Driving Performance at Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency
Environmental regulators strive to protect the environment and public health from
pollution from economic activity. This report uses the OECD Performance Assessment
Framework for Economic Regulators (PAFER) to assess both the internal and external
governance of Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It looks at the EPA’s
role and objectives, its financial and human resources, processes for internal management
and decision making, and systems for performance assessment. The review acknowledges
the EPA’s achievements and good practices, analyses the key drivers of its performance,
and identifies a number of challenges and opportunities for improvement to help the
regulator prepare for the future.
Ireland’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a trusted and respected body for environmental and radiological protection that is recognised for its scientific integrity. The EPA’s broad mandate spans regulatory delivery, data and research, and advocacy campaigns.
An evolving context requires a well-thought-through strategic response from the EPA. Pressures on licensing and enforcement functions are increasing as economic activity picks up and a new whole-of-government climate action plan seeks to fundamentally change the way Ireland tackles the climate emergency. The EPA must make important strategic decisions about its future role and objectives and its ambition to be a cutting-edge regulator.
The recently-adopted inspections and enforcement policy provides an opportunity to promote the principles of responsive regulation, focusing on outcomes. Monitoring the EPA’s performance and communicating its results clearly will enable the EPA to show the impact of its activities to its diverse stakeholders.