Risk Analysis

When Does Poor Governance Presage Biosecurity Risk?

Journal Article

  • Author(s): Stephen E. Lane, Anthony D. Arthur, Christina Aston, Sam Zhao, Andrew P. Robinson
  • Article first published online: 11 Aug 2017
  • DOI: 10.1111/risa.12873
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Border inspection, and the challenge of deciding which of the tens of millions of consignments that arrive should be inspected, is a perennial problem for regulatory authorities. The objective of these inspections is to minimize the risk of contraband entering the country. As an example, for regulatory authorities in charge of biosecurity material, consignments of goods are classified before arrival according to their economic tariff number. This classification, perhaps along with other information, is used as a screening step to determine whether further biosecurity intervention, such as inspection, is necessary. Other information associated with consignments includes details such as the country of origin, supplier, and importer, for example. The choice of which consignments to inspect has typically been informed by historical records of intercepted material. Fortunately for regulators, interception is a rare event; however, this sparsity undermines the utility of historical records for deciding which containers to inspect. In this article, we report on an analysis that uses more detailed information to inform inspection. Using quarantine biosecurity as a case study, we create statistical profiles using generalized linear mixed models and compare different model specifications with historical information alone, demonstrating the utility of a statistical modeling approach. We also demonstrate some graphical model summaries that provide managers with insight into pathway governance.

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