Subcategories Project status:
Information Exchange on e-Reporting
- Number: 2003/15
- Status: Finalised
- Period: 2003
- Lead Country: Ireland
Project team countries:
Austria, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and UK.
The objective of the project is to improve the quality of the enforcement of IPPC permits by the more efficient management of information arising out of regulatory operations. This is to be achieved by undertaking information exchange between practitioners/users involved in the specification, development and operation of e-reporting systems. This objective will be achieved by reviewing systems currently in use/ development with respect of the topics listed above. In addition the project will evaluate the potential for a project to develop tools for use in all IMPEL Member States for ereporting. This is in close alignment with the objective of the IMPEL network to promote the exchange of information and experience in the implementation of environmental Community legislation.
The project concluded that:
The benefits accruing from e-reporting are better transparency and better quality information that is more
easily analysed, manipulated and reported on to both institutional bodies and the public. There is no technological barrier to the implementation of e-reporting systems. The difficulties in implementing these systems relate to the specification of the information to be collected and identifying in advance the subsequent uses of this information.
While e-reporting systems may be created for the purpose of improving regulatory compliance, public access,
reporting to EU institutions and national needs for environmental information should be considered as important as regulatory goals and the systems developed should service all of these informational needs. In the development of e-reporting systems, there is a need to consider the final architecture of these systems and to identify the steps involved in achieving that outcome.
This roadmap should be used to aid the specification of each e-reporting project or sub-project on the way to achieving the final systems architecture. Issues do exist in relation to the legal status of e-reported information and also in providing for the validation of that information. Another area of concern relates to the submission of confidential information and how this should be controlled within e-reporting systems.
In providing public access to information and data obtained from these systems there is a need to provide additional contextual information so that the public can understand the relevance of the information to themselves.
There is need to continue information exchange within the IMPEL network on the specification and development of these systems. A electronic discussion group “Circa” area has been set up to provide a means of future communication on e-reporting between IMPEL members. IMPEL should consider additional work in this area. Potential means of assisting members in e-reporting include extending its activities to provide experience exchange between IT personnel involved in supporting environmental regulation, providing input to the development of reporting schema in relation to EU reporting obligations through contacts with the relevant EU institutions or using external consultant resources to evaluate best practice in relation to e-reporting systems.