To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what safeguards he plans to put in place to ensure that the interim environmental governance arrangements required before the Office for Environmental Protection becomes legally operational are independent of Government.
22 October 2020
The Interim Environmental Governance Secretariat will be hosted in Defra and will operate from the start of next year until the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) can begin its statutory functions. The interim arrangements will support the OEP Chair once the chair has been identified following a regulated public appointments process; and the interim arrangements will be under the guidance of both the Chair and the non-executive Board members once they have been confirmed in place as designates until Royal Assent. There will be staff designated to the Secretariat for this purpose and we are planning for them to work with propriety in handling public complaints that can then be handed to the OEP once it is live.