Environment Minister Edwin Poots has announced the appointment of Malcolm Beatty OBE as a Northern Ireland Non-Executive Member of the Office for Environmental Protection (OEP).

Beatty is a chartered forester and chartered public finance accountant who worked for many years in the Northern Ireland Civil Service before retiring from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) in 2018. 

Amongst other posts in the agricultural sector Malcolm was chief executive and accounting officer of the Northern Ireland Forest Service, and the Northern Ireland chief plant health officer. 

In 2019 he was awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to the environment in Northern Ireland and he is heavily involved with multiple charities.

Beatty's non-executive member position is effective for a five-year term beginning tomorrow (April 1) and he will be remunerated at £415 for each day worked, with an anticipation of working four to six days per month.

Confirming the new appointment, Minister Edwin Poots said:

"I want to welcome Malcolm into this new role. He brings a depth of knowledge, skills and experience, not only in matters relating to the environment and the countryside, but also in governance, leadership and decision making.

"Malcolm will bring extensive knowledge and insight on Northern Irish matters to the OEP board.”

Dame Glenys Stacey, chair of the OEP, added: “I very much look forward to welcoming Malcolm to the OEP Board. I know that he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and experience and that he will make a valuable contribution to our work to protect and improve the environment.

“We are now focused on putting everything in place to enable us to act on our welcome new responsibilities in Northern Ireland and this appointment is another significant step forward.”

The Office for Environmental Protection

The OEP was established in November 2021 under the provisions of the Environment Act 2021. It was vested with its powers on January 24, 2022. 

The (Environment Act) Commencement and Saving Provision (Northern Ireland) Order 2022 which was approved at the Northern Ireland Assembly on February 22, 2022 allowed Northern Ireland to come under the OEP’s jurisdiction.

The functions of the OEP will be to: Provide independent scrutiny and advice on environmental law and policy; investigate environmental complaints; and, if necessary, take enforcement action against public authorities who breach environmental law.