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Council Meeting



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SIM Council Meeting - Washington
Hilton and Towers Hotel
August 07th, 2005






Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues SIM President, ABBS
Steve Carpenter Technical Advisor, NIST
Oscar Harasic Executive Secretariat
Yoshito Mitani Chairman, PDC
Luis Mussio Chairman, TC and JCRB Representative, LATU
James McLaren NORAMET Coordinator, NRC
Jose Dajes ANDIMET Coordinator, Indecopi
Humberto Brandi On behalf of SURAMET Coordinator, Inmetro
Theodore Reddock On behalf of CARIMET Coordinator, TTBS
Paulo Ferracioli SIM Secretary


Taynah Lopes de Souza SIM Recording Secretary



Steve Stahley NCSLI


DRAFT Agenda:


1. Introduction and Welcome / Introducción y Bienvenida
2. Verification of Quorum / Verificación de Quórum
3. Approval of Agenda / Aprobación de Agenda
4. Approval of the Minutes from previous Council Meeting /
Aprobación de la Acta de la Reunión Anterior del Consejo
5. Matters arising from the Minutes / Asuntos derivados de la Acta
6. Report on 2005 Budget / Infome sobre el Presupuesto de 2005
7. Definition of SIM Activities with the 2005 OAS Project/ Definición de las actividades del SIM con el Proyecto de la OEA 2005
8. Report from SIM Representative to JCRB / Informe del Representante del SIM en el JCRB
9. PDC-TC Structure / Estructura del PDC-TC
10. Proposal for the central subject of GA/2005 presented by Trinidad and Tobago / Propuesta del tema central de la GA/2005 presentada por Trinidad and Tobago
11. General Assembly 2006 / Asamblea General 2006
12. Other Business / Otros Asuntos




1. Introduction and Welcome
Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues, the President of SIM, welcomed Council Members. She enjoyed the opportunity thank everyone for the support received since her election last November.


2. Verification of Quorum
Quorum was verified by the Executive Secretariat, 10 out of 12 members of Council being present.
Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues thanked for the support of NIST and NCSLI, whose representative, Steve Stahley, was present at the meeting. He informed he will also be representing NCSLI at SIM Meetings for the next three years.
Steve Stahley also mentioned they should make the necessary arrangements to host the next SIM Council Meetings before the Board of Directors, to avoid that both meetings are held at the same time.


3. Approval of Agenda
Some points were added to the draft agenda, as follows:
- BIPM Meeting.
- Activities in Colombia
- Costa Rica
- Summit of Americas in November
- CARIMET Metrology.
After these amendments, the agenda for the meeting was approved.


4. Approval of the Minutes from Previous Council Meeting
The minutes of last Council Meeting, held in Barbados, on February 07th and 08th, were approved with no amendments.


5. Matters arising from the minutes
Concerning Council Resolution 05/05 about the follow up on the submission of the support letters to the Metrology Project and report to the Council of such results, Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues mentioned that CARIMET was done. NORAMET did not have to, as all countries had already submitted letter. Other Coordinators had no new information about the subject.
Steve Carpenter then explained that he received 18 support letters in the end. The major concern is related to the possible outcomes after that. He also mentioned that the request to send the support letter was sent around nine times to the countries involved in the Project. The problem is that some NMIs have indeed sent their letters to the institutions responsible for the relationship with OAS, but the letter did nor reach its final stage and Steve Carpenter has not received such letters, what indicates the existence of a problem within the channel. NMIs will then be informed that they should send the letters to their institutions with a copy to Steve Carpenter and Oscar Harasic.
Yoshito Mitani suggested that we ask the NMIs to present, at the next General Assembly, what their procedures for sending the letters are. It was also decided to send them another message asking for the support letter and informing them that in case they do not send, they will have no priority concerning the participation at SIM activities.


Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues then asked for some information about the Calendar of SIM Activities for 2005. Yoshito Mitani explained that once we have not received the necessary funds from OAS yet, some activities could not be hold and must be rescheduled. Steve Carpenter then informed that the contract was sent to OAS last week and as soon as they have reviewed if, the funds will be immediately disbursed to the three coordinators. He just can not be sure about how much time OAS will take to make this revision.
Dianne Lalla Rodrigues then suggested a revision on the activities in which SIM had to be represented until the end of this year:
- APMP: Steve Carpenter volunteered to be SIM's representative and was accepted.
- JCRB: considering that most of Council members will be present, there is no problem concerning SIM's representation.


