By now you will know that the Environment agency will not yet be taking enforcement action against those organizations that have failed to meet the 5th December date.
The Agency have made it clear that the compliance date is set in law and cannot be changed – what is ‘flexible’ is when and how the Agency takes enforcement action.
For those using the audit route the new date is 29th January and for those using the ISO 50001 route it is 30 June 2016.
This soft approach is pragmatic on the part of the Agency as by 5th December only 4,000 organizations had complied with a further 2,500 stating that they intended to comply. The original estimate of the number of organizations that need to comply is around 10,000. So on that basis on 5th December there was 40% compliance; 25% intending to comply and 35% ignoring it!
Here is another question: Does the Agency know exactly how many organizations need to comply? Is it possible that more have complied than they think? This is considering organizations that qualify, but are nested under larger organizations. Arguably, the submission should identify the total number of organizations that are covered as those covering more than one entity need to state how many.
As an accountant friend said to me – if the qualification criteria is 250 plus employees then HMRC should be able to provide a listing.
Arguably, on the 5th December the Agency could have taken enforcement action against some 6,000 organizations. If we assume a fine of £50,000 per organization and 6,000 organizations that would total £300,000,000 in fines! I think we can see one reason why action has not been taken!
On this I wonder at what level the decision to enforce or not is made? Is it the Agency or DECC or Treasury?