LPISQA Legacy/Organisation/Practical

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LPIS quality assessment in course of ongoing LPIS refresh

LPIS quality assessment has to be performed when a refresh procedure is taking place. If the refresh is part of a continuous cyclical update process, no special provisions are needed. However, when the refresh activity is based on improved data specifications ("upgrade") or represents an isolated update project, the mix of "old" and "new" reference parcels cannot be considered a homogeneous population. As a result, separate lots should be inspected.

Assessing two lots inevitably involves more inspection work than assessing the whole. However it offers immediate confirmation about the effectiveness of the ongoing upgrade/update project. This also identifies which issues need to be still addressed before the refresh project terminates.


A tool for quick identification of RPs at risks

We consider this is an import element in the (non LPIS QA) monitoring and upkeep processes of your LPIS. Some ideas can be found in previous presentations of the Workshop and Conference. Please share other relevant links. The main JRC papers that explored various automated or semi-automated approaches contributing to the identification of LPIS RPs at risk are:

How should we deal with confidentiality of the CwRS zones?

Art. 6(2) of Commission Regulation 2009R1122 establishes the LPIS quality assessment framework quality framework (QAF), mandaring the MS to perform the inspection on a sample, which can be performed using CAPI. According to Art. 35(2) the imagery should be of the current year.

As part of inspection CwRS sites are confidential until the last day of the application campaign included. On the other hand the LPIS quality inspection should be performed before OTSC starts, which might sensitive when when OTSC and LPIS QA are performed by two or more different institutions. In such cases the confidentiality can be safeguarded by appropriate arrangements such as:

  • Including a confidentiality clause in the contracts / collaborative agreements, or
  • delaying the RP inspections until after the closing of the application.
  • MS may find other means, if appropriate. However confidentiality should not be used as an argument for a delayed LPIS QA reporting.


Relevant data sources for supporting ETS

Among the sources relevant for ETS two groups need to be highlighted:

  • Any updates of the Reference parcels (that are part of the sample), made by the farmer one day before the inspection can be taken into account for the ETS, provided that the rules of Article 14 from Regulation 1122/2009 are fully respected.
  • Any updates of the Reference parcels (that are part of the sample), triggered by the annual LPIS update procedures (orthophoto refresh, OTSC, urban development and planning) and are not initiated deliberately to target the parcels part of the LPIS QA sample, can be taken into account for the ETS.


Who is responsible for making available suitable imagery for ETS?

Even though JRC provides a supportive role in purchasing logistics, Member States should make provisions for contingency action in case no satellite imagery is captured under the CwRS program, i.e. procure alternative suitable images from the national mapping agency or separate contractors.


Who is ultimately responsible for the correct implementation of the ATS and ETS?

The Member State is the sole responsible for a correct and timely implementation of the tests. The JRC’s role in this process is

  1. Methodological, by providing the common technical documentation, guidance and templates.
  2. Logistical, by offering specific imagery to cover specific LPIS quality assessment needs (linked to the CwRS acquisition program).
  3. Facilitating, by producing tools that enable the MS to demonstrate to the EC that their testing was performed correctly (e.g. sampling, automated screening of inspection records).


Aerial orthophotos to be paid by JRC budget?

No, this is legally not possible. The VHR image acquisition uses a DGAgri budget sub-delegated to JRC and is governed by Council Regulation 165/1994.


What will the Commission services do with the LPIS QA results?

It is important to point out that the exercise is above all a self-assessment process. It is a tool for the Member States to evaluate the situation of its LPIS and to determine the actions to be taken to remedy any problem. As with any quality assurance approach, it allows the member states to be proactive.

This is why the report, apart from the ratios as such, should focus on an analysis of the ratios and on an action plan indicating what measures will be taken to remedy the deficiency and the time line by which they will be done.

The scoreboard results themselves will not trigger the application of financial corrections. Although the scoreboard results are important, the Commission services are more interested in the actions that will be proposed to remedy the problems found.

Implication of four-eye control in terms of workload

The Ex-post verification of the ETS inspection ("four-eye control") serves to confirm the correctness and reliability of the observations made during the ETS. It is similar to procedures incorporated by many MS in their LPIS update processes and it is not expected to cause a significant increase of the ETS workload, if set up appropriately.

It is limited to verifying 3 components/outcomes of the ETS

  • feasibility for inspection
  • feasibility for measurement
  • overall quality of the land cover inventory

It includes visual confirmation only (no data collection or spatial analysis is required) to detect obvious “gross” errors (no need to check minor details). It can be efficiently performed in batches alongside the ETS inspection process on datasets of already inspected RPs.

The four-eye control and the orthoimage quality checks (recently introduced in Annex II) are reported as part of "Non-structured evidence upload". At the moment no XML additions or modifications in the current ETS reporting package are foreseen. Concerning the "meta-quality" measures Chapter 3.1 of Annex II provides the content for each meta-quality record.

On the side of the benefits, like to any quality control activity, it can identify certain doubtful points and bottlenecks in the ETS inspection. These, once clarified in due time, can even lead to an increase of the overall inspection performance.

Requests to change or introduce a new waiver

Waivers can be introduced only if good justification is provided by the MS, which must include specific general and local conditions for its application. It should be taken into account that by creating waivers the evaluation becomes pointless, as any waivered issue is no longer subject to further analysis.

If a member state wishes to propose a new waiver the template should be filled and submited. Before doing so please ensure:

  • the proposed waiver involves either contamination or potential critical defects
  • the particular issue has not yet been addressed by a modification to the related measures
  • the request is duly motivated and illustrated.

Submitting a proposal doesn't automatically involve acceptance. Only waivers listed in the Annex 1 are valid.