Concerning Item 10 of Last Council Meeting Minutes (SIM brochure and Directory): Luis Mussio has contacted almost every country to obtain updated information but there are still a couple of countries that do not answer. He said he will then wait for the General Assembly to get the necessary data. Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues then asked to know what these countries are, as she may contact them. About the brochure, Jose Dajes informed that there is no money for printing it and once the OAS funds disbursement is ready they will be able to print it and send a version to all Council Members.


Navy project: Steve Carpenter informed he had received a contact from them and he said he would have to check with other US agencies, as NIST does not want to express any further commitments. He also informed that a couple of countries have expressed interest in it. It has also been made contact with the US International Agency for Development, but he does not know about the outcome of that.


6. Report on 2005 Budget
Steve Carpenter made the presentation about the Budget 2005. He also provided a written report containing the information presented which will be available at the Secretary for the record. He informed the budget had been reduced what claims for a better priorization of SIM activities. He then mentioned that as the first disbursement is late, probably the second and third one will only be available in 2006.
Steve Carpenter then informed that NIST, CENAM and LATU remain as the coordinators of the budget. CENAM and LATU will be responsible for the management of activities related to Metrology.


7. Definition of SIM Activities with the 2005 OAS Project
Yoshito Mitani reported that he has been talking with Paraguay and Colombia in order to organise some training activities. He informed the Council that there will be a course in SURAMET, concerning time and frequency, probably late October. In Colombia they are organising a course later this year, related to acoustics and vibration. This course had been scheduled for July but had to be cancelled due to the problem with the disbursement of OAS funds.
Another course he mentioned refers to the Legal Metrology one, concentrated on natural gas issues. This course will probably be hold in Brazil (for SURAMET and ANDIMET, but open to all SIM Members). So, he expects it will be possible to hold three awareness activities during the second semester of the year.
Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues asked to be kept informed in advance about the progress of these activities. She said we should have more information about the training activities as they usually happen in an isolated way and even if it is held in another language, in another sub-regions, in another area of interest, everybody should be able to know about the information so that they could have the chance of participating in it and of knowing about all that happen within SIM.
So whenever a new event/activity is organised, everybody should be equally invited. The information will also be publicised on SIM website to the information to be more spread.


8. Report from SIM Representative to JCRB
Luis Mussio made a TC-JCRB joint report which will be sent to the secretariat to be annexed to the minutes. He first talked about the Chemical Metrology Week in Lima, supported by SIM and PTB, when there were: awareness seminar, uncertainty course, the discussion of Pilot studies 8.P11 and 8.P15, strategic planning meeting for ANDIMET development in Chemical Metrology.
Steve Carpenter then asked to receive information about the training activities in order to prepare the reports to OAS whenever is necessary. Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues added that this is important in fact not only to have some results about their understanding about the seminars but also to have some input to prepare future activities. She then asked Jose Dajes to prepare a report about the final conclusions concerning the workshop held in Lima.
Humberto Brandi then raised the point that it could be interesting to establish procedures or documents to evaluate the SIM training activities. Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues asked Jose Dajes, from the Documentation Working Group, to send Council Members the examples they have of documents directed at evaluating activities.
Still concerning this matter, Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues requested that all information concerning the participation at SIM activities and attendance should be sent to the SIM Secretariat. She also suggested the record of SIM and all documents concerning the seminars be kept at the SIM Secretariat. It was decided that the SIM Secretariat will work together with the Documentation Working Group to handle the documents of SIM and keep them on SIM website.


