What Does A Forest Practices Board Compliance Audit Do, and Not Do?
A Forest Practices Board compliance audit is quite specific about what is being audited, in what time frame, and what legislation activities are assessed against. The selection of a licence for audit is based on a modified random sample process, not on past performance or public complaints.
Board audits do:
- assess the past practices of a specific licensee or licensees objectively and without bias,
- assess practices over a specific time frame (called the “audit period” – usually looking back one or two years, up to the final day the auditors are in the field),
- assess if the licensee is in compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) and the Wildfire Act,
- assess a sample of practices, with more audit effort allocated to areas where the risk of non-compliance is greater,
- assess practices to determine the final results of the audit, which are publicly reported,
- provide assurance about the level of compliance with FRPA and the Wildfire Act on Crown land in British Columbia,
- contribute to the continuous improvement of forest and range practices in British Columbia.
Board audits do not:
- comment on practices occurring before or after the audit period,
- judge the adequacy of FRPA or the Wildfire Act,
- judge the adequacy of land use plans or objectives that are in place for the area,
- assess if the licensee is in compliance with other legislation such as the Forest Act, or the Water Sustainability Act,
- examine all of the forest or range practices in a given area, just those of the selected licensee(s) within the audit period,
- assess the effectiveness of the licensee’s practices.
Forest Practices Board compliance auditors collect and evaluate evidence to determine if the forestry or range activities are consistent with the forest and range practices legislation, operational plans and government objectives for forest and range resources. Board audits involve extensive fieldwork, use standards based on those used in financial audits, and are consistent with other environmental auditing standards.
The Board’s audit standards are documented in the Compliance Audit Reference Manual, Version 7.1, July 2016.