub-regions going to all of them.
Beatriz Paniagua put into perspective the different stages of development of each country of the CAMET sub-region, stressing that those differences should be taken into account when the comparisons were planned and prepared. She also emphasized that SIMNet was important to countries in development and with economic difficulty to travel.

4.7) Coordinator CARIMET:
Roosevelt DaCosta expressed his view that the working groups should coordinate well with the General Assembly so that the work planned was all interlinked. He reported that there had been a change in directorship of JBS, Dr. Omer Thomas having been appointed director. He then proceeded to report the comparisons under way in the sub-region: one for AC/DC, two for mass and one for volume, besides one with NORAMET for pressure. He informed the meeting that he represented SIM at the NCSL meeting last May. He also mentioned the planning and coordination activities conducted by JBS so that the SIM Course, the chemical metrology WG meeting, the Seminar "Measurement: the key to global trade", the Workshop on pesticide residue measurements and the SIM Annual General Assembly could be held in Jamaica.

4.8) Coordinator NORAMET:
Willie May mentioned that the NORAMET report could be found in the GA workbook and that would be fully presented in the General Assembly. He proceeded to express his view that although the web was a good way to improve the communication among SIM countries he believed that a mixture of web media and meetings would be a better way of achieving true communication. Ed Nemeroff, NCSL, agreed that electronic media were very important but that an organization needed a mixture of meetings and electronic communication. He explained that each NCSL committee had to decide how they would work and how many times they would meet, so that the proper balance could be found. However, he emphasized that although a live meeting by electronic media (video conference or similar), for 15 people, was expensive it would cost much less than sending everybody to a meeting.
Willie May also informed that as NORAMET sprung out of the NAFTA agreement, the three countries were organizing themselves to create ANA, Accreditation of North America, which would be the organization responsible for the interaction, on behalf of that sub-region, with APLAC and for entering the ILAC. However this would be used only for those issues of sole interest of the NAFTA countries. ANA would be similar to NORAMET in the sense that a cooperation and recognition agreement was signed, maintaining all other metrology activities under SIM. Léa Contier de Freitas argued that an organization for accreditation already existed in the Americas, the Inter-American Accreditation Cooperation (IAAC), and that it would be important to strengthen it and not clash with it. This could be achieved in a similar way to SIM if the organization of IAAC were to be changed by the creation of sub-regions, one of which could be represented by ANA.

4.9) Coordinator SURAMET:
Raul Nuñez Brantes, INN, Chile, started reporting on SURAMET since Luis Mussio could only arrive for the second half of the meeting. He mentioned two agreements signed by the national metrology institutions (NMIs) of the sub-region: one formally creating SURAMET and one of mutual recognition of calibrations certificates issued by those NMIs. Léa Contier de Freitas expressed her recognition of and congratulations to Luis Mussio for his initiative and effort in maintaining all SIM information in his own web site.

5) Election
Oscar Harasic informed that two candidates were presented for the office of SIM President: Dr. Joaquín Valdéz, INTI, Argentina, and Ing. Felipe Urresta, INEN, Ecuador. However, the SIM Secretariat received a fax (INTI-169-00), on 22nd September 2000, from Ing. Julio Garcia Velasco, president of INTI, withdrawing the candidacy of Dr. Valdéz. With such communication, Ing. Felipe Urresta was left as the only candidate to be brought forward during the General Assembly.

6) Other business
Oscar Harasic called for a special effort to maintain the SIM website updated. As he had informed previously, a server would be acquired by OAS so that the SIM website could be transferred and maintained at he OAS headquarters, in Washington.
The Council decided that Eddy So, NRC, CANADA, would represent the SIM in the next APMP General Assembly.
NCSL expressed, once more, their support to SIM by offering to be involved in many of SIM activities.

Electronic voting
The Council decided that since electronic voting had already been taken for one document and that it would speed up decisions, a procedure for electronic voting should be prepared. The Council designated the documentation-working group to put forward a proposal.


7) Next General Assembly
The Council agreed that the next General Assembly should be held in Miami, USA, from 22nd to 26th October 2001, since the presidents of the FTAA countries would be meeting there next year. This would be a good opportunity for SIM to come closer to discussions held by FTAA.