qwe Natural Resource Permitting Project Natural Resource Permitting Project 

British Columbia Government

The British Columbia government’s natural resource sector (NRS) comprises six ministries. As a group, these ministries manage provincial Crown land and natural resources, protect the environment, and preserve the province’s historic sites.

The NRS also administers the electricity, alternative energy, mining, and petroleum resource sectors. In addition, it leads the B.C. government’s reconciliation activities with the First Nations and Indigenous peoples of British Columbia.

The economic impact of the NRS is significant for the province: 153,000 jobs and $2.5 billion in direct annual revenue.

The application process for natural resource permits was siloed, cumbersome and out-of-date. That process had been developed to support individual ministries and lines of business. It did not align with the new NRS structure — on systems, business processes, or legislation. 

Integration was a primary area of concern. NRS technology systems were rigidly structured along vertical lines of business. Operational data was fragmented. Processes were different in each district office. 

The NRS also faced challenges unrelated to the reorganization. The provincial workforce was shrinking, yet authorizations were increasing in both number and complexity. Many of the technology systems were reaching the end of their useful life. 

As a result, the application process took too long, produced unsustainable decisions, and was frustrating for both applicants and staff. This left the NRS increasingly vulnerable to legal action and compensation liabilities for permits given in error. It also hampered its ability to protect the environment.

BDO was engaged to support the Natural Resource Permitting Project (NRPP). This project was designed to align legislation, processes, people, and technology to allow for the integrated management of B.C.’s shared natural resources. The NRPP is a component of the wider NRS transformation plan.

BDO provided business transformation advisory services on over 20 initiatives in a multi-year transformation of the NRS, aligning and integrating six ministries, their cultures, business processes, legislation, data, and systems to provide integrated customer-centric services. 

In this role, BDO advised and supported senior-level decision-makers in various business areas as they developed and implemented strategic plans, managing internal and external expectations to support change management goals. 

BDO also led benefits realization workshops and discussions to gain alignment on the business outcomes for overall portfolio and various programs and projects within it. This helped senior decision-makers identify measureable outcomes – and then focus on activities to meet those goals, anchored in stakeholder needs and expectations.

Finally, BDO was instrumental in the building of a change management office for the Natural Resource Sector Transformation Secretariat, helping to develop a high-performing team and standardized processes, creating awareness of and desire for change management services throughout the NRS, and building internal change management capacity. BDO built and championed the use and evolution of change management processes and tools to structure the NRS for the future.

The British Columbia government’s natural resource sector (NRS) comprises six ministries. As a group, these ministries manage provincial Crown land and natural resources, protect the environment, and preserve the province’s historic sites.

Stewardship values, frameworks, and tools are being incorporated into authorization decision-making, as well as ongoing project management, and compliance and enforcement processes. Risk models and processes that balance the risks associated with the geography and the activity with the needs of the applicant are being integrated into practices that will safeguard public resources.  

The new platform helps citizens and businesses understand how B.C. resources are used, identifies potential resource development opportunities, and provides activity-based guidance material, in a common look and feel, with links to relevant data to inform clients and help them submit high-quality authorization applications.

Kieran Harrop, MBA
Vice President, Consulting, National Provincial Sector Lead

For more information, please contact:

Carrie Gallo, MBA, PMP, CCSA, CRMA
Partner, National Public Sector Leader

Your local BDO Office 


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60,000 MEMBERS

use the application information online to learn about the applications in the province

up-to-date on applications of interest to them

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