The goal of the Commissioner and her staff is to contribute toward the maintenance and improvement of the natural and physical environment. Many agencies and individuals share this goal. We seek to achieve this through influencing decisions.
The Commissioner has seven statutory functions under the Environment Act to investigate environmental issues, processes and public agencies. As an Officer of Parliament, the Commissioner has a unique opportunity to provide Parliament with independent advice in its consideration of any matters that may have an impact on the quality of the environment. The Commissioner also communicates her advice to a wider public audience.
The Commissioner's work programme ranges from investigations into small local environmental concerns to analysis of major environmental issues and legislative changes. Some of our investigations are triggered by public suggestions.
The Commissioner's assistance to Parliament is our highest work priority and is governed by a Code of Practice developed through the Officers of Parliament Committee.
An opportunity to assist select committees arises when a bill or inquiry could lead to significant environmental impacts, positive or negative.
The Commissioner also assists Parliament through briefings to select committees or by open invitation to members of Parliament. Such briefings will always be offered when an investigation is complete and the report has been tabled in the House.
Environmental reviews and investigations are generally projects started by the Commissioner in response to a perceived need. These investigations contain recommendations from the Commissioner and are usually tabled in Parliament. Current investigations are listed here.