Presentation on theme: "Enforcement Program Update Alan Risenhoover Acting Director Office of Law Enforcement."— Presentation transcript:
Enforcement Program Update Alan Risenhoover Acting Director Office of Law Enforcement
2 Enforcement Mission To conserve and protect our nation’s marine resources through assuring compliance with the laws and regulations established to manage these resources
3 Primary Laws OLE Enforces Over 30 Statutes Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act Endangered Species Act Marine Mammal Protection Act Lacey Act Marine Sanctuaries Act
4 Four Pillars of OLE 1) PATROLS AND INVESTIGATIONS - Conduct investigations and patrols to enforce marine resource laws, bring to justice violators and ensure compliance. 2) COPPS - Constituent outreach and communication through Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving (COPPS). 3) TECHNOLOGY & VMS - Maximize compliance & fishery management through Vessel Management System (VMS) partnerships. 4) PARTNERSHIPS - Enhance and maintain our law enforcement partnerships with other federal, state, local and tribal enforcement agencies, as well as industry, non-governmental organization and “friends group” representatives.
5 4,349 Investigations in Calendar Year 2009 Endangered Species Act 386 Lacey Act 180 Magnuson-Stevens Act 2,243 Marine Mammal Protection Act 563 Marine Sanctuary Act 240 All Others 737 (“All Others” include various Tuna Acts, Halibut Act, Shark Finning Prohibition, American Fisheries Act, State Regulations Non-fisheries, Documentation and Safety and Tribal)
6 COPPS Community outreach to industry and other stakeholders Fix-it notices Focused education Enforcement Hotline 24 hours a day, 7 days a week Recognition and rewards offers tangible appreciation Community relations teams develop and coordinate the OLE's community relations functions, and programs
7 Operational Since 1994 6,245 Equipped Vessels Active in 17 Fisheries 7 Active Monitoring Locations 6 Type-Approved Transmitters 4 Type-Approved Communications Providers Current System Capacity 100,000 Vessels Vessel Monitoring System Program
8 State Partnerships 27 Joint Enforcement Agreements with State & U.S. Territory partners Annually — $16 million in funding — Over 400 cases referred to OLE — Nearly 2,000 cases handled at the state level — Over 75,000 hours of enforcement work
9 US Coast Guard Maritime Safety Maritime Security Maritime Mobility National Defense Protection of Natural Resources
10 Other Federal Partnerships U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service U.S. Attorney’s Offices U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement U.S. Customs & Border Protection Environmental Protection Agency U.S. Food & Drug Administration U.S. Marshals Service Federal Bureau of Investigation Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Drug Enforcement Administration
11 International Activities Port State Measures Bilateral Agreements Regional Fishery Management Organizations (RFMOs) Capacity Building
12 Industry Concerns Fishing regulations are unduly complicated, unclear, and confusing. NOAA’s regulatory enforcement processes are arbitrary and lack transparency. NOAA’s broad and powerful enforcement authorities have led to a fisheries enforcement posture that is overly aggressive and intrusive.
13 Office of Inspector General Reports Review of NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Programs and Operations (January 2010); Destruction of OLE Documents During an Ongoing OIG Review (April 2010); Review of NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Asset Forfeiture Fund (July 2010); and Final Report – Review of NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Programs and Operations (September 2010).
14 Review of NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Programs and Operations (January 2010) Improved policies and procedures National review of charging decisions and draft penalty policy National and regional priority setting process Review of the Natl. Enforcement Operations Manual Additional efforts to engage stakeholders Draft communications plan National Enforcement Summit Compliance related activities Development of a service-oriented workforce
15 Destruction of OLE Documents During an Ongoing OIG Review (April 2010) NOAA has reinforced its document retention policies and NMFS has implemented a 3-part training strategy on records management
16 Review of NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Asset Forfeiture Fund (July 2010) Increased accountability Legal memorandum and draft policy on authorized and unauthorized uses New vehicle and vessel policies in development Review of purchase cards and use Improved management Annual budget submissions Distinct accounting code structure Full transparency Confirmation of balances by independent auditor
17 Final Report – Review of NOAA Fisheries Enforcement Programs and Operations (September 2010) The Department of Commerce has appointed a special master to review the complaints identified as problematic in the OIG report NOAA is reviewing the recommendation for establishment of an ombudsman position NOAA is reviewing the recommendation to establish an independent office to advocate or advise the regulated community on violation avoidance, compliance assistance, and defense and settlement advocacy NOAA will respond to all recommendations with a corrective action plan by mid-November
18 Compliance Assistance NOAA will establish a comprehensive and effective compliance program Build on findings of OIG reports Build on input from stakeholders Build on existing programs and partnerships around the country Non-enforcement context Pilot program in New England Compliance liaison Outreach coordinator
19 How Can Compliance Assistance Help? How do we reduce complexity, simplify requirements, and improve compliance with our regulations and ensure our enforcement programs are effective and transparent? Regulatory Improvements Process Improvements Outreach and communication improvements Other ideas?
20 Potential Regulatory Improvements Effective regulations: Simple and easy to understand Few as possible and/or concise Fish is accountable and traceable throughout the wholesale process
21 Potential Regulatory Improvements Compliance and/or enforcement is more difficult if regulations are: Man power intensive (monitoring offloads or weighing, etc) Complex or convoluted Lack accountability (effective paperwork trail) Use estimates (estimated weight of catch, catch composition, discards, etc) Law enforcement resource intensive (resource limits of OLE, Coast Guard, and States)
23 Potential Process Improvements Early and effective involvement of OLE and GCEL in the regulatory process — plan development teams — fisheries management action teams — feedback on current regulatory/enforcement issues Expanded use of Council Enforcement Committees GCEL attendance at Council meetings Better draw on industry knowledge and experience Do we need a “Compliance and Enforcement Analysis” for regulations?
24 Potential Outreach and Communication Improvements Compliance liaisons Workshops or fishermen forums Additional or clearer compliance guides Improved web pages or portals for regulations “Ask an Agent” or frequently asked question lists Additional dock-side communications Fisheries Enforcement E-mail list-serv Increased use of social media (e.g., Twitter) Communications training for staff
25 NOAA’s Future Compliance Assistance Program Trigger questions for MAFAC: What should be the goals of a comprehensive compliance assistance program? Increased compliance Improved relationships Feedback to regulators How do we know/measure if the program is working?
26 NOAA’s Future Compliance Assistance Program Trigger questions cont: What has worked? Why? Where is it working well? What hasn’t worked? Why? Where isn’t it working well? What are some key activities?