|APEGGA AGM to Review "Plain Language" Provisions|
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The APEGGA Annual General Meeting on April 23 will be asked to approve changes to the APEGGA General Regulation. The changes arise from a wide-ranging general regulatory review by the Alberta government to re-write legislation to incorporate clearer and more easily understood language.
Purpose of Regulatory Review
In 1996, the Government of Alberta initiated an orderly review of all provincial regulations. A Regulatory Reform Task Force was established to supervise the process and to develop uniform standards for developing, implementing, revising and measuring the impact of regulations. In its Regulation Impact Report the Task Force states: "because of the increasing number of, and cost of regulations, it is important to develop a careful and informed approach to the use of regulatory powers. The quality of regulations must be improved, by making them clear, concise, with simplified procedures and requirements, and by reducing the complaint and administrative costs. To be considered for enactment, a regulation must be necessary to ensure the protection of public interest."
As part of the two-phase regulatory review and plain language initiative, Alberta Public Works, Supply and Services, as the Department responsible of the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act, is working with APEGGA to review the General Regulation under the Act.
Concepts requested by APEGGA to be included in the 1998 review of the General Regulation were :
The above changes were to be part of the approved General Regulation promulgated concurrent with assent to Bill 18, amending the EGGP Act.
Bill 18 to amend the Act received third reading and royal assent in 1998.
This phase of Regulatory Reform is planned to commence once the initial review of General Regulation is completed.
During this phase of the review, every effort will be directed towards elimination of unnecessary legislation, and appropriate downloading of administrative detail from the Act into the General Regulation, and from the General Regulation into Association Bylaws. Those parts of the Act, Regulations and Bylaws that remain will be expressed in clear, simple and concise language. Sections will be maintained in the General Regulation only if there is a strong public interest component or if required by the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professions Act to maintain jurisdiction.
Besides the approach to rewriting the legislation indicated, any additional changes required for the proper administration of the professions of engineering, geology and geophysics will be included in the review. These may include a review of the definitions and scope of practice, and the applicability of the statute to corporate entities, and a consideration of any other matters of concern arising during the course of the review.
Guidelines for Regulatory Review
In considering which clauses in the Act might be moved to the General Regulation, which clauses from the Regulation might be moved into the Bylaws and which clauses of any of the foregoing might be rescinded, simplified, or reduced, APEGGA would be guided by the following general principles:
* Besides the development of a shorter, clearer body of regulations, a key advantage to the Regulatory Review is that it will place under the direct control of the membership the bulk of the issues relative to the regulation of the profession.
* The concepts of using gender-neutral language and "plain language" that is user-friendly will also prevail in all of the reviews.
The APEGGA AGM will be asked to approve a revised General Regulation to meet the general principle of the plain language initiative.
For further information, please contact APEGGA Deputy Registrar Al Schuld, P.Eng., phone 780-426-3990/ toll free 1-800-661-7020 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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