Perverted Procedures: “celebrating” the 6th month of Accredia’s complaints merry-go-round

The falsified signatures can be recognized as separate scans added to the reports.
The falsified signatures can be recognized as separate scans added to the reports.

Mid July ’15, I raised serious concerns over the lack of stakeholder consultation and falsified findings and signatures at PT AJA Indonesia (AJA). AJA acknowledged all issues, but downplayed them by suggesting that it ‘could be a misunderstanding’. AJA then continued to drag its feet addressing these – quite serious – issues for months.

Mid October ‘15, I consequently raised a formal complaint with the relevant accreditation body: Accredia in Italy. The case seemed quite straight-forward: AJA manipulated various findings in a report – and slapped a scan of my signature on it – without my consent. Alas, Accredia’s follow-up was null and naught during the following months… it merely requested a case chronology and the email communications with AJA (which was readily emailed). As the months dragged on, Accredia failed to communicate any progress on the case, or any indication on when it would be addressed.

Much to my surprise, a colleague then pointed out a WWF webpage that included yet another report with my “signature”. Mid January ’16 – or 3 months after my complaint – I reminded Accredia about the complaint and reported this second falsified signature by AJA. Weeks later, Accredia claimed that (1) it could not access both links provided, (2) the actions that AJA proposed seem acceptable, and (3) implementation should have been effectively completed within December ‘15. In other words, Accredia had accepted (undisclosed!) actions by AJA but had not verified implementation over a month (February ’16) after the stated deadline.

Today – some 6 months(!) after the complaint – Accredia yet again avoids providing answers. It emails that ‘the information that we have received from you and from the CAB are not enough for us for definitively deciding if is trustable your or their description and view of the facts’ and ‘we cannot give you any further detail as we don’t consider completed our evaluations’. It neither provides the facts compiled – which will clearly speak for themselves – nor provides any indication on how and when it will complete it’s “evaluations”.

Over half a year and a dozen (or more?) suspect documents later, what’s the balance? Despite irrefutable evidence of falsified signatures and findings – and a written acknowledgment by AJA’s manager – Accredia is “unable” to close its “evaluations”. It argues this can only be done during the (yet again undisclosed!) ‘next assessment at their offices’. How long does it take to verify falsified signatures on soft-copy documents, and why does this need an office assessment?

More importantly, Accredia also failed to either verify the ambiguous actions by AJA or communicate any facts compiled so far. Even the simplest questions, such as the date of their assessment or the possibility to meet its auditors, it cannot answer!

One has to wonder, whether complaints procedures are geared towards business interests rather than the quality of certification! And how pervert is the relation between accreditation body (Accredia) and certification body (AJA)? I expect yet another 6 months on Accredia’s creaking and outdated merry-go-round, before I’ll get yet another vague reply that doesn’t address the many questions concerning this complaints. Or will Accredia find yet another excuse to stall the issue even longer???

Bart W van Assen

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