Senior Officer - Investigations
We are looking for a Senior Officer to join our investigations team and manage a portfolio of cases from initial contact through to conclusion, working within the legislative framework whilst producing internal processes and procedures, and engaging constructively with public authorities and stakeholders.
The Office for Environmental Protection (the OEP) mission is to protect and recover the environment. Created by the Environment Act 2021, our role is to hold Government and public bodies to account. The OEP do this in several ways including reporting on progress against environmental targets, advising on changes to environmental laws and receiving complaints from the public which can lead to us taking enforcement action.
This role sits within the Regulatory Directorate, which is responsible for delivery of key functions as set out in the Environment Bill. These are monitoring, investigating, and enforcing the implementation of environmental Law, and advising the government on the development of Law and other matters relating to the natural environment.
With a total staff of just over 70, we are a small, dynamic, friendly and flexible organisation covering both England, Northern Ireland, and environmental matters reserved to the UK government. We offer flexible working arrangements, high profile, dynamic work and the chance to have an impact on improving the state of the environment.
To find out more about the OEP, what we do, who we are and our current work, visit the OEP website.
The OEP is a non-departmental public body sponsored by Defra which means it operates independently from Defra and is not part of the UK Civil Service. Our employees are public servants.
The OEP Complaints and Investigations team prioritises, manages, and investigates complaints about alleged breaches of environmental law by public authorities.
The advertised role sits within the Investigations function, which oversees the development, maintenance and application of the OEP’s approach to investigating potential breaches of environmental law and takes the lead on progressing investigations that have been prioritised through our assessment process. The Complaints and Investigations teams work closely, cooperatively and flexibly, agreeing priorities and resource allocations across all of their areas.
The role holder will be responsible for leading on the assessment of complex complaints to determine whether formal investigation is an appropriate remedy, and for progressing those investigations to resolution. As such the successful candidate will be competent in analysing large amounts of information, identifying solutions and negotiating with public authorities to agree suitable remedies. Where a suitable solution cannot be found, they may also need to support the OEP legal team with further enforcement action.
The role holder will:
- Assist the complaint handlers, as required, with the receipt and assessment of complaints to the OEP by the team.
- Contribute to the maintenance and evolution of the OEP Investigation and Enforcement processes.
- Develop and maintain collaborative working practices with other OEP departments to identify possible cases for investigation in line with the OEP Complaints and Enforcement procedure and the OEP Strategy.
- Assess the seriousness and priority of those cases, recommending which should proceed through to investigation and the suggested approach to take in each instance.
- Conduct investigations into serious cases, managing the relationship with the relevant public authority, making recommendations to managers around remedies, serving information notices where approved to do so, and drafting investigation reports.
- Produce final investigation reports for approval and publication on completed investigations and report on investigation activity.
- Support the OEP legal team with enforcement action that the OEP undertakes e.g., Decision Notices, Environmental Review.
- Support the G7 Investigations Manager with stakeholder (e.g., environmental regulators, Ombudsmen and NGOs) and media engagement in relation to the complaints and enforcement activities as needed.
The above list of job duties is not exclusive or exhaustive and the post holder will be required to undertake such tasks as may reasonably be expected within the scope and grading of the post.
All OEP roles are based in Worcester and/or Northern Ireland. This role will be based in Worcester.
All GB employees will be contractually based at the Worcester office. The OEP supports a blended working model and will support a combination of office and home working which will be dependent on business need and individual circumstances. GB based employees are expected to attend the office in Worcester for 40-60% of the week. If GB based, travel and subsistence will not be paid for travel to the office.
Contact point for applicants can be found via the 'Apply' button.
Closing date: Apply before 23.55 on Monday 12 June 2023.
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