Avionics News March 2018 - 49

The certificated entity must then provide the FAA with a
reasonable corrective action plan. If the corrective action is
completed properly, the inspector is to accept that action in
lieu of penalty, such as a civil penalty or certificate action
including suspension or revocation.

numbers and determine phases within the Enforcement
Information System or opening an Enforcement Investigative
Report. This demonstrates a desire for a cultural change in
which inspectors focus on the goal of Compliance Philosophy
and not enforcement.
Third, accepted ASAP reports, which used to be
Interfacing Programs
documented within the Enforcement Information System and
If you're familiar with the Voluntary Disclosure Reporting
may have resulted in administrative action, will no longer
Program or Aviation Safety Action
be documented in the Enforcement
Program, then this process might sound
Information System or be subject to
familiar. There are two key differences
administrative action.
COMPLIANCE
between the VDRP and ASAP process
Also, ASAP data is de-identified,
PHILOSOPHY IS
and Compliance Philosophy. In
aggregated, and shared with other ASAP
USED IN INSTANCES
Compliance Philosophy, typically the
participants, with the intent of sharing
OF NONCOMPLIANCE
FAA has identified an error rather than
safety-related concerns and corrections
WITHOUT IMMEDIATE
the certificated entity self-disclosing,
in order to improve safety industrySAFETY RAMIFICATIONS.
and the process is far less formal.
wide. If the ASAP report is never made,
FOR
EXAMPLE,
VDRP is available to air carriers,
the industry loses the opportunity to
INADEQUATE TRAINING
repair stations, fractional ownership
learn from the event.
programs, and certain other
Although these changes seem
RECORDS, WHICH MIGHT
certificated entities, and is based on
merely
procedural, the intent is clear:
HAVE RESULTED IN A
self-identification and disclosure
Self-disclosed compliance errors that
LETTER OF INVESTIGATION
of compliance matters, followed
are not willful, intentional violations
IN THE PAST, MIGHT
by corrective action to come into
of regulation should initially be dealt
NOW RESULT IN
compliance. ASAP, a voluntary safety
with through Compliance Philosophy,
ACTION THROUGH
reporting program that encourages
resorting to enforcement proceedings
THE COMPLIANCE
exchange of safety information in a just
only if the certificated entity is
PHILOSOPHY PROCESS.
culture context, also requires similar
uncooperative in resolving the incident
corrective action plans to resolve
of noncompliance.
compliance or safety concerns.
How do VDRP and ASAP interface with Compliance
Does Compliance Philosophy Work?
Philosophy? Why would a certificated entity self-disclose an
"In the past, some inspectors have informally employed
instance of noncompliance through ASAP or VDRP and risk
this type of process by using discretion in which violations
a more-formal, complex process, if Compliance Philosophy
will be investigated and which will simply be corrected,"
would have covered the event anyway?
said Kent Jackson, founder of Jetlaw, an aviation law firm
FAA Notice N 8900.352, "Aviation Safety Action Program,
in Washington, D.C., and Kansas City. "Now they have
Voluntary Disclosure Reporting Program and the New
encouragement and support from headquarters."
Compliance Philosophy," addresses these questions, as ASAP
Although Compliance Philosophy is the official agency
and VDRP processes have changed to more appropriately fit
policy, not merely a recommendation, some offices in the FAA
with Compliance Philosophy.
have yet to embrace it. The Drug Abatement and Hazardous
First, disclosure through ASAP or VDRP still might be
Materials Divisions are two examples.
advisable. Remember, for an action to be covered under
"Flight Standards has taken this to heart, but some other
Compliance Philosophy, the certificated entity must not
offices are not as enthusiastic," said Chris Poreda, attorney at
be knowingly noncompliant, which implies a desire to
Law Offices of Paul A. Lange LLC, in Stratford, Connecticut,
correct the error, not continue the activity or hide it until an
and former regional counsel for the FAA's New England
inspector finds it. If you discover an error and then attempt to
region. "For example, the Drug Abatement Office has a list
hide it, the violation will likely not fit within the Compliance
of offenses and corresponding penalties, which agents must
Philosophy initiative.
follow. That approach to enforcement is diametrically opposed
Second, the web-based VDRP system has been revised,
Continued on following page
removing requirements for inspectors to assign identifying
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march

2018

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Avionics News March 2018

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