Some verification agencies are saying that they are not allowed to accept a rating from any organization that is not a member of ABVA.

How wrong they are!
My initial reaction to hearing this news is “they would”. They would say this because they want to protect their own interests, and the interests of their members – keep the business in the family as it were!
Who is ABVA? They are the association of BEE Verification Agencies – a group of companies that wish to become verification agencies. They have no legal standing in terms of the codes of good practice! They are recognised as a credible association and many of the members are well known and respectable businesses. Maybe I should say “were a credible association”, since it is absolutely not true that only ABVA members are allowed to rate your business.

ABVA is not even the organization that will accredit verifications agencies – this job will be done by SANAS. Interestingly enough SANAS does not require prospective verifications agencies to even be a member of ABVA. SANAS’ job is to setup a framework for ratings, help companies to become ratings agencies and provide them with the necessary education to do a proper rating. Of course SANAS is not yet ready to start accrediting rating agencies – they are still talking about it taking 6 months – the same time table that they gave us 4 months ago! This is not to criticise SANAS – 6 months is a short time for them to setup their systems, gather knowledge and start the process. The only criticism I could give of SANAS is they should put out general policies explaining how companies should be rated – thereby giving ABVA some direction as well.

How therefore is it possible for a company that is not SANAS accredited, but simply a member of ABVA to tell its customer that it will not accept a rating or scorecard from anyone other than their own members?

As we have noted before, it is important to become BEE compliant and to produce a scorecard. It is more important to understand your score than to pay a verification agency to give you a score.
The dti has on many occasions indicated that self-rating is going to be acceptable, not only now, but once rating agencies are formally accredited.

Large companies are also beginning to realise that the verification agency is not the be all and end all of transformation.
Massmart, a R30 billion per annum company, comprising amongst others, Game/Dion, Makro, Builders Warehouse has stated:
“The Group has not, since been awarded a BBBEE score of 41.51% by EmpowerLogic in 2004, submitted to a further independent verification of our BBBEE score. This is based upon our reluctance to engage a BBBEE verification agency until the process governing the SANAS accreditation of these agencies has been implemented.

The raw data required to calculate the Massmart BBBEE Scorecard can however be downloaded from the Massmart website.

Massmart has also invested in the Econo-Scorecard software which enables the Group to self assess its BBBEE score with reference to the Department of Trade and Industry’s Generic scorecard. We therefore estimate our current BBBEE score to be between 35.5% and 38.61%.
The Group intends commissioning EmpowerLogic to conduct a BBBEE verification exercise as soon as that organization achieves SANAS accreditation.”

 

We could not have said it better!

It you are being intimidated by a rating agency then we suggest you contact your customer himself and explain that their rating agency is not following procedure or the right protocol!