The requirement for maintaining data integrity in laboratory operations is critical for regulatory compliance. Automation of procedures reduces incidence of human errors. Quality control laboratories located in low-income economies may face some barriers in attempts to automate their processes. Since data from quality control tests on pharmaceutical products are used in making regulatory decisions, it is important that laboratory reports are accurate and reliable. Zinc Sulphate (ZnSO4) tablets is used in treatment of diarrhea in pediatric population, and as an adjunct therapy for COVID-19 regimen. Unfortunately, zinc content in these formulations is determined titrimetrically; a manual analytical procedure. The assay for ZnSO4 tablets involves time-consuming steps that contain mathematical formulae prone to calculation errors. To achieve consistency, save costs, and improve data integrity, validated spreadsheets were developed to simplify the two critical steps in the analysis of ZnSO4 tablets: standardization of 0.1M Sodium Edetate (EDTA) solution, and the complexometric titration assay procedure. The assay method in the United States Pharmacopoeia was used to create a process flow for ZnSO4 tablets. For each step in the process, different formulae were input into two spreadsheets to automate calculations. Further checks were created within the automated system to ensure validity of replicate analysis in titrimetric procedures. Validations were conducted using five data sets of manually computed assay results. The acceptance criteria set for the protocol were met. Significant p-values (p < 0.05, α = 0.05, at 95% Confidence Interval) were obtained from students’ t-test evaluation of the mean values for manual-calculated and spreadsheet results at all levels of the analysis flow. Right-first-time analysis and principles of data integrity were enhanced by use of the validated spreadsheet calculators in titrimetric evaluations of ZnSO4 tablets. Human errors were minimized in calculations when procedures were automated in quality control laboratories. The assay procedure for the formulation was achieved in a time-efficient manner with greater level of accuracy. This project is expected to promote cost savings for laboratory business models.
Sustainability of construction projects is an important issue to be addressed since the sector will continue to be developed in the coming years, especially in developing countries. Thus, it is significant to discover approaches and solutions for improving sustainability. Currently, the construction industry is the largest consumer of natural resources. This is the same in other countries in the Gulf region, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has limited natural resources such as water, electricity, etc. Recently, the UAE has taken several actions in order to implement sustainable initiatives within its construction industry. Within the industry, the contractors’ role is significant in promoting sustainable development by taking the responsibility to minimize their negative impacts on the environment and society, and maximize their economic distribution. In this research, sustainability will be studied as an important key to bring competitive advantages to contracting organizations. The contractors should understand the need to improve their sustainable performance in order to expand their business competitiveness. Competitiveness at the construction project level refers to a contractor’s ability to compete for a project. There is less focus on how to improve contractors’ competitiveness by implementing sustainable construction practices. Based on an inclusive literature review on the relationship between sustainability performance and business competitiveness, this research will conduct a study of sustainable practice in the construction industry and the relationship between sustainability performance and business competitiveness in order to develop a framework for evaluating how contractors can improve their competitiveness in terms of more efficient processes, enhancements in productivity, and lower costs of compliance in order to reduce the initial project cost and obtain market opportunities in the UAE. The research findings will provide a framework that can be a useful guideline for contractors to develop their sustainability policy, strategy and practice for meeting the increased requirements for sustainable development in construction.
