Audit Selection Policies (Selection Process and Eligibility of a Licence or Licensee)
A key function of the Forest Practices Board is to conduct periodic independent audits of forest and range practice performance of both government and industry in British Columbia, and to report the results of these audits to the public and the Minister responsible for implementing the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act.
COMPLIANCE AUDIT SELECTION – A Modified Random Sample Process
To ensure relevance of compliance audits, the Board randomly selects a district or area from each of the eight natural resource regions in BC. This ensures geographical representation across the province. Once the district or area is selected, auditors review the forest resources, geographic features, operating conditions and other factors in the district or area selected. These are considered in conjunction with Board operational and strategic priorities and then the auditee(s) is selected. The objective is to have a range of audits across the province that capture a variety of these different factors, such as different sizes and forms of tenures, different types of licensees, different geographic features and forest values at risk, and that are consistent with the Board’s current strategic priority themes or topics. For BC Timber Sales audits, a district within a business area is selected randomly. Auditees are not selected on the basis of location or level of performance.
AUDIT FREQUENCY – How Long A Licence Or Licensee Should Be Withdrawn From The Pool For Audit Selection
In 2004, the Board decided that five years was a fair and reasonable length of time for a licence to be withdrawn from the ‘eligibility pool’ for audit selection, once it has been the subject of a Board compliance audit. That timeframe remains in place today.
In 2004, the Board also decided that once the Board has selected a licensee1 for audit in one district or area, that licensee will not be eligible to have other licences selected for audit in other districts or areas in the same year. This will ensure that the Board reaches as many different licensees across the province as possible in any given year.
However, ensuring that one licensee isn’t selected for a compliance audit more than once in a year does not preclude that same licensee, or even the same licence(s) from being investigated based on a complaint or being selected as part of a special investigation in that same year.
These policies are intended to ensure that the Board’s audit program will have a lighter, yet farther reaching touch on the hundreds of forest and range licences in British Columbia.
1 It is possible that the Board may choose to audit multiple licences held by a licensee in one district or area as part of the same audit, and it is also possible that the Board may choose to audit multiple locations of one licence, such as a Tree Farm Licence, even if those locations are in different districts.