The FAC is an appellate tribunal established by and operating as arms’ length from the government of British Columbia. The FAC’s role is to consider and decide appeals from certain decisions made under five provincial acts:
- Forest Act,
- Forest and Range Practices Act,
- Private Managed Forest Land Act,
- Range Act, and
- Wildfire Act.
The FAC strives to provide the public with a fair and accessible appeal process to decide appeals and related preliminary matters. The FAC provides services in an unbiased manner, and aims to be timely and cost-effective in doing so. The FAC seeks to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the appeal process and, where warranted, affect or recommend improvements.
To achieve its objectives, the FAC works to ensure that appeal processes are accessible to the public, fair to all parties, and responsive to parties’ needs. The FAC continuously works to improve its registry and appellate processes, so that it can improve timeliness and efficiency in decision-making. The FAC encourages collaborative problem-solving between parties and, where adjudication is necessary, ensures that members are trained and equipped to reach fair and logical outcomes based on the circumstances of each individual case, grounded in the applicable law.
The FAC’s decisions are made by provincial appointees: a full-time Chair and Vice Chair (the Vice Chair, Service Delivery) plus part-time members (one or more of whom may also be designated as Vice Chairs). Appointments are made by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (Cabinet), following a merit-based process. All vice chair and member appointments are made in consultation with the Chair. The FAC is committed to membership that represents the diversity of British Columbia, while maintaining expertise in all appropriate fields of study and employment.
The FAC’s operations are run by seven full-time public servants. Along with the Chair, the staff are responsible for all aspects of logistical and administrative operations, registry services, public contact, and co-ordination with other administrative tribunals “clustered” with the FAC.
The FAC is committed to a transparent and accountable process. Its decisions might be reviewed and changed by courts. All decisions are provided to the relevant Cabinet Minister (as defined in the Act under which any given appeal is brought) and the Chair produces annual reports that are available to the public.
As of April 1, 2022, the FAC is subject to the Public Interest Disclosure Act. This legislation protects employees and former employees who disclose suspected wrongdoing in any government ministry, body, or office. The FAC has created procedures to explain the process it will follow if it receives any disclosure that falls under the Public Interest Disclosure Act. Those procedures are available here.