Tanzania Daily News (Dar es Salaam)

Tanzania: Critical Shortage of Staff Cripples TBS

SHORTAGE of staff particularly Inspectors and Quality Assurance Officers is seriously affecting daily operations of the Tanzania Bureau of Standards (TBS), as it embarks on mandatory inspection of goods and materials.

TBS Acting Director General, Mr Joseph Masikitiko told the 'Daily News' that the Bureau has to start looking for alternative means of conducting surveillance campaigns, to uncover inferior goods that are unfit for human consumption and use.

Being let down by serious shortage of staff, the Bureau according to him, is yet obliged to keep required pace in confronting substandard products, mentioning the ongoing search of used underwear as an example.

The 'Daily News' sought for Mr Masikitiko's reaction on the ongoing exercise targeting used undergarmentsreportedly facing a number of challenges including poor cooperation from local government authorities.

"It is true such exercises are facing some challenges which include shortage of TBS inspectors to carry them out efficiently and sustainably.

But, we are currently working on some more strategies to accomplish that mission," he said. He could not mention the new strategies which he said were on the drawing table for the time being, but insisted that without cooperation from other stakeholders particularly the LGAs; desirable outcome will hardly be achieved.

For at least four years consecutively, the Bureau has reported to operate in difficult conditions, facing acute shortages of human resources to be able to roll out its mission and vision throughout the country.

With less than 250 staff, the Bureau has been repeatedly appealing for the government to allow employment of more staff to cater for the growing business operations that need existence of powerful watchdog.

The situation is different with its neighbours in Kenya and Uganda whose Standard Bureaus have over 1000 and 500 staff respectively, despite being smaller in geographical size.

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