1887

OECD Environment Working Papers

This series is designed to make available to a wider readership selected studies on environmental issues prepared for use within the OECD. Authorship is usually collective, but principal authors are named. The papers are generally available only in their original language English or French with a summary in the other if available.

English

Outcome Performance Measures of Environmental Compliance Assurance

Current Practices, Constraints and Ways Forward

This report analyses the experience of ten OECD countries in the design and implementation of quantitative indicators used to assess the outcomes of environmental enforcement authorities’ efforts to ensure compliance with pollution prevention and control regulations. To respond to the growing demand for results-oriented work methods and the need for performance management and accountability at the time of severe budget constraints, more and more environmental enforcement authorities are working to develop indicators to characterise improvements in behaviour of the regulated community (intermediate outcomes) or environmental conditions (final outcomes) stemming from their activities. The report considers six types of intermediate and final outcome performance measures, including compliance rates and indicators of improved environmental management practices and reduced risk. Based on the OECD criteria for the evaluation of environmental indicators – measurability, analytical soundness and policy relevance – the paper identifies key challenges for developing and using specific categories of compliance assurance outcome indicators and suggests several ways to improve their effectiveness. The review of a “toolbox” of existing outcome indicators and the analysis of their respective strengths and weaknesses suggests that it is not possible to identify a “best practice” approach or a universal optimal set of indicators. The functionality of individual outcome measures ultimately depends on their purpose (e.g. internal performance assessment or external accountability) and suitability for joint analysis with the enforcement authority’s resource (input) and activity (output) indicators. The report identifies several issues for further analysis.

English

Keywords: environmental regulations, environmental inspections, compliance and enforcement, environmental authorities, performance measurement, outcome indicators, compliance assurance
JEL: O57: Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth / Economywide Country Studies / Comparative Studies of Countries; K32: Law and Economics / Other Substantive Areas of Law / Environmental, Energy, Health, and Safety Law; K42: Law and Economics / Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior / Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law; M48: Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics / Accounting and Auditing / Accounting and Auditing: Government Policy and Regulation; Q56: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Environmental Economics / Environment and Development; Environment and Trade; Sustainability; Environmental Accounts and Accounting; Environmental Equity; Population Growth
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