The Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) has improved operational performance for a third consecutive quarter, with 79 per cent of assessments finalised on time during the March quarter of 2018.
The improvement comes on top of the regulator’s previous gains in December 2017 when 74 per cent of assessments were completed on time, and September 2017 when 58 per cent of assessments were finalised within statutory timeframes.
A total of 832 applications were finalised by the APVMA between January and March this year.
APVMA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Chris Parker, praised the authority’s staff for their dedication to the regulatory science and risk assessment practices that underpin the APVMA’s core business.
“We provide a regulatory service for the supply of safe and effective agvet chemicals in Australia and right now we’re delivering this service while we prepare to relocate our operations from Canberra to Armidale,” Dr Parker said.
“Statistics for the March quarter of 2018 have our overall timeframe performance sitting at 79 per cent, up 21 percentage points from six months ago, when 58 per cent of applications were finalised on time.”
Dr Parker attributes the current improvements to a renewed focus on processes and procedures in the APVMA’s assessment and registration teams.
“The independent review I commissioned last year shows that there are a number of factors that affect our performance. We can expect continued volatility in future results,” Dr Parker said.
“Staff losses and knowledge retention remain a key risk for the authority. The figures to date would indicate that we are managing this risk but the risk remains as we transition to Armidale.
“Through the work we are doing to improve assessment processes, we aim to build resilience in our business and over time we will strengthen our ability to meet performance timeframes.”
In the March 2018 quarter, the APVMA:
• received 845 new applications for products, actives and permits
• commenced the assessment of 1052 product, active and permit applications
• finalised 832 applications for products, actives and permits.
Timeframe performance for product, active and permit applications increased to 79 per cent, up from 74 per cent in the previous quarter.
• Pesticide product applications were at 76 per cent completed on time, up from 72 per cent in the previous quarter (and 36 per cent the quarter before that).
• Veterinary medicine product applications were at 88 per cent completed on time, up from 71 per cent in the previous quarter.