Papua New Guinea has experienced a decline in Accredited Testing Laboratories over the last three years (2020 – 2022), the National Institute of Standards, and Industrial Technology (NISIT) acting Director-General of Mr Victor Gabi said in a media statement.

“Construction materials testing, chemical testing, food and microbiology testing, assay testing for precious metals, environmental testing, calibration laboratories have been the main laboratories that have, over the years, obtained and maintained accreditation to (International Organisation of Standards (ISO)/ International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) 17025 Management of Testing and Calibration Laboratories.

“The decline has been (26) Accredited Laboratories in 2019 to (14) currently in 2023. Whilst there is spring up of new laboratory facilities in health and forensics, it is important to note that these new facilities are subject to accreditation to the same International Standard or a derivative standard of the ISO/IEC 17025.”

Mr Gabi added that this decline was a result of a slowdown in economic activity due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Mr Gabi stated that this decline was worrying because PNG, like every other economy, relies on evidence/fact-based decision making which in turn relies on scientific and laboratory testing proof.

Mr Gabi encourages all testing functions of government, private sector that have lost their Accreditations with PNGLAS NISIT to work hard on regaining their ISO/IEC 17025: 2017 Accreditation as a matter of priority for various sectors and PNG.