The paper scrutinizes the literature on accountability and non-accountability, and then presents an analysis of a South African case which demonstrated consequences of a lack of accountability. Ethical conduct displayed by members of the public sector is integral to creating a sustainable democratic government, which upholds the constitutional tenets of accountability, transparency and professional ethicality. Furthermore, a true constitutional democracy emphasises and advocates the notion of service leadership that nurtures public participation and engages with citizens in a positive manner. Ethical conduct and accountability in the public sector earns public trust; hence these are key principles in good governance. Yet, in the years since the advent of democracy in South Africa, the government has been plagued by rampant corruption and mal-administration by public officials and politicians in leadership positions. The control measures passed by government in an attempt to ensure ethicality and accountability within the public sector include codes of ethics, rules of conduct and the enactment of legislation. These are intended to shape the mindset of members of the public sector, with the ultimate aim of an efficient, effective, ethical, responsive and accountable public service. The purpose of the paper is to analyse control systems and accountability within the public sector and to present reasons for non-accountability by means of a selected case study. The selected case study is the corruption trial of Jackie Selebi, who served as National Commissioner of the South African Police Service but was dismissed from the post. The reasons for non-accountability in the public sector as well as recommendations based on the findings to enhance accountability will be undertaken. The case study demonstrates the experience and impact of corruption and/or mal-administration, as a result of a lack of accountability, which has contributed to the increasing loss of confidence in political leadership in the country as elsewhere in the world. The literature is applied to the erstwhile National Commissioner of the South African Police Service and President of Interpol, as a case study of non-accountability.
Public sector budgeting, all over the world, is underpinned by some universally accepted principles of sound budget management such as budget unity, universality, annuality, and a balanced budget. These traditional principles, though fundamental, had, in recent years, been augmented by the more modern principles of budgeting within fiscal objective, alignment with medium-term strategic plans as well as the observance of such related concepts as transparency, openness and accessibility. In this paper, we have endeavored to shed light, from literature and practice, on the meaning and purposes of such fundamental budgeting principles. We have also assessed the extent to which the Government of Ghana’s budget complies with the four traditional principles of budget unity, universality, annuality, and a balanced budget and the three out of the ten modern principles of budgetary governance of Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). We did so by using a qualitative method of review and analysis of existing documents and the performance assessment reports on Ghana’s Public Financial Management (PFM) measured using such frameworks as the Public Expenditure and Financial Accountability (PEFA), the Open Budget Survey (OBS) and its Index (OBI), the reports and action plans of Open Government Partnership (OGP) and the Global Initiative for Fiscal Transparency (GIFT). Other performance assessment reports that were relied on included, but not limited to, the Joint Evaluation Report of PFM in Ghana, 2001-2010, and the Joint Evaluation of Budget Support to Ghana, 2005-2015. We have, through this paper, brought to the fore the lessons that could be learned on how those budgetary principles undergird the Government of Ghana’s budget formulation, execution, accounting, control, and oversight. These lessons include, but are not limited to, the need for both scholars and practitioners in the PFM space to be aware of the impact of those principles on public sector budgeting.
Amman, the capital of Jordan, is the main political, economic, social and cultural center of Jordan and beyond. The city faces multitude demographic challenges related to the unstable political situation in the surrounded countries. It has regional and local migrants who left their homes to find better life in the capital. This resulted with random and unequaled population distribution. Some districts have high population and pressure on the infrastructure and services more than other districts.Government works to resolve this challenge in compliance with 100 Cities Resilience Framework (CRF). Amman participated in this framework as a member in December 2014 to work in achieving the four goals: health and welfare, infrastructure and utilities, economy and education as well as administration and government. Previous research studies lack in studying Amman resilient work in neighborhood scale and the population growth as resilient challenge. For that, this study focuses on Al-Thahabiah neighborhood in Shafa Badran district in Amman. This paper studies the reasons and drivers behind this population growth during the selected period in this area then provide strategies to improve the resilient work in neighborhood scale. The methodology comprises of primary and secondary data. The primary data consist of interviews with chief officer in the executive part in Great Amman Municipality and resilient officer. The secondary data consist of papers, journals, newspaper, articles and book’s reading. The other part of data consists of maps and statistical data which describe the infrastructural and social situation in the neighborhood and district level during the studying period. Based upon those data, more detailed information will be found, e.g., the centralizing position of population and the provided infrastructure for them. This will help to provide these services and infrastructure to other neighborhoods and enhance population distribution. This study develops an analytical framework to assess urban demographical time series in accordance with the criteria of CRF to make accurate detailed projections on the requirements for the future development in the neighborhood scale and organize the human requirements for affordable quality housing, employment, transportation, health and education in this neighborhood to improve the social relations between its inhabitants and the community. This study highlights on the localization of resilient work in neighborhood scale and spread the resilient knowledge related to the shortage of its research in Jordan. Studying the resilient work from population growth challenge perspective helps improve the facilities provide to the inhabitants and improve their quality of life.
