Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


This paper investigates the role of information management and decision support systems by agencies responsible for the regulation of major hazards. Effective decision support requires a sensitive appreciation of the true nature of regulatory decision making, which can differ markedly from the ideal of a rational hierarchy of decisions corresponding to the formal hierarchy of regulatory instruments. A model for categorizing regulatory decisions is put forward, based on the two concepts of production process and decision level. In this scheme, regulatory systems are considered as integrated organizations in which a series of quasi-independent processes operate to implement a separate regulatory instrument. These production processes are heavily influenced by the environment they are regulating as well as by policies which guide them. Within each production process a number of levels of authority, or decision levels, can be identified, which can then be correlated with typical decision structures. The general implications of the model are discussed and it is suggested that it should be used for the empirical investigation of specific areas of regulation. Finally, a set of general conclusions is derived for the development of information management and decision support tools in the regulatory environment.

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: EUR 10837 EN (2986) MF, 41 P., BFR 150, BLOW-UP COPY BFR 205, EUROFFICE, LUXEMBOURG, POB 1003
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