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SURVEY OF EPA STAKEHOLDERS

27 November 2009

The EPA recently conducted a survey to gauge stakeholder opinion on the independent authority’s values, service delivery, role and functions. One year after the EPA came into existence in Tasmania; the survey is a tangible and valuable tool to help measure the performance to date and set a baseline against which to measure change.

In  July 2009 the EPA Board commissioned Myriad Research to undertake a survey of stakeholders to seek their views on four subjects: 

  • Service delivery by the EPA
  • The values of the EPA
  • The  role of the EPA
  • Overall experience of dealing with the EPA.

The Board would like to thank all of those stakeholders who participated in the survey which has provided valuable feedback and information. 

RESULTS OF THE SURVEY

For a summary of the results of the survey click here

EPA’S RESPONSE TO THE SURVEY

The EPA has carefully considered the responses to the survey and will use them to improve performance and increase understanding of the EPA and its role.  Specific actions for each of the four subject areas are as follows:

Service delivery

The Board was pleased with the relatively high level of satisfaction with service delivery which is largely provided by officers of the Environment Division supporting the EPA.  The officers are to be congratulated on the way that they deliver services to clients and stakeholders.  While the survey did not highlight any major problems with service delivery, the EPA Director will work with the Division’s management team and officers to identify practical ways of improve service levels and address the key issues identified by stakeholders.  This will focus on the issues identified as key “takeouts” in the Myriad summary.

Values of the EPA.

The EPA has only been established for 18 months and the survey was intended to provide a baseline against which to measure the development of the recognition of the EPA’s values.  The Board’s view is that the EPA’s values will be established over time through its actions and track record rather than through promotion.  However it will be important that the Board’s role, decisions and actions are effectively communicated to the community so that the community can form its views. 

The two values that less than 50% of stakeholders positively identified with the EPA were independence and leadership.    The EPA makes its decisions at arms length from Government and already has in place a number of strategies to communicate this to stakeholders and the community.  These include a separate EPA web-site (currently being re-developed), a dedicated communications manager and a separate Annual Report to Parliament.

The EPA will continue to place emphasis on this message but believes that its actions will be the primary tool for developing an acknowledgement of its independence.    

The EPA will develop its leadership role in the fields for which it is responsible – environmental management and environmental quality - by promoting best practice and developing tools to assist the adoption of best practice, being transparent and making its views and decisions known through effective communication, targeted sponsorship and actively engaging with stakeholders.   The Board has recently initiated a program of stakeholder engagement by holding meetings around the State and providing an opportunity for stakeholders to meet with the EPA Board.   

Role of the EPA

The Board noted that the survey results suggested that most stakeholders viewed it mainly as a regulator.  This may not be surprising given the nature of the stakeholders surveyed. The Board will take this finding into account by ensuring that communication through the web and newsletter gives appropriate attention to non-regulatory activities and that information about the Board’s roles and functions is regularly and confidently communicated.

Overall experience of dealing with the EPA

The Board was pleased to note that 3 out of 4 stakeholders considered that their dealings with the EPA had been positive and noted that the calibre of the staff was highly regarded.  The EPA will strive to maintain and improve this level of satisfaction by addressing the key issues raised in the stakeholder survey.

Repeat of the Survey

The EPA will aim to repeat the survey in two years time and at regular intervals thereafter.