EMPOWERMENT: BEE Verification Hurdles
Recent Western Cape Business News
As the infant verification industry grows with demand, it is an area of grave concern that the industry has no official regulator. This lack is a critical issue for an industry that has the mandate from government to issue official BEE Certificates for companies who in turn use these Certificates for obtaining tenders.
Currently there is a huge amount of legal risk that a verification agency incurs when issuing BEE Certificates and therefore it is vital that there is a consistent approach to the application of the Codes and that this is regulated, says Brigitte Brun: Director: Association of BEE Verification Agencies.
The dti is the custodian of the BEE program, but does not play the role of a Regulator to the industry. Neither is it in the proper position to pronounce on legal interpretation of legislation. SANAS accredits the agencies and monitors adherence to the requirements of SANAS R47, the standards for accreditation. Even the recently established BEE Council has not been tasked with the regulation of the industry.
ABVA (the Association of BEE Verification Agencies) is a voluntary membership body for the verification industry. And while ABVA has attempted to regulate the industry by instituting disciplinary actions against members found to act outside of its rules, since it is not an official regulatory body it remains without teeth.
ABVA says it believes that it is well placed to take on the role of the regulatory body and has applied to the dti to be considered for this function. Plans are also afoot to present this strategy to the BEE Council. It is in the interest of all role players in this industry, as well as stake holders especially the companies being measured, that there is a consistent well understood application of the BEE measurement tools.
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