Solving the Regulatory Quagmire: Enterprise Compliance Management

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Abstract:

The majority of environmental agencies are faced with ever-increasing and rigorous regulatory requirements, compounded by multiple stakeholders and business processes. These regulatory requirements impact resources as agencies are asked to 'do more with less', all with reduced staffing levels and budgets while facing increased environmental management requirements. Stretched to the limits, oversights and omissions cause missed regulatory deadlines, exceeded limits or facility excursions. What should be procedural exception-handling are now out-of-control internal disruptions, external fines or operational penalties. As unattended regulatory issues backlog, the organization's performance levels spiral downward under the additional burden of investigations, resolutions, workarounds and corrective actions.

The compliance managers spend countless hours locating the correct documents, repeatedly calling or emailing line management to obtain compliance status updates, escalating actions to meet critical due dates, and writing unnecessary explanations to agencies for missed compliance milestones. Oftentimes, unresolved compliance issues begin a domino effect of decreases in service efficiencies and system quality. How can an agency meet all their regulatory compliance issues?

When a governmental entity's regulatory permitting and compliance program is viewed from an enterprise systems perspective, it becomes obvious how compliance issues can 'drop through the cracks' without a supporting enterprise workflow system providing automatic email notifications, monitoring or tracking each permit requirement. The ultimate challenge is to design an integrated permitting, compliance and workflow process that contains the seven critical Enterprise Compliance Management elements to build a best of breed permit management solution.

One southwest Florida County is taking that proactive approach to improving their regulatory compliance permit management process by adopting a web based enterprise compliance management system. The system, when fully deployed, will implement a business strategy for sharing the ownership of centralized regulatory permits, compliance actions and documentation across the enterprise.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864706783797096

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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