Recent research by Encentre into the field of regulatory intelligence and data management has led to some interesting findings. Some of these findings included:
The research, undertaken by Encentre, led to the development of a mobile inspection tool for food safety inspectors that:
The tool, which was trialled recently, will be available to food authorities over the coming months. The project will be expanded to cover other regulatory matters soon after.
To register your interest please contact Encentre. DOWNLOAD the full WHITE PAPER.
We've listed our top 10 most annoying regulatory services buzzwords for 2014. Enjoy with a pinch of salt.
1. FISCAL CLIFF
It is said that most public services are going to fall off it in the 2015/2016 financial year. As continued borrowing and increased taxation are ruled out previous government funding can not be afforded. In other words, "we're screwed" (if you are a pessimist) or "were looking at new income streams and ways of working" (if you are an optimist).
2. GOING FORWARD
They are not giving you travel directions they are just telling you about their expectations for the future. Irritating, even to those who find themselves using it.
3. BUILDING RESILIENCE
Long term planning and the ability to respond to change (particularly financial change). Used by management in relation to the ability of authorities to continue providing basic services in the future. Not content with just a survival plan really positive thinkers are also talking about "growth" and "opportunities".
4. CHANNEL SHIFTING
No the English Channel isn't going anywhere. In most cases this is about "going digital" and encouraging clients to use online services; primarily because they are cheaper. Linking "forward-facing" applications to "back-office" systems can often be the key to successful "customer management".
If you've managed to shift the channel your citizens will already be helping themselves online. More than just web information though as the ideal is in providing comprehensive "end-to-end solutions" (another blinder!) without human intervention.
6. AGILE WORKING
This is not about lunchtime pilates or yoga sessions and "mobile working" is so last year. Being agile is being able to deliver a task with the maximum flexibility and the minimum of constraints. "New ways of working" just aint conceptual enough.
7. RETURN ON INVESTMENT
Think of it this way: if we can spend £50000 and, in doing so, make our 5 inspectors 25% more efficient we can make one redundant and still break even in the first year... can't we?
8. INCOME GENERATION
Its hard to find realistic examples of how some services can support themselves financially (although its a difficult task when you're not selling a product like double glazing).
9. TRANSFORMATION MANAGEMENT
Any large business change has several aspects to successful implementation. Whether its a merger, downsize or outsourcing the financial, operational, cultural and technological aspects of "transformation" must all be managed very carefully.
10. JOB SECURITY
This one must have been a mistake; we looked for a definition and all it said was "no longer exists".
Special prize for anyone putting all ten into one coherent sentence. Keep calm and carry on.
The FSA are currently consulting on plans to replace Regulation (EC) 882 of 2004 on official controls for food law. The consultation sets out amendments that the European Commission consider will improve the effectiveness and consistency of official controls accross the EU. The FSA are currently looking for views. The full consultation can be found on their website.
There are a number of proposed changes. Here's a small selection:
Charges for official controls will be levied on food businesses. This will exclude non-offical activities but may require authorities to charge for inspections, registration, approval and enforcement activity accross the board; albeit to the exclusion of micro businesses. The intention is that fees are calculated so as to enable authorities to fully recover service costs.
It will be up to individual member states as to what level the fees are established and collected. However, it is intended rates will be variable in recognition of good performance.
"Micro" businesses would include businesses employing fewer than 10 person that do not exceed a turnover of EUR 2 million. The EC estimate that up to half of all operators could fall into the "micro" category.
National enforcement measures will also be addressed through the legislation. Following the example set by environmental regulation a new provision will set out to ensure that financial penalties offset the economic advantage sought in commission of a violation. There will also be requirements placed on food authorities to take action to investigate suspicions of non-compliance.
Authorities will have to regularly submit information on official controls, non-compliances and enforcement action.
They will be allowed to publish greater detail of intervention outcomes (not just rating schemes). This may include reports. However, rating schemes must be based on objective criteria.
Data will need to be exchanged at European level through the establishment of a database to manage offical controls. This may involve changes to IT systems at local level.