Continuing his report, Luis Mussio informed that the quality systems of all NMIs have already been approved. The QS for chemistry is still under review, though. A problem occurred with COOMET review and may need SIM attention. Jim McLaren then reported that only Russia, from COOMET, has been participating at the CIPM MRA.
Luis Mussio also presented a list of new documents available from JCRB, which were distributed prior to the meeting among TC and signatories. The documents are publicised on JCRB open site.
He emphasised that the document 'subcontracting under the CIPM_MRA' is a very important one because it establishes the criteria for subcontracting. Other important documents are: 14_06 (2a e 2b): 'criteria for acceptance of data for Appendix C' - both its flexible and strict versions.


Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues then brought up the question of technical committees' organization. Luis and Yoshito informed that indeed most of them face problem, especially due to the fact that not all countries have all areas and also lack resources to develop them.
Theodore Reddock then he confirmed that in CARIMET they are directed at some basic areas but that some countries are demonstrating experience in some new ones and it would be interesting to have more activities to develop them.


9. PDC-TC Structure
Luis Mussio suggested that we should have only one committee with both coordinators but only one representative of each sub-region for this joint committee.
Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues reminded the Council that it will be necessary to change SIM bylaws and then Luis Mussio and Yoshito Mitani should come to the GA with a concrete proposal.
Luis Mussio informed that they had presented this proposal to the technical committees but there was no agreement to change it.
They are then going to prepare a formal proposal concerning the changes that will be made and their implications to be presented at the next Council Meeting. The changes to SIM bylaws will be analysed in conjunction with Documentation Working Group.


10. Proposal for the Central Subject of GA/2005 presented by Trinidad and Tobago
Theodore Reddock distributed a leaflet about the SIM Metrology Week 2005, to be held during the period of October 10th-14th. The main theme will be: "Metrology, the foundation; ensuring the viability of nations". This brochure contained the main information about the events, including the costs of participation.
The Council then moved to discuss the dates of all events during the week. The basic structure was decided as follows:
Sunday, October 09th - Council Meeting in the afternoon
Monday, October 10th - General Awareness Seminar
Tuesday, October 11th - General Assembly
Wednesday, October 12th - General Assembly
Thursday, October 13th - Chemical Metrology/ QSTF / Council Meeting
Friday, October 14th - Chemical Metrology/ QSTF


The theme for the seminar presentations will be decided considering local needs, together with Yoshito Mitani and Luis Mussio.
Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues also said that Theodore Reddock could arrange any other seminar for local participants apart from General Assembly, as it would not interfere. He then said he will study this possibility, depending on availability of resources. He is also managing technical visits to TTBS, probably on Thursday afternoon and an exhibition hall.
Malcom Smith, from NCSLI, then informed that Steve Stahley will be NCSLI representative NCSLI, to ensure more continuity in the participation. Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues asked if there is the possibility of having NCSLI exhibition for the next GA. He said the follow up should then be made through Steve Stahley. Malcom Smith thanked for the presentation made by Brazil during the Board of Directors in the morning, Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues thanked Humberto for that. He said the NCLSI board of Director meets 4 times a year and it is open to all, it is not necessary to have participants at all meetings, but at least once a year.
Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues then remembered that during the General Assembly will be necessary to decide who will be the chair of the Quality System, as Barbados acts as the interim representative.


11. General Assembly 2006
James McLaren made a brief presentation about the possibilities to host the SIM 2006 General Assembly in Canada. He presented the possible dates and the difficulty of settling a date. The possibilities are: 1) Week of September 11th to 15th or from 18th to 22nd, what would conflict with 2006 IMEKO, which will be host by Brazil at the same date; 2) August dates conflict with summer vacations for many of NRC staff, and with other meetings like NCSLI; 3) late September and early October conflict with NMI Directors and CIPM meetings at the BIPM; 4) after October 15th there is the problem of a quite unpleasant whether, too cold.
He also presented the costs for the organization of the 2006 SIM GA, what would be around US$ 2,000.00 per participant, counting air ticket, accommodation and other expenses.
Humberto Brandi then informed that he is the host of IMEKO 2006 and could discuss the availability of holding SIM GA right after the conference. He said this could be an alternative, once SIM Members could benefit from the seminars that will be held and we could also use the same facilities, what could represent a reduction on the costs of organising the meetings. He will discuss this possibility with IMEKO organisers and will then inform the Council through e-mail about the availability of this alternative and the final decision will be made during the GA 2005.


