Defra begins search for inaugural Chair of new environment watchdog

14 August 2020, 08:56 AM
  • The Chair of the Office for Environmental Protection will independently scrutinise and advise the Government to ensure it sets and meets “ambitious” environment targets
Defra begins search for inaugural Chair of new environment watchdog

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs has launched its recruitment campaign for the inaugural Chair of the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP).

The Chair of the OEP will be the driving force behind the new green governance body, which will independently scrutinise and advise the Government to ensure it sets and meets “ambitious” targets to improve the environment.

The Chair is appointed by, and is accountable to, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs George Eustice, who said: “Protecting and enhancing our natural environment is a greater priority than ever before, so it is essential both present and future governments are held to account on our environmental targets.

“This new and independent body needs a strong leader who has the passion and commitment needed to deliver real and lasting change for our precious environment, and I encourage all those who fit the bill to apply.”

The OEP, which is due to be created in 2021, will monitor the Government’s progress towards improving the natural environment and will investigate complaints regarding failures of public bodies to comply with environmental law.

The watchdog will be legislated for through Defra’s Environment Bill, which was introduced in January. The bill is currently passing through Parliament. It will enshrine environmental principles into law and introduce measures to improve air and water quality, tackle plastic pollution and restore habitats so plants and wildlife can thrive.
The recruitment campaign will close for applications on 8th September at 12pm. Further information about the vacancy and how to apply can be found on the Cabinet Office Public Appointments website.

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