In my role as a lead assessor I have had to review a number of audit reports for ESOS. This comes on the back of the work that I undertook in the past for the Carbon Trust as a Quality Reviewer. I suppose what I am saying is that I have extensive experience in reviewing audit reports!
A dilemma that I have had is where a third party has undertaken an audit but there are issues. I illustrate this below with two examples which are based on fact but ‘edited’ for the purposes of a public posting.
a) the client had a number of existing audits that had been undertaken that were within the required time frame; b) they had come to ESOS ‘late’ and had very little time to report compliance; c) although meeting the minimum ESOS requirements the audits were ‘poor’ quality.
The issue here was that the audits were not good quality, but had meet minimum requirements and identified key savings opportunities. Should we instruct the client to have new audits? My conclusion was that there would be little benefit in repeating the audits, but that the client needed to undertake an investment grade follow up – outside the scope of ESOS.
a) The client had appointed a separate consultant to undertake site audits; b) these were of questionable quality and did not cover management aspects, but arguably, with the exception of management, met minimum requirements.
As time was passing and the client wanted to comply by 5 December the client agreed to accept the auditor’s poor quality reports but to supplement them with an ‘overview’ report that addressed the missing management issues.
In both cases the compliance deadline had a significant impact. Without the deadline a different course of action could be taken.