Interest in the development of appropriate safety culture in the oil and gas industry has taken centre stage among stakeholders in the industry. Human behaviour has been identified as a major contributor to occupational accidents, where abnormal activities associated with safety management are taken as normal behaviour. Poor safety culture is one of the major factors that influence employee’s safety behaviour at work, which may consequently result in injuries and accidents and strengthening such a culture can improve workers safety performance. Nigeria oil and gas industry has contributed to the growth and development of the country in diverse ways. However, in terms of safety and health of workers, this industry is a dangerous place to work as workers are often exposed to occupational safety and health hazard. To ascertain the impact of employees’ safety and how it impacts health and safety compliance within the local industry, online safety culture survey targeting frontline workers within the industry was administered covering major subjects that include; perception of management commitment and style of leadership; safety communication method and its resultant impact on employees’ behaviour; employee safety commitment and training needs. The preliminary result revealed that 54% of the participants feel that there is a lack of motivation from the management to work safely. In addition, 55% of participants revealed that employers place more emphasis on work delivery over employee’s safety on the installation. It is expected that the study outcome will provide measures aimed at strengthening and sustaining safety culture in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
The inability of organizations to put in place management control measures for Internet of Things (IoT) complexities persists to be a risk concern. Policy makers have been left to scamper in finding measures to combat these security and privacy concerns. IoT forensics is a cumbersome process as there is no standardization of the IoT products, no or limited historical data are stored on the devices. This paper highlights why IoT forensics is a unique adventure and brought out the legal challenges encountered in the investigation process. A quadrant model is presented to study the conflicting aspects in IoT forensics. The model analyses the effectiveness of forensic investigation process versus the admissibility of the evidence integrity; taking into account the user privacy and the providers’ compliance with the laws and regulations. Our analysis concludes that a semi-automated forensic process using machine learning, could eliminate the human factor from the profiling and surveillance processes, and hence resolves the issues of data protection (privacy and confidentiality).
The financial sector is exposed to the risk of cyber-attacks like any other industrial sector. Furthermore, the topic of CybeRisk (cyber risk) has become particularly relevant given that Information Technology (IT) attacks have increased drastically in recent years, and cannot be stopped by single organizations requiring a response at international and national level. IT risk is never a matter purely for the IT manager, although he clearly plays a key role. A bank's risk management function requires a thorough understanding of the evolving risks as well as the tools and practical techniques available to address them. Upon the request of European and national legislation regarding CybeRisk in the financial system, banks are therefore called upon to strengthen the operational model for CybeRisk management. This will require an important change with a more intense collaboration with the structures that deal with information security for the development of an ad hoc system for the evaluation and control of this type of risk. The aim of the work is to propose a framework for the management and control of CybeRisk that will bridge the gap in the literature regarding the understanding and consideration of CybeRisk as an integral part of business management. The IT function has a strong relevance in the management of CybeRisk, which is perceived mainly as operational risk, but with a positive tendency on the part of risk management to the identification of CybeRisk assessment methods that are increasingly complete, quantitative and able to better describe the possible impacts on the business. The paper provides answers to the research questions: Is it possible to define a CybeRisk governance structure able to support the comparison between risk and security? How can the relationships between IT assets be integrated into a cyberisk assessment framework to guarantee a system of protection and risks control? From a methodological point of view, this research uses a case study approach. The choice of “Monte dei Paschi di Siena” was determined by the specific features of one of Italy’s biggest lenders. It is chosen to use an intensive research strategy: an in-depth study of reality. The case study methodology is an empirical approach to explore a complex and current phenomenon that develops over time. The use of cases has also the advantage of allowing the deepening of aspects concerning the "how" and "why" of contemporary events, on which the scholar has little control. The research bases on quantitative data and qualitative information obtained through semi-structured interviews of an open-ended nature and questionnaires to directors, members of the audit committee, risk, IT and compliance managers, and those responsible for internal audit function and anti-money laundering. The added value of the paper can be seen in the development of a framework based on a mapping of IT assets from which it is possible to identify their relationships for purposes of a more effective management and control of cyber risk.
