Organisation, provision of resources and structures for a successful SECO
Although the internal services that ensure the efficient operation of the SECO’s business maintain a low public profile, their commitment ensures that the SECO is able to fulfil its economic policy mandate. For example, the Business Control section coordinates several thousand departmental transactions every year. It ensures that the numerous business transactions of the SECO on behalf of the Federal Government and Parliament are processed smoothly and that within the framework of consultations with the various departments the SECO is able to adopt a timely position in terms of economic policy on the business transactions of other federal departments. Our Human Resources section looks after roughly 700 staff in Switzerland and abroad and through its services and HR measures plays an active role in enabling the SECO to be viewed as an attractive employer in the competition to recruit the best talent. In the finance area we manage an annual budget of approx. 1 billion Swiss francs and process around 20,000 financial records and documents. The IT and Infomanagement section ensures that the staff are provided with IT services and runs the information management side, including documentation and internal mail. For its part, the Logistics section ensures that the employees are supplied with appropriate office equipment to enable them to carry out their work efficiently and in pleasant surroundings. We are also responsible for subjects such as controlling, risk management and contract management.
We provide traditional legal services covering numerous relevant areas of Swiss and foreign trade legislation. In addition we exercise the federal government’s the right to take legal action in accordance with the Unfair Competition Act, monitor the cantonal implementation of the Price Indication Ordinance and process licence applications for carrying out pre-shipment inspections in Switzerland. We coordinate the cantonal measures and the licensing procedures for travelling trades, fairgrounds and circuses. We also represent Switzerland’s interests within the ICPEN, the international network to combat trans-boundary unfair business practices, particularly internet fraud, and provide the general public with relevant recommendations and advice.
Swiss Accreditation Service SAS
The Swiss Accreditation Service SAS examines and accredites conformity assessment bodies (CAB) - i.e. calibration and testing laboratories, inspection and certfication bodies as well as reference material producers and proficiency testing providers - according to international standards. By means of accreditation the competence of a body to execute conformity assessments according to specified requirements is formally acknowledged.
The aim of the accreditation is to strenghten the confidence in the competence and services of the CAB. The reports and certificats issued under an accreditation and which are also recognised abroad within the framework of international agreements support the confidence in the quality of the correspondent products and services. Herewith, the reports and certificats issued by accredited CAB contribute considerably to the elimination of barriers to trade.
The SAS is attached to the State Secretariat of Economic Affairs (SECO). However, it takes decisions concerning accreditation independently and autonomously - in accordance with the applicable national and international requirements. Thus, the Head of SAS decides according to the Accreditation and Designation Ordinance (AccDO) on the granting or denial of accreditation as well as on the suspension or the withdrawal if the requirements for an accreditation are not fulfilled anymore.