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Environment Agency plans single regulatory platform

18/03/21

Mark Say Managing Editor

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The Environment Agency is planning to consolidate its digital processes for regulatory functions into a single platform.

Hand holding plant in soil

Under its Regulatory Services Programme it is aiming to build a common platform to replace the technology developed in-house over the years for a range of regulatory processes.

Many of the channels still rely heavily on paper and telephone and the agency is aiming to build a digital front end to enable its regulatory customers to interact with it online.

Among the processes to be covered are determining and issuing permits, charging customers for the right to operate, tracking performance against the rules of permission, reporting on compliance and pursuing enforcement action.

Users are expected to be organisations that have to apply for licences and permits covered by regulation. These have varying technical capabilities and one of the priorities is to develop a platform that can provide a multi-channel approach.

Azure foundation

The agency has indicated that the platform will be based on Microsoft Azure, and begun to look for a delivery partner for the beta phase of the programme, emphasising that the company would have to be an MS Gold partner with experience of Dynamics, Dataverse, Power Platform, reporting, analytics and automation.

The phase is expected to last for two and a half years with a budget of up to £6 million.

Much of the Environment Agency’s IT estate was created before the emergence of the internet and regulates approximately 14,000 permitted sites across various industries including waste management, chemicals and intensive farming. It issues more than 100,000 permits and licences per year.

Image from iStock, Sarayut

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