Yesterday (7 July), the Chair and Interim CEO of the Interim Office for Environmental Protection answered questions from MPs about the work of the interim body, and progress in establishing the OEP.
Dame Glenys Stacey and Natalie Prosser were invited to give evidence at a joint meeting of the Environmental Audit Committee and Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. The meeting was part of an ongoing inquiry by the committees to examine the OEP's work. It was the first time that the Chair and Interim CEO appeared before parliament to account for the work of the OEP.
The committee members asked wide-ranging questions about how the set-up of the OEP is progressing. Dame Glenys and Natalie were probed on topics including their early priorities, recruitment, funding and independence. MPs also posed questions on the OEP’s emerging strategy and enforcement approach.
Dame Glenys and Natalie took the opportunity to reassure MPs that work to get the OEP ready to start operating in December is on track. They pointed to significant progress made so far including its inaugural board meeting and website launch.
They also took questions about the role Interim OEP will play in providing environmental governance functions this year. Dame Glenys and Natalie spoke of Interim OEP’s advice to government on its environmental principles policy statement, and updated on preparations to provide a stock-take report on progress being made against the government’s 25-year environment plan, later this year.
The OEP will appear before the committees in future to provide regular updates on its work.