Important information regarding Vegetation Management (formerly WPAD Audit)

My office has received several calls inquiring as to the release date of the Vegetation Inspection Audit. It is my hope that this post clarifies the scope of the upcoming audit report. The report will be released in mid-November.

In the spring of 2012 I announced the initiation of a performance audit of the Oakland Wildfire Prevention Assessment District (WPAD). Due to resource limitations, in August 2012 my office put the audit on hold. In June 2013 we reinitiated the audit, however, during our initial work it became clear that our audit to determine if the Oakland Fire Department (OFD) effectively manages the City’s vegetation inspection process would not include a review of the WPAD. OFD's Fire Prevention Bureau, in its role in mitigating the risk and safeguarding Oakland from another catastrophic disaster, is responsible for vegetation management which includes the inspection process. Inspections are performed by Firefighters funded through the General Fund, not the tax assessed through the WPAD. While the WPAD provides funding for some support services to the inspection process, its involvement was insignificant to our audit scope. The WPAD collects monies from property owners in the District to pay for additional fire prevention, suppression, and preparedness activities generally beyond what is provided by OFD. Specifically, regarding the inspection process, the WPAD only provides limited funding for database support services (approximately $35,000 and $45,000 for Fiscal Years 2012 and 2013).

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