Microbial contamination of ready-to-eat foods and beverages sold by street vendors has become an important public health issue. In developing countries including South Africa, health risks related to such kinds of foods are thought to be common. Thus, this study assessed knowledge, attitude and practices of street food vendors. Street vendors in the city of Mangaung Metro were investigated in order to assess their knowledge, attitudes and handling practices. A semi-structured questionnaire and checklist were used in interviews to determine the status of the vending sites and associa. ted food-handling practices. Data was collected by means of a face-to-face interview. The majority of respondents were black females. Hundred percent (100%) of the participants did not have any food safety training. However, street vendors showed a positive attitude towards food safety. Despite the positive attitude, vendors showed some non-compliance when it comes to handling food. During the survey, it was also observed that the vending stalls lack basic infrastructures like toilets and potable water that is currently a major problem. This study indicates a need for improvements in the environmental conditions at these sites to prevent foodborne diseases. Moreover, based on the results observed food safety and food hygiene training or workshops for street vendors are highly recommended.
E-learning platforms, such as Blackboard have two major shortcomings: limited data capture as a result of the limitations of SCORM (Shareable Content Object Reference Model), and lack of incorporation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning algorithms which could lead to better course adaptations. With the recent development of Experience Application Programming Interface (xAPI), a large amount of additional types of data can be captured and that opens a window of possibilities from which online education can benefit. In a corporate setting, where companies invest billions on the learning and development of their employees, some learner behaviours can be troublesome for they can hinder the knowledge development of a learner. Behaviours that hinder the knowledge development also raise ambiguity about learner’s knowledge mastery, specifically those related to gaming the system. Furthermore, a company receives little benefit from their investment if employees are passing courses without possessing the required knowledge and potential compliance risks may arise. Using xAPI and rules derived from a state-of-the-art review, we identified three learner behaviours, primarily related to guessing, in a corporate compliance course. The identified behaviours are: trying each option for a question, specifically for multiple-choice questions; selecting a single option for all the questions on the test; and continuously repeating tests upon failing as opposed to going over the learning material. These behaviours were detected on learners who repeated the test at least 4 times before passing the course. These findings suggest that gauging the mastery of a learner from multiple-choice questions test scores alone is a naive approach. Thus, next steps will consider the incorporation of additional data points, knowledge estimation models to model knowledge mastery of a learner more accurately, and analysis of the data for correlations between knowledge development and identified learner behaviours. Additional work could explore how learner behaviours could be utilised to make changes to a course. For example, course content may require modifications (certain sections of learning material may be shown to not be helpful to many learners to master the learning outcomes aimed at) or course design (such as the type and duration of feedback).
Petroleum refining is a chemical process in which the raw material (crude oil) is converted to finished commercial products for end users. The fluid catalytic cracking (FCC) unit is a key asset in refineries, requiring optimised processes in the context of engineering design. Following the first stage of separation of crude oil in a distillation tower, an additional 40 per cent quantity is attainable in the gasoline pool with further conversion of the downgraded product of crude oil (residue from the distillation tower) using a catalyst in the FCC process. Effective removal of sulphur oxides, nitrogen oxides, carbon and heavy metals from FCC gasoline requires greater separation efficiency and involves an enormous environmental significance. The FCC unit is primarily a reactor and regeneration system which employs cyclone systems for separation. Catalyst losses in FCC cyclones lead to high particulate matter emission on the regenerator side and fines carryover into the product on the reactor side. This paper aims at demonstrating the importance of FCC unit design criteria in terms of technical performance and compliance with environmental legislation. A systematic review of state-of-the-art FCC technology was carried out, identifying its key technical challenges and sources of emissions. Case studies of petroleum refineries in Nigeria were assessed against selected global case studies. The review highlights the need for further modelling investigations to help improve FCC design to more effectively meet product specification requirements while complying with stricter environmental legislation.
