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Minister Smith presented with certificate of ISO Accreditation for the livestock breeding area

Mr Brendan Smith TD, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture and Food, was today presented with a Certificate of Registration to ISO 9001:2000 standard awarded by the National Standards Authority of Ireland to the Department's Livestock Breeding Section in relation to the administration of the livestock breeding area.

The award marks a significant achievement for the staff who carry out this important function for the Department. Minister Smith congratulated all who played a part in the attainment of this prestigious award and said that they could be rightly proud of their achievement.

Minister Smith went on to say that the attainment of this award was further evidence of ongoing work in the Department which has arranged to have assessments of its quality systems, in administrative areas, conducted by an independent outside body. It was a clear acknowledgement, he said, of the Department's openness to establish and operate clear and transparent systems.

Minister Smith emphasised that quality initiatives such as this demonstrated the Department's strong commitment to providing an excellent service to all its customers. He stated that one of the core principles of ISO accreditation is that the accredited organisation must strive for continuous improvement, and that the Department had fully committed itself to that principle in its Quality Policy Statement.

The Department, he said, administers a large number of diverse schemes and services over a very broad range of activities to its clients. Its most recent Customer Service Action Plan, covering the period 2005 to 2007, contains challenging targets for all the main Department services and commits it to the delivery of services of the highest standard.

In conclusion Minister Smith said that accreditation to ISO 9001:2000 standard of other areas of the Department is ongoing and this offers the Department's clients full assurance that it is operating to the highest international standards.

9 October, 2006

Date Released: 09 October 2006