5.13 Audit report

The contents of the environmental or social audit report depend on the type of audit being carried out and what is agreed between the auditor and the management commissioning the audit. Some audit reports of mine sites are very detailed; others report only exceptions (that is, only instances where the audit findings do not meet the agreed audit criteria).

Audit reports may include recommendations (which is common for external audit reports) or, in the case of internal and management systems audits, they may only report nonconformances with internal policies, procedures and standards, or noncompliances with regulatory requirements. Recommendations may be graded (for example, emergency, urgent, improvement or normal) and nonconformances may be ranked (for example, major, minor, improvement or observation). The auditor may be required to verify at a later date that recommendations have been addressed, or that nonconformances have been subjected to corrective and/or preventive action.

Mandatory audit reports may be restricted by the regulator in the terminology that can be used. For example, some regulators requiring mandatory audits may permit only compliance and noncompliance to be used; others may allow compliance, part-compliance, noncompliance, observation and improvement to be used. It is important that the auditor undertaking a mandatory environmental compliance audit of a mine obtains direction from the regulator on the terminology to be used.

Greenhouse and energy audit reports must follow the mandatory requirements in the Audit Determination Handbook published by the Clean Energy Regulator in October 2015 (CER 2015).

Contents of a typical environmental audit report under the EPBC Act

  1. Audit objective
  2. EPBC Act controlling provisions
  3. Audit findings
    1. 3.1 Compliance
    2. 3.2 Noncompliance
    3. 3.3 Undetermined
    4. 3.4 Observations
  4. Recommendations
  5. Audit process
  6. Terminology
  7. Attachment A—approval notification—EPBC 2001/x
  8. Final report distribution
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