South Africa, a water scarce country, experiences the phenomenon that its life supporting natural water resources is seriously threatened by the users that are totally dependent on it. South Africa is globally applauded to have of the best and most progressive water laws and policies. There are however growing concerns regarding natural water resource quality deterioration and a critical void in the management of natural resources and compliance to policies due to increasing institutional uncertainties and failures. These are in accordance with concerns of many South African researchers and practitioners that call for a change in paradigm from talk to practice and a more constructive, practical approach to governance challenges in the management of water resources. A qualitative theory-building case study through longitudinal action research was conducted from 2014 to 2017. The research assessed whether a strategic positioned institutional agent can be parlayed to facilitate and execute WRM on catchment level by engaging multiple stakeholders in a polycentric setting. Through a critical realist approach a distinction was made between ex ante self-deterministic human behaviour in the realist realm, and ex post governance-management in the constructivist realm. A congruence analysis, including Toulmin’s method of argumentation analysis, was utilised. The study evaluated the unique case of a self-steering local water management institution, the Impala Water Users Association (WUA) in the Pongola River catchment in the northern part of the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. Exploiting prevailing water resource threats, it expanded its ancillary functions from 20,000 to 300,000 ha. Embarking on WRM activities, it addressed natural water system quality assessments, social awareness, knowledge support, and threats, such as: soil erosion, waste and effluent into water systems, coal mining, and water security dimensions; through structured engagement with 21 different catchment stakeholders. By implementing a proposed polycentric governance-management model on a catchment scale, the WUA achieved to fill the void. It developed a foundation and capacity to protect the resilience of the natural environment that is critical for freshwater resources to ensure long-term water security of the Pongola River basin. Further work is recommended on appropriate statutory delegations, mechanisms of sustainable funding, sufficient penetration of knowledge to local levels to catalyse behaviour change, incentivised support from professionals, back-to-back expansion of WUAs to alleviate scale and cost burdens, and the creation of catchment data monitoring and compilation centres.
Economic growth and social evolution are connected to trust relationships in a society. The quality of the accounting information, the tax information system and the tax audit mechanism evolve multiple benefits in an economy. Tax evasion, the illegal practice where people and companies do not pay taxes, is a crime because of the negative effect in economy and society. In this paper, we describe a theoretical framework on the characteristics of a fair and efficient tax auditing information system which could be a tool against tax evasion, a tool for an economy to grow, especially in countries that face fluctuations in economic activity. We conclude that a fair and efficient tax auditing information system increases the reliability of tax administration, improves taxpayers’ tax compliance and causes a developmental trajectory for the economy.
Resistance exercise bands are a core component of any physical activity strengthening program. Strength training can mitigate the development of sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass or strength and function with aging. Yet, the adherence of such behavioral exercise strategies in a home-based setting are fraught with issues of monitoring and compliance. Our group developed a Bluetooth-enabled resistance exercise band capable of transmitting data to an open-source platform. In this work, we developed an application to capture this information in real-time, and conducted three usability studies in two mixed-aged groups of participants (n=6 each) and a group of older adults with obesity participating in a weight-loss intervention (n=20). The system was favorable, acceptable and provided iterative information that could assist in future deployment on ubiquitous platforms. Our formative work provides the foundation to deliver home-based monitoring interventions in a high-risk, older adult population.
