The role identification is already in place, and even with that it was not enough for people to understand the difference between people and files. Also, the link to respond an audit complicate things, because we will have two ways to get into the modal to send a response (the link and also the note). Also there is too much repeated text to explain what each icon on the right represent. I think that the text should be visible only when user mouse hover the icons. But for that happen we need a column name and split the icons between two columns again (approved and considered).
I don't think that the idea to use the pencil icon also as a sign of something new related to the file is good. The problem is that it's not obvious, because inside the row actions we have many more actions than just info (notes). It will be even harder for users to understand what the icon in a darker color means. Also it's duplicating and also complicating a process (to post and view notes) that's already easily implemented in a different way in other places (like the "people" icon notes). I think that our current implementation related to notes is much easier to understand and work.