The UK Environment Agency (EA) is failing to perform its regulatory functions due to mismanagement and insufficient funding, resulting in a loss of jobs and complicity in pollution, The Guardian reported on Thursday, citing unnamed employees
MOSCOW (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 20th January, 2022) The UK Environment Agency (EA) is failing to perform its regulatory functions due to mismanagement and insufficient funding, resulting in a loss of jobs and complicity in pollution, The Guardian reported on Thursday, citing unnamed employees.
The employees wished to remain anonymous in fear of reprisals from EA chief executive James Bevan, who they said has "been very clear that he will sack anybody that is seen to be openly criticising the agency," as quoted in the report.
Government funding and grants have decreased compared to before the pandemic, and the agency is deprioritizing tasks that do not generate income in order to become "almost entirely self-sufficient," the employees said.
Fewer tasks has led to many officers being dismissed - "those that go out to pollution events and inspect works" - and funding earmarked for environmental interventions used to "fill newly created management roles that have no impact on frontline duties," the employees said.
"Should a polluter be caught, any tools that were at (its) disposal to take action have been systematically removed ... Officers are actively encouraged not to take enforcement action, and asked to find another solution. We are no longer a deterrent to polluters," an employee was quoted as saying.
These policies have resulted in the EA becoming "a regulator that is toothless," they added. Employee morale is low and many are dismayed by not being allowed to do the job they had hoped to do when coming to the agency, especially with regard to water pollution, according to the report.
The report quoted an Environment Agency spokesperson as saying that it strives to provide a "healthy and high-quality working environment" and regularly surveys employees to know their opinion.