Radiologists routinely make follow-up imaging recommendations, usually based on established clinical practice guidelines, such as the Fleischner Society guidelines for managing lung nodules. In order to ensure optimal care, it is important to make guideline-compliant recommendations, and also for patients to follow-up on these imaging recommendations in a timely manner. However, determining such compliance rates after a specific finding has been observed usually requires many time-consuming manual steps. To address some of these limitations with current approaches, in this paper we discuss a methodology to automatically detect finding-specific follow-up recommendations from radiology reports and create a visualization for relevant subsequent exams showing the modality transitions. Nearly 5% of patients who had a lung related follow-up recommendation continued to have at least eight subsequent outpatient CT exams during a seven year period following the recommendation. Radiologist and section chiefs can use the proposed tool to better understand how a specific patient population is being managed, identify possible deviations from established guideline recommendations and have a patient-specific graphical representation of the imaging pathways for an abstract view of the overall treatment path thus far.
In response to widely used wearable medical devices equipped with a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and insulin pump, the advanced control methods are still demanding to get the full benefit of these devices. Unlike costly clinical trials, implementing effective insulin-glucose control strategies can provide significant contributions to the patients suffering from chronic diseases such as diabetes. This study deals with a key role of two-layer insulin-glucose regulator based on model-predictive-control (MPC) scheme so that the patient’s predicted glucose profile is in compliance with the insulin level injected through insulin pump automatically. It is achieved by iterative optimization algorithm which is called an integrated perturbation analysis and sequential quadratic programming (IPA-SQP) solver for handling uncertainties due to unexpected variations in glucose-insulin values and body’s characteristics. The feasibility evaluation of the discussed control approach is also studied by means of numerical simulations of two case scenarios via measured data. The obtained results are presented to verify the superior and reliable performance of the proposed control scheme with no negative impact on patient safety.
A study was conducted to determine the level of compliance with sanitary measures in piggeries, and awareness and risk factors of African swine fever in Benue State, Nigeria. Questionnaires were distributed to 74 respondents consisting of piggery owners and attendants in different piggeries across 12 LGAs to collect data for this study. Sanitary measures in piggeries were observed to be generally very poor, though respondents admitted being aware of ASF. Piggeries located within a 1 km radius of a slaughter slab (OR=9.2, 95% CI - 3.0-28.8), piggeries near refuse dump sites (OR=3.0, 95% CI - 1.0-9.5) and piggeries where farm workers wear their work clothes outside of the piggery premises (OR=0.2, 95% CI - 0.1-0.7) showed higher chances of ASFV infection and were significantly associated (p < 0.0001), (p < 0.05) and (p < 0.01), and were identified as potential risk factors. The study concluded that pigs in Benue State are still at risk of an ASF outbreak. Proper sanitary and hygienic practices is advocated and emphasized in piggeries, while routine surveillance for ASFV antibodies in pigs in Benue State is strongly recommended to provide a reliable reference data base to plan for the prevention of any devastating ASF outbreak.
The article presents the results of the creative analysis and comparison of trends in the development of the theory of public administration during the period from the second half of the 20th to the beginning of the 21st century. The process of conceptualization of the priorities of public administration in the dynamics of reforming was held under the influence of such factors as globalization, integration, information and technological changes and human rights is examined. The priorities of the social state in the concepts of the second half of the 20th century are studied. Peculiar approaches to determining the priorities of public administration in the countries of "Soviet dictatorship" in Central and Eastern Europe in the same period are outlined. Particular attention is paid to the priorities of public administration regarding the interaction between public power and society and the development of conceptual foundations for the modern managerial process. There is a thought that the dynamics of the formation of concepts of the European governance is characterized by the sequence of priorities: from socio-economic and moral-ethical to organizational-procedural and non-hierarchical ones. The priorities of the "welfare state" were focused on the decent level of material wellbeing of population. At the same time, the conception of "minimal state" emphasized priorities of human responsibility for their own fate under the conditions of minimal state protection. Later on, the emphasis was placed on horizontal ties and redistribution of powers and competences of "effective state" with its developed procedures and limits of responsibility at all levels of government and in close cooperation with the civil society. The priorities of the contemporary period are concentrated on human rights in the concepts of "good governance" and all the following ones, which recognize the absolute priority of public administration with compliance, provision and protection of human rights. There is a proved point of view that civilizational changes taking place under the influence of information and technological imperatives also stipulate changes in priorities, redistribution of emphases and update principles of managerial concepts on the basis of publicity, transparency, departure from traditional forms of hierarchy and control in favor of interactivity and inter-sectoral interaction, decentralization and humanization of managerial processes. The necessity to permanently carry out the reorganization, by establishing the interaction between different participants of public power and social relations, to establish a balance between political forces and social interests on the basis of mutual trust and mutual understanding determines changes of social, political, economic and humanitarian paradigms of public administration and their theoretical comprehension. The further studies of theoretical foundations of modern public administration in interdisciplinary discourse in the context of ambiguous consequences of the globalizational and integrational processes of modern European state-building would be advisable. This is especially true during the period of political transformations and economic crises which are the characteristic of the contemporary Europe, especially for democratic transition countries.
