EconoBEE Newsletter – Accredited Verification Agencies – What Now?

EconoBEE – Newsletter February 2009
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Latest BEE News?

Accreditation of BEE Verification Agencies

February 9, 2009, marks the second anniversary of the Department of Trade and Industry’s (the dti’s) gazetting of the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes of Good Practice. As we celebrate this momentous achievement, a number of …
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Abva Welcomes Accredited Agencies

ABVA Welcomes Dti Announcement of Accreditation of BEE Verification Agencies

ABVA (the Association of BEE Verification Agencies) welcomes the dti’s announcement of the first batch of accredited Verification Agencies. Both the verification industry and the business community at large…
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And now what…

Don’t panic! Accreditation simply means a high standard for a verification agency has been set and those who are accredited have met these standards.

As always it is best practice to prepare a BEE scorecard internally, collect proof and ensure that the BEE targets are reached. Remember a BEE verification is the last step in your BEE journey.

Accredited Verification Agencies – What Now?

The dti has now announced that they have accredited a small selection of verification agencies. This list currently comprises of 11 organisations out of an estimated 85.
EconoBEE welcomes the announcement and congratulates the companies that have received accreditation. EconoBEE is a BEE consultancy and is not a verification agency. We support our clients when they need to become BEE compliant.

What does this mean to you?

Your existing certificate and your suppliers’ certificates are still valid
An accredited agency has met the requirements as set out by SANAS – it does not mean that they are the only companies who are allowed to produce a scorecard. Existing certificates are still valid. An accredited verification agency is ISO accredited and has proved their capability to ISO.

Non-accredited/self assessments are still acceptable
The dti codes emphasises that self assessments/non-accredited certificates are still acceptable, as long as all certificates have sufficient evidence to prove the score. The basic fundamental principles built into the BEE legislation require very detailed documentary evidence. Without such evidence and documentation a scorecard is invalid. If you reject your customer’s scorecard or allow your verification agency to reject it, only you will suffer – in the form of a lower score.

Your verification agency may not consult to you
Their only job is to verify your documentation and calculate your score. If you give them poor or no documentation, you will receive no points. This process is identical to the auditing industry, in fact we even call a BEE Verification a BEE “Audit”. It is the job of the company to prepare the scorecard, collate the proof and ensure that every aspect of the score is correct. Once they are satisfied with their score then they can choose to get their scorecard verified.

The Verification Process
Once you have decided to have your scorecard verified you will approach a company of your choice. They must follow the BEE codes and interpret it correctly, check your documentation and calculate a final verified scorecard.

Beware of inconsistencies in their methods of calculation
It is your job to check that your agency has calculated correctly and accepted your proof of points. If points are rejected, ask why! We are still seeing discrepancies of up to 15 points between different verification agencies. The objective of accreditation is to ensure that all agencies interpret the codes and calculate points consistently. This is not happening.

Is Verification Mandatory
No, it is in the best interests of your business to supply credible information to your clients. The quality of the work produced by your BEE consultant or verification agency is a reflection of your own business. Accurate documentation/evidence is always essential and can be submitted in the form of a self assessment. In some instances it will make sense to have your data verified by an agency (BEE Auditor).

One less excuse not to become BEE compliant
Although the concept of an accredited agency is now a reality this does not change your starting position. Get a scorecard before you spend money with an agency. Many companies have told us they want to wait until agencies are accredited before starting their BEE journey. That time is now!

You can appeal their decisions
Now both
dti and SANAS will have recourse to assist you in making sure an agency’s job is done correctly and professionally – but make sure you have the correct information at your fingertips.

Verifying the Verification Agencies
We are growing increasingly concerned that our clients complaints re verification agencies are being largely unheard. Now that companies are accredited, they have to follow the codes more properly and must follow the methodologies and interpretations of the dti. If any reader has any experience of one of these instances, please let us know and we will take up all the issues with the dti, SANAS and the relevant organizations. Let us remember that ABVA remains a marketing organisation representing the views of verification agencies and is unable to objectively adjudicate a complaint.

Still Confused!
We have many solutions for you. Visit www.bee-expert-group.co.za and post your questions on the online forum. Attend one of our famous BEE scorecard workshops where you will get a good practical insight into BEE and Verification. EconoBEE V3 is the most user friendly self assessment tool out, it will guide you in a step by step process exactly how to produce a scorecard and more importantly help you retain appropriate documentation. If you are a large company, contact us, we have just the service for you.

Remember

BEE Points = Business

That’s it for the time being.
Regards

Keith and the EconoBEE Team

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