One of the basic preconditions for effective and efficient operation of inspection systems (Inspection Authorities) and audits is a quality application of risk management processes. Risk management is applied in different stages of inspections or audits (planning, preparation, execution, decision making – issuing measures, analysis and reporting). According to the conclusions of the London conference on inspection reforms (Inspection Reform – The Change That Matters – 2012), application of the risk-based inspections approach is one of the basic principles that are necessary to introduce into inspection systems.
InfoExpert also offers a product – a methodology and module Risk-based Planning System (RBPS) which provides for the application of risk management in inspection surveillance. The RBPS module has been developed using decision-making system using rules based on knowledge databases and artificial intelligence methods (Fuzzy Logic). From the technical point of view, the RBPS module has been developed as a separate component which is possible to integrate into inspection management systems independently from the ICT platform being used.
The RBPS has the following functionalities and characteristics:
- Configurability at the risk indicator level and applied algorithm at business profile level of the business according to business activities with support of the automatic determination of initial risks (e.g. increased level of harmful chemical elements in raw materials that need to be eliminated during production process);
- Support for determining priorities in inspection activities based on strategic initiatives and policies for multi-annual and annual programs and plans;
- Automatic generation of proposals for the list of businesses and facilities to be inspected, time frame for conducting inspections and inspectors at the operational planning level, based on inspection knowledge database, received external information (EU RASF, TRACES, RAPEX, INFORSAN alerts, complaints, monitoring results, self-assessment reports), and seasonal component, time passed since the last activity and competencies of inspectors;
- Support for escalation management - incidents and accidents with the possibility to implement the traceability principle (e.g., geo location in cases of zoonosis - veterinary area, or e.g. finding causes and sources of product non-compliance - food safety);
- Support for determining the level of inspection depth at the level of individual cases (Case-based reasoning) by determining the priorities for inspections or need for laboratory testing or analyses by professional organizations which significantly decreases the time of inspections (especially important for inspections at the border - phytosanitary, veterinary);
- Support for decision making in terms of choosing adequate inspection measures for found irregularities in individual cases based on knowledge database using the "inspection measures pyramid";
- Support for assessment whether there is need for follow-up inspections in the field, i.e. the possibility to conduct the follow-up without making a visit based on provided information on executed measures and removed irregularities.
We also see the possibility to use the RBPS module within information systems and tools supporting the self-assessment in internal audits, in order to harmonize business activities with requirements from regulations and standards and to decrease risk of potential incidents and damages for business.
Our plan is to continue improving the RBPS methodology and algorithm, and to introduce automatic adaptability of applied rules (implementation of neural networks). We are also going to put more focus on the application of risk assessment methods in audits and self-assessment to support determining controls and scope of audits.