An environmental auditor can be engaged by:
- a site owner/occupier (or their representative)
- a prospective purchaser
There must be no conflict of interest with the auditor and their assessment. The auditor must not have a financial interest in the site; or previously assessed the site and commented on its suitability of use (unless as part of a previous audit).
Choosing an auditor
EPA maintains a list of appointed auditors covering three categories – contaminated land, industrial facilities and natural resources. EPA does not provide recommendations for the engagement of auditors.
Finding and engaging an auditor is a task that should be undertaken carefully. It is important to clarify all arrangements and management of potential issues through a written agreement.
Points to consider when finding and engaging an auditor:
- What type of audit is required (53X or 53V)?
- Has an audit or assessment been undertaken previously? Apart from providing background, it may limit the choice of auditor to avoid conflicts of interest. Copies of audits are available on the website, and can be searched by street address.
- Have audits been undertaken in the area or for similar facilities? Auditors with background knowledge of the area or activity may be more effective in developing the scope of work required.
- Ask for detailed cost estimates with quotations, ensuring that the scope of the work is clearly described.
- Clarify the process for undertaking additional work if it is found to be necessary, and the process for managing the project during unforeseen delays, in the original contract.
- Engaging an auditor and environmental consultant who have a productive working relationship may provide for a smoother process during the environmental audit.
Following the engagement, if you believe that an auditor has not performed to the standard required, or in a manner as agreed in your contract, you may choose to inform EPA. Environmental auditor appointment and conduct – Guidelines (publication 865) sets out a process for reporting and investigating complaints made against auditors.