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Each year local authorities develop enforcement plans to allocate resources where they are most needed, based on the risk posed to the environment and what is deemed a priority locally or nationally.
Each year local authorities inform the EPA of their enforcement plans and their planned levels of activity, and later on, submit data on completed activities alongside information on notable achievements and any discernible impacts.
The EPA has now designed a framework using this enforcement information, with the intention of assisting local authorities to implement programmes of continual improvement in the area of environmental enforcement.
The EPA has applied this framework to the most recent set of environmental enforcement data and has produced the Focus on Local Authority Environmental Enforcement - A Baseline Enforcement Report. The report presents summary results for each individual local authority and combined results to give a picture of local government enforcement. A more Detailed Assessment of this report is also provided.
Performance results are generated from 26 environmental enforcement indicators. These indicators are selected from existing data under the Recommended Minimum Criteria for Environmental Inspections (RMCEI) data collection process and which is provided voluntarily by local authorities to the EPA on an annual basis.
For each indicator, a specific performance standard was defined by the EPA in conjunction with local authorities. These activity indicators are grouped into five environmental areas and are aggregated into a composite assessment for each area.
The calculation of the performance assessment is determined by comparing activity data against performance criteria. The overall assessment for each local authority is adjusted for weightings attributed to each of the enforcement areas and then adjusted for staff capacity, (as reported to the EPA by each local authority). The calculated score is compared against an overall composite scoring range.
The framework also seeks to set performance results annually within the operational context of each authority by including other key data such as staffing levels and population served.
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