In recent decades, there have been significant developments in the European Union in the field of collective consumer redress. South East European countries (SEE) covered by this paper, in line with their EU accession priorities and duties under Stabilisation and Association Agreements, have to harmonize their national laws with the relevant EU acquis for consumer protection (Chapter 28: Health and Consumer). In these countries, only minimal compliance is achieved. SEE countries have introduced rudimentary collective redress mechanisms, with modest enforcement of collective redress and case law. This paper is based on comprehensive interdisciplinary research conducted for SEE countries on common principles for injunctive and compensatory collective redress mechanisms, emphasizing cross-national comparisons, underlining issues of commonality and difference aiming to develop recommendations for an adequate enforcement of collective redress. SEE countries are recognized by the sectoral approach for regulating collective redress contrary to the majority of EU Member States with having adopted horizontal approach to collective redress. In most SEE countries, the laws do not recognize compensatory but only injunctive collective redress in consumer protection. All responsible stakeholders for implementation of collective redress in SEE countries, lack information and awareness on collective redress mechanisms and the way they function in practice. Therefore, specific actions are needed in these countries to make the whole system of collective redress for consumer protection operational and efficient. Taking into consideration the various designated stakeholders in collective redress in each SEE countries, there is a need of their mutual coordination and cooperation in order to develop consumer protection system and policies. By putting into practice the national collective redress mechanisms, effective access to justice for all consumers, the principle of rule of law will be secured and appropriate procedural guarantees to avoid abusive litigation will be ensured.
System Safety Regulations (SSR) are a central component to the airworthiness certification of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). There is significant debate on the setting of appropriate SSR for UAS. Putting this debate aside, the challenge lies in how to apply the system safety process to UAS, which lacks the data and operational heritage of conventionally piloted aircraft. The limited knowledge and lack of operational data result in uncertainty in the system safety assessment of UAS. This uncertainty can lead to incorrect compliance findings and the potential certification and operation of UAS that do not meet minimum safety performance requirements. The existing system safety assessment and compliance processes, as used for conventional piloted aviation, do not adequately account for the uncertainty, limiting the suitability of its application to UAS. This paper discusses the challenges of undertaking system safety assessments for UAS and presents current and envisaged research towards addressing these challenges. It aims to highlight the main advantages associated with adopting a risk based framework to the System Safety Performance Requirement (SSPR) compliance process that is capable of taking the uncertainty associated with each of the outputs of the system safety assessment process into consideration. Based on this study, it is made clear that developing a framework tailored to UAS, would allow for a more rational, transparent and systematic approach to decision making. This would reduce the need for conservative assumptions and take the risk posed by each UAS into consideration while determining its state of compliance to the SSR.
