What is the OEP
The OEP is a new public body, being established with the principal objective of contributing to environmental protection and improving the natural environment. It will support Parliament in holding government to account on its environmental commitments,and will help improve environmental governance through independent oversight and advice on the law and other matters relating to the natural environment.
What is the Interim OEP
The Interim Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) will operate as a division within Defra. It will provide independent oversight of the government’s environmental progress on a non statutory basis, in advance of the full OEP being legally established.
The Interim OEP will exist from July 2021 and will be led by the designate OEP board, chaired by Dame Glenys Stacey. Natalie Prosser will be the Interim CEO-designate. Its key functions will be as follows.
- Develop the OEP’s strategy including its enforcement policy.
- Produce and publish an independent assessment of progress in relation to the implementation of the government’s 25 Year Environment Plan.
- Receive complaints about public authorities’ compliance with environmental law, entering into dialogue with specific authorities about complaints against them (while not taking any formal enforcement action pending the necessary legislative provisions taking effect).
- Take decisions on operational matters such as staff recruitment, accommodation and facilities.
- Determine approaches for how the OEP will form and operate, establishing its character, ways of working and voice.