Georgia Department of Agriculture

The Inside Buzz Newsletter Winter 2022

Winter 2022 Bulletin 7

Self-Audit & Reporting 

The Georgia Department of Agriculture (GDA) has a long-standing enforcement response policy to enhance compliance with the Georgia Structural Pest Control Act and Regulations by encouraging the regulated community to discover violations by self-auditing.  Following the discovery of a violation, a pest control operator may choose to voluntarily disclose and correct violations by self-reporting to GDA.  Incentives for the regulated community include the elimination or substantial reduction of penalties.  These incentives are offered to pest control operators that voluntarily self-report and promptly correct violations.  Under this policy, a self-report notification would not initiate enforcement inspections.

Three steps for self-reporting: 
  • Discovery: Self-audit and review records including service records, inspection records and contracts.  Review pesticide labels for use requirements, restrictions, post-application requirements and other regulatory requirements.
  • Correction & Prevention: If a problem is discovered during the self-audit, take immediate corrective and preventive action.  Create an action plan to correct and prevent the problem.
  • Disclosure: Contact GDA and schedule a self-reporting compliance assistance meeting.  You will be required to bring documentation of the specific problem(s) identified along with your plan of action to correct the problem.   The documentation and plan will be reviewed and discussed. 
FAQ's
  1. If GDA discovers a violation, can I self-report?  Once GDA initiates an inspection, the self-audit and reporting policy would not apply.
  2. Can a company self-report more than once on the same regulatory requirement?  No
  3. If a company self-reports on a regulatory requirement, will this cover other regulatory requirements?  No.  If after self-reporting on regulatory requirement another problem is discovered, the company must go through each of the same steps of self-reporting.
  4. What should I bring to the self-reporting compliance assistance meeting?  A report summarizing the self-audit and supporting documentation such as service records, inspection records, contracts, documentation of corrective actions, and the action plan for the prevention of future violations.
  5. Has GDA revoked a license, certification or employee registration based on a self-reported violation?  No.  The self-reporting policy reduces or eliminates these potential penalties.  Enforcement response to a typical self-report includes a warning letter and, in severe cases, a probationary period and suspended monetary penalty. 
Self-Reporting Policy  (Link to SPD's Notice and Self-Report Policy)
Tim Taylor is Program Manager for the Georgia Department of Agriculture’s Structural Pest Division
The Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission announced the meeting schedule for 2022 including plans for some meetings to be in-person.

January 11                      August 9
February 8                      September 13
March 8                           October 18
April 12                            November 8
May 10                             December 13
June 14
 
All meetings will begin at 10:00 AM.  The meetings will be held online via Zoom except for meetings to be held in-person. The in-person meetings will be announced including the locations. 
 
The January 11th meeting will be held at 10:00 AM and will be hosted by the Department of Entomology in the Chapel at the University of Georgia located at 109 Herty Drive, Athens, Georgia.

Public Notice 21-04 Meeting Schedule 2022

During the most recent meeting of the Georgia Structural Pest Control Commission Meeting, GDA reported the following summary of active licenses following the 2021 License Renewal Year.
 
Certified Operators: 2,232
Registered Employees: 6,631
Companies: 1,247

New Year's Day - January 3rd 
state holiday

Martin Luther King Jr.'s Birthday - January 17th   
state holiday

We provide compliance assistance on most regulatory requirements.  Contact us with your question(s) and we will be in touch.
 
If we can’t answer your questions over the phone, we will send out a representative to review your specific situation and provide guidance on regulatory compliance.
SPD Atlanta Office
Georgia Department of Agriculture
Structural Pest Division, Room 411
Atlanta, Georgia 30334
(404) 656-3641
 
Web: agr.georgia.gov/structural.aspx
Email: pest@agr.georgia.gov
The Structural Pest newsletter is produced by the Structural Pest Division in an effort to inform all Structural Pest Control Companies and certified operators of state and national updates.  

For questions or comments regarding the newsletter, please email pest@agr.georgia.gov
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