The water crisis, a major problem of the 21st century, occurs mainly due to poor management. The central issue that should govern the management is the integration of the various aspects that interfere with the use of water resources and their protection, supported by legal basis. A watershed is a unit of water interacting with the physical, biotic, social, economic and cultural variables. The Brazilian law recognized river basin as the territorial management unit. Based on the diagnosis of the current situation of the water resources of the Rio Grande Basin, a discussion informed in the Brazilian legal basis was made to propose measures to fight or mitigate damages and environmental degradation in the Basin. To manage water resources more efficiently, conserve water and optimize their multiple uses, the integration of acquired scientific knowledge and management is essential. Moreover, it is necessary to monitor compliance with environmental legislation.
This paper presents the results of analysis of 100 full-scale scaffolding structures in terms of compliance with legal acts and safety of use. In 2016 and 2017, authors examined scaffolds in Poland located at buildings which were at construction or renovation stage. The basic elements affecting the safety of scaffolding use such as anchors, supports, platforms, guardrails and toe-boards have been taken into account. All of these elements were checked in each of considered scaffolding. Based on the analyzed scaffoldings, the most common errors concerning assembly process and use of scaffolding were collected. Legal acts on the scaffoldings are not always clear, and this causes many issues. In practice, people realize how dangerous the use of incomplete scaffolds is only when the accident occurs. Despite the fact that the scaffolding should ensure the safety of its users, most accidents on construction sites are caused by fall from a height.
Hazard assessment and risks quantification are key components for estimating the impact of existing regulations. But since regulatory compliance cannot cover all risks in aviation, the authors point out that by studying causal factors and eliminating uncertainty, an accurate analysis can be outlined. The research debuts by making delimitations on notions, as confusion on the terms over time has reflected in less rigorous analysis. Throughout this paper, it will be emphasized the fact that the variation in human performance and organizational factors represent the biggest threat from an operational perspective. Therefore, advanced risk assessment methods analyzed by the authors aim to understand vulnerabilities of the system given by a nonlinear behavior. Ultimately, the mathematical modeling of existing hazards and risks by eliminating uncertainty implies establishing an optimal solution (i.e. risk minimization).
This paper develops a method for considering the critical fatigue stress as a constraint in the Bi-directional Evolutionary Structural Optimization (BESO) method. Our aim is to reach an optimal design in which high cycle fatigue failure does not occur for a specific life time. The critical fatigue stress is calculated based on modified Goodman criteria and used as a stress constraint in our topology optimization problem. Since fatigue generally does not occur for compressive stresses, we use the p-norm approach of the stress measurement that considers the highest tensile principal stress in each point as stress measure to calculate the sensitivity numbers. The BESO method has been extended to minimize volume an object subjected to the critical fatigue stress constraint. The optimization results are compared with the results from the compliance minimization problem which shows clearly the merits of our newly developed approach.
The aeronautics sector is currently living an unprecedented growth largely due to innovative projects. In several cases, such innovative developments are being carried out by Small and Medium sized-Enterprises (SMEs). For instance, in Europe, a handful of SMEs are leading projects like airships, large civil drones, or flying cars. These SMEs have all limited resources, must make strategic decisions, take considerable financial risks and in the same time must take into account the constraints of safety, cost, time and performance as any commercial organization in this industry. Moreover, today, no international regulations fully exist for the development and certification of this kind of projects. The absence of such a precise and sufficiently detailed regulatory framework requires a very close contact with regulatory instances. But, SMEs do not always have sufficient resources and internal knowledge to handle this complexity and to discuss these issues. This poses additional challenges for those SMEs that have system integration responsibilities and that must provide all the necessary means of compliance to demonstrate their ability to design, produce, and operate airships with the expected level of safety and reliability. The final objective of our research is thus to provide a methodological framework supporting SMEs in their development taking into account recent innovation and institutional rules of the sector. We aim to provide a contribution to the problematic by developing a specific Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) approach. Airspace regulation, aeronautics standards and international norms on systems engineering are taken on board to be formalized in a set of models. This paper presents the on-going research project combining Systems Engineering and Project Management process modeling and taking into account the metamodeling problematic.