December 11, 2000

Alberta Environment approves compliance assurance principles

Alberta Environment Minister Halvar Jonson has approved a set of principles which will govern the department's compliance/enforcement activities. The Compliance Assurance Principles are intended to bring a more consistent and effective approach to the education, prevention and enforcement activities carried out by the department to promote and ensure compliance with the laws and regulations it administers.

   The document does more than simply set out Alberta Environment's existing approach to ensuring compliance; as a forward-looking document, it sets out AENV's vision and direction for the future of its compliance programs, including minimum requirements for the development and overall delivery of legislation-specific compliance assurance programs and activities. These programs and activities, in turn, include detailed procedures and requirements.

   The document sets out the roles and responsibilities of the department's compliance division, services and individual staff, along with standards for assessing and measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of AENV's compliance assurance activities.

   The principles will be implemented in stages over the next two to four years. This will involve the review and updating of legislation, policy and administrative practices under AENV's jurisdiction. This will include, as appropriate, amendment to laws and further development of guidelines. The principles will also help the department plan and report on its compliance assurance activities in a more co-ordinated manner.

   "An effective and up-to-date compliance assurance program is the key to the protection and management of Alberta's environment and its natural resources," Jonson said. "The principles are a tool to help us fulfil that responsibility," he added.

   The Compliance Assurance Principles document may be requested from Alberta Environment's information centres in Edmonton at 780/944-0313 and Calgary at 403/297-3362, or on the Internet at www.gov.ab.ca/env/prontenf.html .

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