Defra has launched a review of the Environment Agency and Natural England, saying it would provide a “robust challenge of both form and function” of both bodies.
Senior industry figures have been invited to discuss possible changes to both agencies as part of a triennial review, which are now mandatory for all non-departmental public bodies (NDPBs).
A Defra statement said: “The Secretary of State has written to the chairs of Natural England and the Environment Agency explaining her intention to hold a single joint review of Natural England and the Environment Agency later this year, with the aim that preliminary conclusions will be available early in 2013.
“Over the summer and autumn, Defra will work with stakeholders, and with Natural England and the Environment Agency, to seek views around the scope and focus of the review and how best to engage with stakeholders, ahead of the review.”
Guidance set out by the Cabinet Office on triennial reviews for NDPBs indicated two principal aims:
- To provide a robust challenge of the continuing need for individual NDPBs – both their functions and their form
- Where it is agreed that a particular body should remain as an NDPB, to review the control and governance arrangements in place to ensure that the public body is complying with recognised principles of good corporate governance.