O. Reg. 160/04: INDEPENDENT FOREST AUDITS
filed June 10, 2004 under Crown Forest Sustainability Act, 1994, S.O. 1994, c. 25Skip to content
ontario regulation 160/04
made under the
crown forest sustainability act, 1994
Made: June 9, 2004
Filed: June 10, 2004
Printed in The Ontario Gazette: June 26, 2004
independent forest audits
1. (1) At least once every five years a forest audit shall be conducted for all management units north of the southern boundary of the area referred to in the order entitled “Declaration Order made under the Environmental Assessment Act regarding MNR’s Class Environmental Assessment Approval for Forest Management on Crown Lands in Ontario”, dated June 25, 2003, that is posted on the Ministry’s web site (http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/).
(2) An audit shall be conducted in accordance with the terms of reference and the timetable established by the Minister for the audit.
(3) The Minister shall review the terms of reference for audits at least once every five years and shall consult the public when carrying out the review.
Notice of audit
2. (1) The Minister shall give notice to the holder of the forest resource licence for the management unit when an audit relating to the management unit is scheduled.
(2) The auditors shall give notice of the audit to the local citizens’ committee, First nations whose communities are situated within or adjacent to the management unit scheduled for the audit and members of the public, and shall provide them with a reasonable opportunity to provide information and comments during the conduct of the audit.
3. (1) An audit shall be carried out by a team of at least three independent auditors working together.
(2) An auditor is not independent if,
(a) the auditor or his or her spouse,
(i) is an employee, agent, partner or associate of the licensee; or
(ii) in the case of a licensee that is a corporation, is a member, director, officer or shareholder, other than through holding an interest in a mutual fund; or
(b) the auditor provided at any time during the period covered by the audit any services that would be the subject of the audit, whether on behalf of the licensee or on behalf of the Crown.
(3) An auditor shall possess the skills, knowledge, experience and professional credentials necessary for the proper conduct of a forest audit.
(4) At least one member of a forest audit team shall be a professional forester under the Act.
Conduct of audit
4. (1) In conducting a forest audit, the auditors shall,
(a) assess to what extent forest management planning activities comply with the Forest Management Planning Manual and the Act;
(b) assess to what extent forest management activities comply with the Act and with the forest management plans, the manuals approved under the Act and the applicable guides;
(c) assess the effectiveness of forest management activities in meeting the forest management objectives set out in the forest management plan, as measured in relation to the criteria established for the audit;
(d) compare the forest management activities carried out with those that were planned;
(e) assess the effectiveness of any action plans implemented to remedy shortcomings revealed by a previous audit; and
(f) review and assess a licensee’s compliance with the terms and conditions of the forest resources licence.
(2) An auditor shall not disclose any information obtained in the course of an audit except as is necessary for the purpose of the audit report or, as directed by the Ministry, for other related forest audits.
5. (1) On completion of an audit, the auditors shall prepare a final audit report and submit it to the licensee, the Minister and the local citizens’ committee, if any.
(2) If requested by the Minister, the auditors shall prepare supplementary audit reports and submit them to the persons mentioned in subsection (1).
(3) An audit report shall state conclusions and provide recommendations based on the evidence identified during the audit, including, where applicable, a recommendation regarding an extension of the term of the licence under subsection 26 (3) of the Act.
(4) The Minister shall lay each audit report before the Legislative Assembly if it is in session and, if the Assembly is not in session, the reports shall be deposited with the Clerk of the Assembly.
(5) The Minister shall ensure that the following is posted on the Ministry’s web site (www.mnr.gov.on.ca) as soon as possible after the tabling of an audit report:
1. A notice of the tabling of the report.
2. A notice indicating that an action plan in response to the audit report is available.