While reviewing a dozen audit reports, I encountered striking records of “evidence”. A few examples:
“There is no illegal activity ever happened in the area”
“As stated in the management plan on page 3, the revised management plan will incorporate the results of monitoring and/or new scientific and technical information”
“Free prior and informed concent has been followed by the FME through sending letter to inform the community”
While allowance must be made due to the language gap (Indonesian – English), I really take issue with mindlessly pasting opinions and texts in an audit report. But what irks me most is the idea that sending a letter even comes close to Free, Prior and Informed Consent! A compliance audit is about cross-checking (1) documents, (2) interviews and (3) observations… also nicknamed ‘triangulation’. It’s not a checklist exercise that a child can do. Sadly, some things cannot be unseen (or unread), and ignorance is bliss!