OEP – Principal Investigations Manager – Interim Office for Environmental Protection

Grade: Grade 7

Reference: 123550

Location: Worcester

Salary: £47,549 to £54,728

Closing Date: 21 Jun 2021

Job description

The Interim OEP Complaints, Investigations and Enforcement team will manage, maintain and operate a system and processes to receive and validate complaints submitted by the public about failures of public authorities to comply with environmental law. The team are also creating the policies and procedures to enable the OEP, once it is legally established, to then assess the seriousness of, prioritise and investigate cases identified both from complaints and from other sources of information and, if necessary, take enforcement action.

The Investigation team will oversee the development, maintenance and application of the OEP’s approach to investigations, and will itself apply that approach predominantly in relation to cases identified from sources of information other than complaints, for example the OEP’s broader function of monitoring environmental law. The investigation of cases deriving from complaints will be handled primarily by the Complaints team, with the Investigations team advising on the approach to investigation and providing support as needed. The Complaints and Investigations teams will need to work closely, cooperatively and flexibly, agreeing priorities and resource allocations across all of their areas.

The Investigations team will assess the seriousness and priority of case for investigation against the OEP Complaints and Enforcement policy. They will then conduct investigations into the most serious complaints to assess whether a breach of environmental law has occurred and negotiate with public authorities to identify appropriate solutions and remedies. Where a suitable solution cannot be found, they may also need to escalate cases to the OEP Board to decide if enforcement action should be started and support the OEP legal team with enforcement action.

The OEP will be a cornerstone of our national environmental governance system now we have left the EU. Its complaints, investigations and enforcement functions will play a central role in the OEP’s ability to effectively oversee the implementation of environmental law in England. This is a unique opportunity to join the OEP as it is established and help?develop its functions from the current non-statutory arrangements into a fully operational and high performing service.?

The OEP will be working on a wide variety of issues at any given time and we are looking for people who will be able to work flexibly across multiple work areas, when needed. For example, in addition to your standard duties you may called to support a piece of thematic analysis and be comfortable working in an environment where priorities and objectives may shift.

We are looking for individuals, from any background, who have?the enthusiasm and determination to help us develop and implement an effective approach investigating important matters of public compliance with environmental law, supporting the principal objective of the OEP to protect and enhance the?natural environment.?The approach to investigations will need to cover a range of scenarios involving a broad range of different types of public authorities, laws, and degrees of complexity. If this sounds like something you would be interested in, we would love you to get in touch.

Information Webinars:
As the OEP is a new organisation, Defra will be hosting a webinar during the application period to provide potential candidates with further information about the OEP and the roles – for more information please click here