Original publish date – Thu, 13 Aug 2009 12:17:24 +0000, Keith

Some verification agencies believe that one interpretation applies, others that  a different one applies. One agency flatly refuses to accept a particular calculation, while the other fully accepts that calculation.

One example is the calculation around early repayment of invoices. One agency believes that a company can claim a maximum of 15% of invoice value for paying COD while the other believes that 100% of the invoice value is claimable. Each produce a letter or email from someone justifying their position. Let’s say Agency A believes that 100% is claimable and Agency B follows the 15% rule while Agency A follows the 100% rule. We of course know that the 100% rule is the right one and have a letter from  the chief director of the dti’s BEE unit to prove it.

Now Agency A produces a certificate for “Company X” using their interpretation giving “Company X” 14 points more than Agency B would have. Now “Company X” is a supplier to “Company Z” and gives them a scorecard showing them to have a score from Agency B’s viewpoint that is 14 points too high.

What should Agency B do? When they do the procurement calculation for their client “Company Z”, do they reject the scorecard supplied to them by “Company X”? If they had principles they should reject that scorecard on the basis that the company is misrepresenting their score, ie fronting. If the boot was on the other foot, then Agency A acting for “Company X” should reject the scorecard produced by Agency B for “Company Z”, in this case on the strange basis that the scorecard is 14 points too low – misrepresentation nevertheless!

What happens in practice? Neither agency rejects the other’s scorecard, as long as they are fellow SANAS accredited agencies (even though the minister has extended the period for “non-accredited verification agencies” to continue issuing scorecards.

If an agency accepts a scorecard produced by an alternate calculation, does this mean that the agency accepts both calculations as being valid? If so, why would one agency chose to use a calculation that decreases its client’s score while accepting that calculation for one of its client’s suppliers.

A conundrum indeed!

See below for the dti’s comments on this issue:
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No,  nothing from them either!