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Compliance assurance through company compliance management systems

2011

Ongoing

Project description and aims

In many countries industrial companies are supervised by authorities who regularly carry out site inspections and perform other “traditional” compliance checks like assessing emissions reports. But how effective and efficient are these output oriented supervision activities in terms of achieving good compliance with environmental regulation or even environmental performance beyond compliance?
Previous IMPEL projects showed that the smart use of the ability of companies to control their risks using management systems can contribute significantly to the effectiveness and the efficiency of public supervision. This seems especially true for relatively big and complex companies whose processes are potentially risky for the environment. There are quite strong indications that, if supervision uses EMSs/CMSs under the right conditions and in a suitable way, the following two objectives can be achieved:

  1. The supervision can be effectively adjusted to the level of compliance performance a company has achieved, if this level is backed up by empirical evidence based data on compliance performance available to the competent supervision authorities in the EU Member States.
  2. Strategies and means of encouraging companies to improve regulatory compliance and risk management in a structural and sustainable way.

Phase I

The first project started in 2011. The outcomes provide a result of a survey on international opportunities and learning on compliance assurance through company compliance management systems (CMSs). Company CMSs are defined as company internal control systems which explicitly aim at and contain specific provisions for assuring compliance of the company with all relevant permit and other legal requirements. In the report special attention was paid to the system standards for CMS, EMAS and ISO 14001. EMAS is based on EU Regulation 1221/2009.
The objectives of the project were to:

  1. Exchange information and experiences on the use of company CMSs as a tool to assure legal
    compliance and identification of good practices;
  2. Identify criteria for suitable CMSs;
  3. Explore potential ways of linking CMSs with permitting and supervision.

Within the participants of the project their is a strong consensus that the smart use of the ability of
companies to control their risks using management systems can contribute significantly to the
effectiveness and the efficiency of public supervision. This seems especially true for relatively big and
complex companies whose processes are potentially risky for the environment. There are quite strong
indications that, if supervision uses CMSs under the right conditions and in a suitable way, the
following two objectives can be achieved:

  • The supervision can be effectively adjusted to the level of control a company has achieved
    and;
  • Companies are encouraged to improve regulatory compliance and risk management in a
    structural and sustainable way.

Phase II

The second phase takes the main conclusion from that project that the ability of companies to control their risks using management systems can contribute significantly to the effectiveness and the efficiency of public supervision. This seems especially true for relatively big and complex companies whose processes are potentially risky for the environment. There are quite strong indications that, if supervision uses CMSs under the right conditions and in a suitable way, the following two objectives can be achieved:

  1. The supervision can be effectively adjusted to the level of control a company has achieved and;
  2. Companies are encouraged to improve regulatory compliance and risk management in a structural and sustainable way.

The aim of this project is to answer the following:

  • How do we assess performance against standard criteria for an effective CMS (including factual output)?
  • How do we give a measure to the level of confidence in the CMS?
  • How do we differentiate our actions as a consequence of the found differences in CMSs?

The project addresses the integrated approach of supervision where (a) compliance management system is defined, (b) the quality and quantity of supervision is adjusted accordingly and (c) the enforcement and sanctions strategy is fine tuned.

Phase III

In the earlier IMPEL projects (2011, 2013-2014) about compliance assurance through company compliance management systems we find out under which conditions environmental management systems (EMS) like EMAS can lead to a better compliance record and to better environmental performance. In 2014 a Guidance for CMS supervision is delivered. This Guidance is a practical (digital) tool / flow chart for the supervisor and the Inspection authority to help them decide when and how CMS supervision can be applied. Background information for working with this tool and the outcome of the total project is laid down in the Report Compliance assurance through Company Compliance/ Environmental Management Systems (CMS).

Related files/information

 

 

Number: 2011/04 - 2013/15 - 2014/16 - 2015/19 - 2016/19 – Status: Ongoing – Period: 2011 – Topic: Cross-cutting tools and approaches - Tags: -

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