Pre-appointment hearing for the Chair-Designate of the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP) Contents

2Recruitment process

Job specification and recruitment campaign

12.The recruitment campaign was launched on 10 August 2020 and closed on 08 September 2020. There were 21 applications, of which 4 were shortlisted and 3 were deemed appointable by the Advisory Assessment Panel chaired by the Permanent Secretary, with Lord Kakkar acting as the senior independent member.9

13.The advert described the role as:

The Chair of the OEP will provide leadership and strategic vision for the board, ensure good governance and, with the board, hold the executive to account. The chair will promote a positive and constructive relationship with everyone that works with the OEP including Parliament, government Ministers, departments, and public authorities; along with a wide range of interest groups as well as others. The chair is appointed by, and is accountable to, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs.10

With the essential criteria for the role being:

14.The role was advertised on the basis that the successful candidate would be appointed as “Chair-designate” from 1 January 2021 to oversee the work of the Interim Environmental Governance Secretariat (see paragraph 5 above), employed by the Department on a fixed-term contract, and then formally appointed as Chair of the OEP once the relevant legislation was commenced. It was expected that the Chair would spend a minimum of two days a week on OEP business.

Government’s preferred candidate

15.The Secretary of State wrote to the Chairs of the Committees on 8 December to inform them that Dame Glenys Stacey was his preferred candidate as Chair-designate.11

16.Dame Glenys’ CV is appended to this report.12 A solicitor by training she has held a number of senior public sector positions. She is currently the interim Chief Regulator of Ofqual, appointed in August 2020, having served as Her Majesty’s Inspector of Probation from 2016 to 2019. From 2012 to 2016 she was the permanent Chief Executive and Chief Regulator of Ofqual. Previous roles have included being the founding CEO of the Criminal Cases Review Commission from 1997, and Chief Executive of the Defra NDPB Animal Health (now the Animal and Plant Health Agency) from 2004 to 2008. She also carried out an independent review of farm inspection and regulation for Defra in 2018.

Pre-appointment hearing

17.Prior to the hearing the Committees asked Dame Glenys to fill out a questionnaire. Her responses; an extract from her supporting statement from her original application; and her declaration of interests and political activity are all appended to this report.13 She declared no relevant interests or political activity.

18.The pre-appointment hearing was held on 15 December 2020. The areas covered included:

19.We pressed her on her willingness to hold Government to account and she assured us that she saw this as an essential component to her role and would have no fear nor favour in doing so.

Conclusion

20.Following the conclusion of the hearing, we are satisfied that the recruitment campaign and Dame Glenys Stacey’s selection as the Government’s Chair-designate of the Office for Environmental Protection were in accordance with the Governance Code on Public Appointments, and that Dame Glenys Stacey is a suitable candidate for this position.

21.We welcomed her candid recognition that she does not yet have a deep environmental understanding; we would expect her to focus on and grow that understanding and ensure that the Office for Environmental Protection’s staff, and in particular the chief executive, have that deep knowledge and experience of environmental issues, policy and law.

9 Further details on the recruitment process provided by the Department are appended as appendix A

10Chair of the Office for Environmental Protection” HM Government Appointments [accessed 9 December 2020]

11 Appendix B

12 Appendix C

13 Appendixes D, E, and F




Published: 18 December 2020 Site information    Accessibility statement