Inderscience Publishers

A Knowledge Management approach to Environmental Legislation and Regulation Monitoring: the ELRAMP system

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Knowledge Management (KM) systems facilitate the acquisition, indexing and management of knowledge artefacts with the objective of applying this knowledge towards achieving competitive advantage and organisational efficiencies. Current KM implementations have severe drawbacks primarily due to the ad hoc nature in which many of these systems are developed. This paper describes an open architectural framework that overcomes these problems: the Active Knowledge Management Environment (AcKME). The flexibility of this architecture is based on the application of software components organised into functional agencies operating on an ontological representation of the domain. The ontology provides central structure that logically organises the domain knowledge consisting of definitions, relationships, constraints, heuristics and provides a description of knowledge sources. Described is a case study: The Environmental Legislation and Regulation Monitoring Programme (ELRAMP), a KM System based on the AcKME architecture specialised to this domain. Discussion is the rationale for use of KM in the legislative and regulatory domain and the functionality of the ELRAMP system. ELRAMP encompasses the informational lifecycle of the legislative process from acquisition to analysis to dissemination and in addition delivers regulatory and treaty information pertaining to environmental management, thereby facilitating a 'one stop' system for environmental managers and decision makers.

Keywords: domain ontology, environmental legislation, regulation monitoring, ELRAMP, knowledge lifecycle, knowledge management, KM systems, software agents, environmental management, decision making

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