We publish all enforcement notices (see right-hand column).
The Petroleum Safety Authority Norway (PSA) utilizes instruments that are to ensure or contribute to conduct of the petroleum activities in accordance with regulatory requirements. We have several policy instruments at our disposal, including issuing an order.
An order is a powerful preventive policy instrument which has a binding legal impact on the recipient. It is not to be used as a reaction to all violations of regulations.
At the same time, an order is a moderate sanction in the hierarchy of statutory policy instruments. Stronger sanctions include stopping operations, compulsory fines, penalties and special compulsory measures.
When we identify non-conformities with regulatory requirements, we can issue an order to emphasize that
- the regulatory violation is regarded as being serious with regard to health, safety and emergency preparedness.
- a strict reaction is necessary in relation to less serious regulatory violations because the company has shown a lack of ability or willingness to rectify the same or similar regulatory violations when we have employed non-statutory instruments.
Since we do have a functional set of regulations, we do not normally order implementation of specific changes or technical solutions. Normally, this is only done in those cases where the regulations stipulate specific solutions.
If concrete deficiencies are to be rectified, we issue orders requiring that the deficiencies be rectified, without specifying how this is to be accomplished.
If we uncover extensive and fundamental deficiencies in the system for managing health, environment and safety, we normally issue orders to ensure a review and change of the management system.
All orders can be appealed.
Notification of order
A notification of order is neither a policy instrument nor a warning of sanctions, but rather a step in a process conforming to given rules.
The notification is merely a first step before making an individual decision. While there is some restricted access allowing omission of the advance notification, there are few cases in which this would be relevant.
Pursuant to Section 16 of the (Norwegian) Public Administration Act, notification must be given of an individual decision so that the addressee is given an opportunity to respond before a decision is made.
The notification letter contains an exact rendition of the planned individual decision. A deadline is set for the addressee to respond to the notified individual decision. The deadline should be long enough to allow the addressee a reasonable opportunity to make a statement on the notification. Consideration must also be given to the urgency of implementing the notified individual decision, and the deadlines to be contained in the order.
Notified orders not issued
From time to time, notified orders are not issued, or we may change the wording in an order. This may be relevant if
- the planned individual decision is based on erroneous assumptions, e.g. in that information provided by the addressee convinces us that we have used an incorrect basis in our notification, and that these factors have considerable bearing on the individual decision, or that we must conduct more detailed investigations.
- the addressee has already implemented the actions that we planned to demand by means of the individual decision. We do not consider that a company has complied with a notification of order merely by drawing up plans for the required work to be contained in the individual decision, except in those cases where the individual decision requires only the preparation of such plans.