12. Other Business

- Internet Training
Paul Hanssen was invited to speak about the situation of the internet training contracted with OAS funds to all SIM Members. He informed that the outcome has been twofold: some countries are using it extensively, particularly El Salvador, Suriname and Venezuela but others do not use it. He thinks it depends on each individual country. He has already presented a formal report to Yoshito Mitani, who sent a letter to all countries asking for their evaluation about the training but only received five responses. Paul Hanssen informed he will send the report to Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues who said that will send a letter to countries again, requesting updated information.


- SIM-PTB Project
Willie May made a brief presentation about the Project. He explained the technical part of Chemical Metrology is going very well, but he is having some problems concerning the corporate program as NIST division is spending around US$ 100,000.00 indirectly. Efforts are being made by NIST, CENAM and NRC, but PTB takes all prestige from it. Council Members are not informing their countries of how the program is conceived and people come to workshops thanking PTB and not giving credits to other people involved in the Project. PTB only pays for ticket and accommodation to NMIs to attend workshops. No one gives credit to the intellectual technical support made by like NIST, CENAM and NRC. It is not mentioned that the Project is coped between OAS and PTB.
Willie May suggests the Council analyses whether this kind of Project should be kept, in this way. He said in case it continues, he will make sure SIM receives credit for it. He said he is worried about institutional credit not personal credit.
Steve Carpenter agreed with Willie May's concerns and said that OAS should receive the fair credits from its support.
Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues proposed that one solution could be to make sure that during the opening and closing of workshops and training activities, a person clearly thanks and emphasises the importance of SIM and OAS to the Project. She said that sometimes when the Project was presented to SIM participants it gave the idea that PTB was really the greatest sponsor, not stressing SIM/OAS importance for the Project. For the next presentations Willie May will then try to me more emphatic about the SIM/OAS importance for the project.
Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues then informed that since last NCSLI Conference, it has been discussed what themes could be presented by SIM in order not to make repetitive presentations. For this year, then, it was suggested a presentation about the Chemical Project, after the introductory presentation about SIM, to be made during the morning session on Tuesday.

The meeting was held on March 07th and 08th. Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues informed that the meeting was directed at studying some type of co-operation between the organisations. She said BIPM should be caring about metrology issues and RMOs, but this is not what they are doing. She sent the report to all Council Members but no one commented.
Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues then informed that she will re-circulate the 'BIPM-ILAC Common Statement' for the NMIs evaluation. Yoshito Mitani said this is a problem for each individual country but the discussion within SIM is very fruitful. This is not a SIM issue but SIM must make sure the directors of NMIs be aware of it.


- Activities in Colombia
The activities will be held in October, probably from 24th to 26th. They have requested some speakers from Inmetro, CENAM, and other, what shall be articulated between organisers and the NMIs.


- Costa Rica
Jim McLaren informed the Council that during last General Assembly Lacomet made a request to Canada and a technical co-operation project was accepted and is under way. They have already received around 20 people for training in NRC.


- Summit in November
Oscar Harasic informed that there is a group working about development; science and technology, themes for the next Summit of Americas, to be held in November. Would be nice if there were some participants from the SIM countries. He will send information to all.


- CARIMET Metrology.
Theodore Reddock informed the Council that during a meeting of the Minister of High Authority in November, a legal metrology policy for the Caribbean was approved through CROSSQ, developing its capabilities throughout the Caribbean agencies. Ambassadors were quite impressed about SIM proposal and will support it. The proposal developed with the Caribbean representatives will be part of the Summit of Americas in November. He also mentioned that there is the possibility of taking the proposal to Interamerican Bank.


- Hermon Edmondson demitted
Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues informed they BSJ already an interim nominated but she does not know if they have solved who will do this until the end of his term in October. The Council agreed that Hermon Edmondson made a great contribution for the region and a letter of thanks will be sent to him.


- Infosim
Luis Mussio remembered that Argentina was responsible for the last edition and we should know whether they intend to make another number for the magazine. Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues and Luis Mussio will work on that.


Having no further points in the agenda, Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues thanked all Council Members for their presence and especially thanked NCSLI for the organisation. The meeting was then adjourned.