Board to Audit Enforcement in Fort St. James Forest District
VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will audit the appropriateness of government enforcement of the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) within the Fort St. James Forest District.
Two government ministries are responsible for FRPA enforcement: the Ministry of Forests and the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection. The audit will review the enforcement activities, systems and procedures used by government to encourage compliance with forest practices legislation. These activities include risk assessments, inspection of forest operations, investigations of possible FRPA contraventions, determinations (e.g., remediation orders and penalties) and follow-up.
The audit area of the Fort St. James Forest District boundaries covers approximately 3.174 million hectares. The district covers a varied landscape, with many rivers and lakes, from the town of Fort St. James at the southern end of the district to the mountainous region of the north.
Under FRPA, the Forest Practices Board is required to carry out periodic independent audits to see if government is enforcing the code appropriately. The audit area was selected randomly, not on the basis of location or level of performance.
The four-member audit team consists of foresters and accountants, and may also include engineers and other specialists as required. The team began office work in June 2004 and fieldwork will be conducted during the week of September 13, 2004.
Once the fieldwork is done, the audit team will report its findings to the members of the Forest Practices Board. If there are any audit findings that would adversely affect any of the auditees, they must be given a chance to respond before the board prepares its final report and recommendations for release to the public and the government.
The Forest Practices Board is an independent public watchdog that reports to the public about compliance with the Forest Practices Code and the achievement of its intent. The board’s mandate has been retained under the new Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). The board’s main roles under FRPA are:
- Auditing forest practices of government and licence holders on public lands.
- Auditing government enforcement of FRPA.
- Investigating public complaints.
- Undertaking special investigations of forestry issues.Participating in administrative appeals.
- Providing reports on board activities, findings and recommendations.
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 356-1586 / 1 800 994-5899
September 7, 2004