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Regulatory Management Simplified with 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.

Compliance managers spend countless hours rushing to meet compliance deadlines while they gather information from multiple sources, locate documents, seek compliance updates or coordinating tasks from various agency resources. 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 and preserve a quality of service?

A review of the permitting business process reveals multiple business processes, numerous process owners plus varied permit requirements and conditions scattered across the enterprise. When viewed from a process context, it is obvious how compliance issues can ‘drop through the cracks’ without a supporting system for notifications, monitoring or tracking each permit requirement.

Organizations who are interested in taking a proactive approach to improving their regulatory compliance permit management processes can adopt an enterprise compliance management approach for regulatory management This approach implements a business strategy for sharing the ownership of centralized regulatory permits, compliance actions and documentation across the enterprise – all within a Plan, Do, Check, Act improvement cycle – enabling an Environmental Management Systems context for addressing improvements.

Through the utilization of new workflow technologies, a web based permit management system can establish a framework for mapping regulatory permit business processes within a workflow management application. These customized business process workflows respond automatically to assign ownership, transmit email notifications and reinforce accountability via embedded business rules. A unique, online Compliance Library populated with regulatory permit requirements, agency forms and regulatory rules documents can assist the Compliance Managers keep track of pending requirements and required report forms. A robust security module provides a complete audit trail reflecting system access, document modifications and a date/time stamp while supporting process improvement strategies. When more complex projects are required to facilitate regulatory improvements, the system supports integration with MS Project scheduling and task features. The end product is a one point source for managing all aspects of regulatory compliance and reporting.

This paper will discuss the industry's regulatory challenges and how adoption of a best practices method of a web based Enterprise Compliance Management System can mitigate regulatory compliance risk.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.2175/193864707787974094

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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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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