Changes in legislation in Romania, the introduction of thematic inspection strategies in Austria’s Styria region and the beginnings of performance indicators in the Czech Environmental Inspectorate are all examples as a direct result of the recommendations made by the IMPEL Review Initiative programme (IRI) over the last few years.
A workshop on the 07/08 June in Brussels, was used to gather assess and understand how recommendations made by IMPEL’s IRI teams (called ‘Opportunities for Development’) have been implemented over the last few years. Significant improvements have been made to the way in which IMPEL member organisations undergoing an IRI have changed their operations. In Iceland for example, a rotation of inspectors to combat issue blindness and cost recovery for permitting and inspection activities has taken place. In Lombardy region in Italy, support to the development of a new risk assessment tool was given using an established IMPEL tool called IRAM; and in Turkey advice was given regarding improvements to complaint handling.
Marco Avanzo from the Carabinieri in Italy who undertook an IRI in 2016, called the IRI process: “Stimulating, stressful, introspective and innovative”.
Florije Kqiku from the Ministry of Environment & Spatial Planning in Kosovo* undertook an IRI in 2015 said that they had a, “Strong team leader who picked up and understood the challenges very quickly…[it was a] challenging process, supportive environment”
Presenting the results to the European Commission (DG Environment) on the 09 June, the IRI Ambassador and senior permitting manager from the Province of Overijssel in the Netherlands, Patricia Weenink, said: “The workshop over the last few days has validated the need to continue with informal peer reviews using IMPEL’s IRI structure.”
Simon Bingham, IRI Ambassador and International Development Manager at the Scottish EPA, presented the results and also used the opportunity to discuss how IMPEL might improve the IRI programme. Specific ideas discussed with colleagues at DG Environment were centred around how we might broaden the scope to include reviews that focussed on water and waste themes, how to offer tailored one to one support on implementing the ‘Opportunities fro Development’ and how we might work with partners across the compliance chain (judges, police and prosecutors) within the scope of the peer reviews.