To deal with GMOs an organisation needs to be accredited and must comply with all conditions that accompany that authorisation. Accreditation assures the Regulator that the organisation has basic quality assurance systems in place. To be accredited, the organisation must have a properly constituted and maintained Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) in place. The Regulator expects that the IBC will assist the Accredited Organisation meet its obligations, but the ultimate legal responsibility for compliance with the conditions of accreditation rests with the Accredited Organisation. The Australian National University is an Accredited Organisation and its IBC is the University Recombinant DNA Monitoring Committee.
The Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC) plays an important role for organisations undertaking work with GMOs, by helping organisations to meet the requirements of the legislation. However, it is the responsibility of the Organisation to ensure compliance with conditions of Accreditation. The Committee's role is purely one of assistance and facilitation and as such the Committee bears no legal responsibility under the legislation for ensuring that conditions of accreditation are met. In essence the role of Committee is an internal quality assurance one, ensuring that the following processess are in place in the Institution:
- Systems of internal checking of applications made to the Regulator. This helps to ensure that information provided to the Regulator as part of an application for a licence is comprehensive and meets the Regulator's information requirements
- Systems of inspecting PC2 facilities to ensure that they meet the requirements of the Regulator
- Systems of record keeping and reporting
- Procedures for training of staff dealing with GMOs.
University Recombinant DNA Monitoring Committee Members
Chair & Biologist
Deputy Chair & Virologist
Biological Risk Assessor
Plant Molecular Biologist
External Lay Person
Mrs Joanne Keogh (External)
IBC Liaison Officers
Liaisons Officers have been appointed to strengthen communication between the University Recombinant DNA Monitoring Committee and staff and students in areas of the University and associated external organisations conducting GM work and to provide assistance to researchers to ensure that their physical containment facilities comply with the regulatory requirements of the Gene Technology Act and Regulations.