Last reviewed 22 February 2021

The Interim Environmental Governance Secretariat (IEGS) has launched and will operate until later in the year when the proposed Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) is expected to be established.

The OEP was expected to start operating in July 2021. This has now been delayed as the Government has confirmed the Environment Bill will be carried over to the next parliamentary session.

The OEP is being established under the Environment Bill with a remit to cover England and UK-wide reserved matters. The Bill provides for the OEP to also cover Northern Ireland, subject to the approval of the Northern Ireland Assembly. The IEGS’s handling of complaints will therefore operate in Northern Ireland, to avoid any gap in coverage should the Assembly agree to this extension of the OEP’s remit.

The IEGS team is based in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Complaints about alleged failures by public authorities to comply with environmental law can be submitted to the IEGS.