The OEP Strategy and Enforcement Policy

Closed 22 Mar 2022

Opened 25 Jan 2022


The Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) is a new public body, established by the Environment Act 2021. We are independent, with functions to advise ministers and government departments and to hold them and other public authorities to account against their environmental responsibilities and the law.  

Documents we are seeking views on

We are seeking views on two documents:

  1. Our draft strategy, which explains how we will work in our first period of operation to make the most difference we can. We expect to review it in around 18 months’ time.
  2. Our draft enforcement policy, which explains more specifically how we will approach our enforcement role. 

Northern Ireland

Our strategy and enforcement policy explain how we will exercise our functions in relation to England, Northern Ireland and UK-wide 'reserved' matters. The Northern Ireland Assembly confirmed our remit in Northern Ireland on 22 February 2022, and our relevant functions commenced on 28 February. This is after our consultation on the draft strategy and enforcement policy commenced (25 January).  

Given the conditional nature of our Northern Ireland remit at the time of publication, Northern Ireland-specific content is indicated in the draft strategy and enforcement policy by using square brackets. It is our intention that the final strategy and enforcement policy will fully integrate England, UK-wide and Northern Ireland remits. 

Why your views matter

Listening to the views of those we work with and those affected by our work will be fundamental to making sure we get it right.

Our draft strategy and enforcement policy have been shaped by the views of a broad range of stakeholders with whom we engaged in the months leading up to this consultation. These stakeholders have included environmental organisations, government departments, arm's-length bodies and other public authorities, and business and industry groups.

This consultation sought feedback from all on the approaches we have developed.



What happens next

The consultation on our draft strategy and enforcement policy closed on 22 March 2022. We recieved 68 responses which we are reviewing,  and will publish a report summarising what has been said and our response, alongside our final strategy, enforcement policy and our first corporate plan in June 2022. These will be published on our website Office for Environmental Protection | oep (