In May 2016 the Central Directorate for Relations with Local Authorities was merged with the Directorate of Strategic Planning and Regulatory Affairs, to form the new Directorate of Planning, Regulatory Affairs and Local Authorities (DCPAREL), reporting to the Executive Chairman. In 2017, the new Directorate retained and strengthened the same mandate it was given in 2014 to continuously and effectively supervise the relationship with the member municipalities and with local authorities, for the same area and the same composition in terms of structure.
All Local Bodies served, therefore, can reach a contact simply and at any time to obtain a response in the appropriate timescales to questions on the services provided by the Group, being certain they are talking with the right people. Integration with Strategic Planning and Business Regulations also made it possible to enrich the information content made available to Area Managers, creating a constant, two-way flow of information between the Group and the area served.
During 2017, the Area Managers carried out over 2,019 meetings with the municipal administrations and handled over 2,705 requests of many kinds. In numerical terms, the relations set up following requests and meetings focused mainly on issues regarding waste management services (36.3%) and the integrated water service (36.5%). Less common are issues relating to general business topics (8.7%), technical matters with clients (7.3%) and the market area (5.6%).
In 2017, greater focus was placed on the activities provided to Group-controlled business areas. Transversal and smoother working methods were introduced across the local areas and cooperation with the operating lines was strengthened to ensure greater effectiveness of local relationships.
Note, also, the close collaboration with the Corporate Social Responsibility Division concerning the promotion and coordination of the HeraLABs.