For controlled actions which have been approved under Chapter 4 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999
About the document
The Department is responsible for a range of regulatory functions under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). Any proposed action likely to have a significant impact on a matter protected by the Act must be approved by the Minister.
Actions approved under the EPBC Act are subject to the Department’s Compliance Monitoring Program which ensures compliance with conditions of approvals. Activities undertaken with this program include stakeholder engagement, strategic and responsive compliance monitoring inspections, and implementation of an annual Compliance Audit Plan including directing independent audits.
Many approval decisions require EPBC Act approval holders to ensure that an independent audit is undertaken within a specified timeframe or at the direction of the Minister. Alternatively, an approval holder may be directed to undertake an independent audit if there are suspected significant or multiple contraventions of conditions that may impact on a matter protected by the approval.
Independent audits help to ensure that projects with the potential to impact on matters of national environmental significance are implemented as planned. Audits also help the Australian Government to understand how well approval conditions are being understood, applied and contribute to improving the effectiveness of the Department’s operations.
The Independent Audit and Audit Report Guidelines provide general guidance to approval holders and auditors on how to conduct an independent audit and prepare an audit report for approvals granted under Chapter 4 of the EPBC Act. In particular, this document includes guidance on the:
- general principles when conducting an independent audit
- general principles for preparing an audit report
- independent audit process
- content of the audit report.
The 2019 Independent Audit and Audit Report Guidelines, updated on 7 June 2019, supersede previous versions.