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IMPEL Review Initiative (IRI) project overview. Presentation at 3rd BERCEN Exchange Programme October 19 – 22, 2004 Inga Birgitta Larsson Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

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impel review initiative iri project overview

IMPEL Review Initiative (IRI) project overview

Presentation at 3rd BERCEN Exchange Programme

October 19 – 22, 2004

Inga Birgitta Larsson

Swedish Environmental Protection Agency

finalised iri reports are available from impel website http europa eu int comm environment impel

The IMPEL Review Initiative (IRI)is a project designed to test”a voluntary scheme for reporting and offering advice on inspectorates and inspection procedures”

Finalised IRI reports are available from IMPEL website


The IRI project relates to the Recommendation of the European Parliament and the Council of 4 April 2001 providing for minimum criteria for environmental inspections in the Member States (2001/331/EC)

  • Section III(4)”In order to promote best practice across the Community, Member States may, in cooperation with IMPEL, consider the establishment of a scheme, under which Member States report and offer advice on inspectorates and inspection procedures in Member States, paying due regard to the different systems and contexts in which they operate, and report to the Member States concerned on their findings.”

Against the background of the preparation of theMinimum CriteriaRecommendation for inspections, the eventual need for arrangements to review implementation of the Recommendation was foreseen by IMPEL and thus the Helsinki Plenary meeting of IMPEL in December 1999 requested proposals to be drawn up for a project on a voluntary scheme for the purpose.

benefits foreseen for such a voluntary review scheme
Benefits foreseen for such a voluntary review scheme
  • Encouragement of capacity-building in MS inspectorates
  • Encouragement of further collaboration between MS inspectorates on common issues or problems and on exchange of experience and on development and dissemination of good practice in environmental regulation
  • Provision of advice to inspectorates
  • The spread of good practice leading to improved quality of inspectorates and inspections
IRI Phase 1 comprised design of a review mechanismIRI Phase 2 was a trial of the methodology in Denmark

IMPEL report

  • IRI Phase 2 – Assessment and test of Questionnaire and Guidance (June 2001)
iri phase 3 involved trial review of regulatory systems in 6 volunteer ms
IRI Phase 3 involved trial review of regulatory systems in 6 volunteer MS

IMPEL reports

  • IRI Mannheim, Baden Würtenberg, Germany (Dec 2001)
  • IRI Belgium (Dec 2002)
  • IRI Ireland (Dec 2002)
  • IRI the Netherlands (May 2003)
  • IRI France (Nov 2003)
  • IRI Spain (Nov 2003)
iri phase 4 concluded the review by a workshop in bristol oct 2003
IRI Phase 4 concluded the review by a workshop in Bristol Oct 2003
  • The workshop examined the results and the lessons learnt, considered whether the review process had worked and formulated recommendations for the continuation of IRI reviews

IMPEL report

  • IRI Phase 4 Review of Trial of Scheme (June 2004)
arrangement of trial reviews
Arrangement of trial reviews
  • Review Team
    • Team Leader
    • Rapporteur
    • Team Inspectors (normally five experienced inspectors)
  • Candidate Inspectorate
  • Structure of Review
    • Focus on arrangements and systems applied by the inspectorate and not on individual inspections
    • Focus on IPPC however also other lesser processes paying due regard to the different systems and contexts
arrangement of trial reviews continue
Arrangement of trial reviews continue
  • Pre Meeting
    • The Review Team and the Candidate Inspectorate agree on scope, briefing material, arrangements etc
  • Review Resources
    • Five days long review study
  • Reporting
    • Following a standard format – a draft being prepared already during to review week
iri questionnaire and scope
IRI Questionnaire and Scope
  • Legal and Constitutional basis for Inspectorate
      • Including interfaces with other bodies
  • Structure and managerial organisation
      • Including funding, staffing and lines of authority and responsibility for regulatory and policy functions
  • Workload
  • Qualification and Training
      • On appointment and during inspector career
      • Checking that training has been successful
iri questionnaire and scope continue
IRI Questionnaire and Scope continue
  • Procedures, criteria and guidance
    • for drafting of permits, for scheduling inspections, for subsequent assessment of compliance and for enforcement action in case of non-compliance
  • Arrangements for internal assessment
    • of the quality of regulatory performance and for improvement if appropriate
  • Arrangements for reporting on inspectorate activities
    • for example to the public, to the member state etc
structure for iri reports
Structure for IRI reports
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Regulatory Arrangements
  • Findings of the Review and Conclusions including
    • Examples of Good Practice
    • Provision of advice
  • Appendices, Participants and References
important observations
Important observations
  • In terms of “Capacity Building” the review process is as much value to Review Team Members as to the Candidate Inspectorate
  • The IRI process has a special feel, not an audit but a good balance between examining details and establishing the overall regulatory philosophy
  • The IRI process is equally successful in large and small inspectorates and across all variations of cultural, constitutional and legal backgrounds
  • The high level of communication and exchange of views as a result of the review process emphasised the relevance of the project
recommendation s
  • When adopting the Report on Review of Trial of Scheme during the IMPEL Plenary in Dublin 2 - 4 June 2004 there was a general agreement on the recommendations of the IRI Review Working Group for a continuation of the IRI process and the IMPEL member states were encouraged to identify candidate inspectorates and possible dates for an IRI
next iri review
Next IRI Review
  • Next IRI review will take place in Sweden during March 2005. The pre-meeting is planned to November 2004.
  • Candidate inspectorates are two authorities
    • County Administrative Board of Stockholm
    • The Environmental and Public Health Committee of the municipal Södertälje
  • The Review Team
    • Team leader from NL, rapporteur from UK and inspectors from ES, DK, FR, UK, N and SE.