Original publish date – Fri, 20 Feb 2009 06:59:42 +0000, Gavin

On occasion I will receive an email from other consultancies/verification agencies or a question from my clients saying what is happening with self assessment. The last one I received said they thought that since accreditation is finalised self assessment would be phased out in time.

Importantly  they are not saying it is not allowed, they are speculating that in time it will be phased out in favour of accreditation. I believe that the market will move in the other direction and see accreditation as an unnecessary issue. A business would rather choose his auditor with whom he has already built up a good relationship and has an audit standard qualification.

The DTI and businesses in general have proven time and time again that self assessment is the most effective form of producing a BEE scorecard. Unfortunately it is no surprise that verification agencies and those associated with them want to see self assessment “phased out” because it takes away from their task as consultants or reduces the need for verification. The same example stands with the charters because it will make BEE more complex which in turn will result in more business.

Finally, I am a firm believer in the free market – let businesses decide what they want. Government (The DTI) is here to facilitate the transaction but it is businesses job to implement BEE. Although BEE is a social act it is very much driven by the forces of the market, this can easily be proven by looking at the Preferential Procurement Element – you need a scorecard because you want business. Procurement is the only real form of push that businesses have to implement BEE and it works, for the same reason that self assessment is an important part of Black Economic Empowerment.

Self assessment is needed, as is a high level of credibility to ensure accuracy.

Let businesses decide how much they want to spend on verification and give them to tools to make their own decisions.