Accredia’s final reply

Accredia’s final reply

dc2016utd211After yet another reminder – with a stern warning that I would not wait past the one-year-mark of my complaint – Accredia emailed its response today. Apparently, it has visited AJA Sertifikasi Indonesia (AJA) already and raised additional findings. (It neither informed me of said visit nor met to discuss the complaint!) Accredia notes it considers the complaints closed and it won’t answer to any further email concerning the complaint.

The salient points concerning my complaint in Accredia’s response:

Accredia also takes issue that I didn’t publish its responses in complete form in earlier posts. After having checked my earlier citations against the complete emails once more, I believe no salient points were left out. I warmly invite Accredia to indicate what statements it wants me to include in my previous posts!

It remains a very convenient “misunderstanding” that a stopgap solution for one (1) draft report in November 2014 would allow for substantial changes and use of my signature – all without my explicit approval – in a dozen (or more) audit documents over a period of six months. Nonetheless, Accredia refers to actions (plural!) in 2015 and additional findings (read non-compliances; plural!) now. Clearly something was/is substantially awry at AJA, most likely the falsified findings, which may – but more likely may not – have been adequately addressed.

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.

Hence, I reiterate – yet again – that I suspect significant discrepancies between my draft reports and AJA’s final reports, and that I never approved those final reports. I remain convinced that AJA falsified my findings (as certification decision maker 1) and my “signatures” on numerous audit documents. And I’m not convinced that Accredia has adequately verified the corrections needed, not in the least due to its lack of prowess in engaging with the complainant.

Complaints Procedures, (not) for greater good?

Complaints Procedures, (not) for greater good?

It remains a mystery to me why ‘the sole National Accreditation Body that performs accreditation with authority derived from the [Italian] State’ (Accredia) can accredit ‘the locally licensed representative of AJA Registrars in Indonesia’ (AJA Sertifikasi Indonesia). The distance (over 11,000 kilometres) – and related cultural differences – as well as substantial language gaps (Italian – English – Indonesian) seriously challenge any supervision of a wayward certification body. Accreditation really should be the domain of the Indonesian government!

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.

However, things being as they are this meant a complaint concerning AJA – such as altered findings and falsified signatures in audit documents – has to go through Accredia. But this procedure is not for the faint at heart, and one can expect some serious bureaucrazy along the way.

First of all, be advised that Accredia does not respond to complaint by email only! One needs to fill in a complaints template, after translating it as this is ‘only in Italian. Also, make sure to activate ‘Delivery Status Notification’ and ‘Return Receipt’ before sending any emails to Accredia. (It ignored all my emails without these options activated.) And, be ready to – repeatedly – request an acknowledgment of your complaint! Continue reading

Open letter concerning ongoing complaint (was Re: R: R: Update)

Open letter concerning ongoing complaint (was Re: R: R: Update)

Dear Ilaria and Martine,

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.

Nearly 9 months have now passed since I raised a complaint with Accredia, and presented detailed evidence that AJA falsified a dozen audit documents. I have repeatedly proven that AJA abused my signature and significantly changed my conclusions. I have received little or no substantial information from Accredia concerning my complaint, let alone any evidence disproving my complaint. Notably, I have not yet received any substantiated reply from Accredia regarding my email from February 3rd, well over 5 months ago!

EA Document # EA-1/17 S3 A: 2011 (link), clause 2.1.5 states: If the EA Member has not been able to make satisfactory progress in the resolution of a complaint within a reasonable length of time, the complainant has the right to refer the matter to EA for resolution using this procedure. The EA Member should keep the complainant informed of progress being made in dealing with the complaint. Kindly inform me at your earliest convenience what – within the context of my complaint – you consider: Continue reading

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

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. Continue reading

Falsified signatures

Falsified signatures

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.

It has come to my attention that several documents by PT AJA Sertifikasi Indonesia (AJA) bear my “signature”, including a PEFC Public Audit Report – SFM and a PEFC Package Submission Checklist. I herewith clarify that these “signatures” have been added without my consent, while various reports were altered without my approval. Consequently, I do not support the findings in any document by AJA that bears my “signature” (easily recognized as a separate image when right-clicking on it; see image right).

Suspect documents include, but are not limited to, the following: Continue reading

Confirmed: discrepancies in audit reports AJA

Confirmed: discrepancies in audit reports AJA

Acrobat Reader highlights (in blue) the “signature” above separate from the other text in this Package Submission Checklist – IFCC. The “signature” is a separate file, added to the text without my explicit consent, and thus is falsified.
Acrobat Reader highlights (in blue) the “signature” above separate from the other text in this Package Submission Checklist – IFCC. The “signature” is a separate file, added to the text without my explicit consent, and thus is falsified.

Feb 3rd – almost 4 months after the initial complaint – Accredia finally confirmed the discrepancies in AJA’s audit reports. It responds:
Concerning your first complaint, please note that we have asked to the CAB to give us clarifications for the facts described into your complaint and to inform us about the actions that they intend to adopt in order to address it and avoid that similar facts could happen again.
The actions that the CAB’s proposed us seems acceptable. Nevertheless, as their implementation should have been effectively completed within December 2015, because of your update of yesterday, I ask you to give me further details about it.
We will deeply analyze the effective implementation of the action proposed during our next assessment at their offices.
Continue reading

AJA Sertifikasi Indonesia suspected of falsifying audit reports

AJA Sertifikasi Indonesia suspected of falsifying audit reports

Early June this year, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) celebrated its first certificates for Indonesian forest managers, released by its certification body PT AJA Sertifikasi Indonesia (AJA). With this announcement came the (inevitable?) gossip about AJA, its employees and its clients. One issue in particular echoed amongst experts: how did AJA manage to verify some 610,000 hectares, an area the size of Palestine, against a brand-new standard in little over half a year?

Mid August, WWF International voiced this issue through an Open Letter to the Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC, PEFC’s International Stakeholder Member in Indonesia). In its letter, WWF notes that ‘the IFCC certificates could be “jumping the gun” on a journey towards sustainability that has only just begun. It would be a missed opportunity if the IFCC system lacks the rigour and standards to reliably verify how companies are progressing in the implementation of sustainability commitments’. WWF furthermore questioned ‘the rigour of assessment of plantation management practices under the IFCC system’. Continue reading