Internal Report 243
Cusbert P, leGras C & Hunt C
Supervising Scientist Division
Department of Environment, Sport and Territories, 1997
About the report
The Director of the Environment Protection Group of the Commonwealth Environment Portfolio acts as the Supervising Scientist for the Alligator Rivers Region. This organisation has a mandate to assist in the protection of the region from the effects of mining. This Region, which includes Kakadu National Park, is an area of very high environmental value, national profile and political sensitivity.
The Supervising Scientist administers the Office of the Supervising Scientist in Canberra and Darwin and the Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist (ERISS) which is composed of a number of research groups (Sections) in varied scientific disciplines. Unique among the Sections is the Environmental Chemistry Section which has a dual role:
- to research the chemical pathways and fates of species of interest to the environment; in surface and groundwaters, atmosphere, biota, sediments and soils; and
- to provide an analytical chemistry service to the other Sections.
For these reasons it is necessary for the ERISS to have an analytical chemistry laboratory which can consistently provide analyses which are reliable and precise. A comprehensive Quality Assurance program is necessary to assess the performance of the laboratory and thereby assure the above objectives.
The Laboratory Manager is responsible for the preparation and maintenance of the laboratory's Quality Manual, which is essential to its quality assurance. The Quality Manual provides the following documentation:
- the policies and operating procedures of the laboratory;
- the duties and responsibilities of staff; and
- the location of equipment, consumables and documentation.
The basic objective of the Manual is to enable new staff to be able to perform their duties in accordance with the requirements of the laboratory, and as a reference resource.