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Undue Pressure: Lets aim to clarify where this term stems from in B-BBEE terms.

One of the common terms you may have come across during your dealings with various B-BBEE Rating Agencies over the years, would be that of "undue pressure". The below shall aim to clarify where this term stems from, as well as the impact thereof on the Measured Entity, as well as the related verification engagement process adopted by the B-BBEE Rating Agency.

As resonated by the SANAS R47-03, the B-BBEE Rating Agency is required to mitigate all risks that may result in any form of undue influence affecting the B-BBEE Verification decision being made by the B-BBEE Rating Agency throughout the entirety of the verification engagement process.

Essentially, the latter requires that the B-BBEE Rating Agency have sufficient measures in place so as to ensure that the verification decision being made has been done so in an impartial manner, free from any form of external (or internal) influence or pressure.

How exactly the above requirement is addressed may differ from agency to agency, and may take a variety of different forms, affecting a variety of different aspects associated with the operation of the B-BBEE Rating Agency, implemented by means of adopting a suitable, or combination of suitable procedural requirements in terms of the B-BBEE Rating Agency's Quality Management System.

For example,

  • the agency would have developed a specific verification related procedure, specifying the requirement for both parties to adhere to a predefined time-line associated with their annual B-BBEE Verification, more specifically in terms of how long the verification procedure should take between the verification date and the issue date of the BEE Certificate, and/or any "cut-off" dates for documentary evidence submissions, etc.

    • the above procedure, and any time-lines associated thereto have been specifically developed as such by the B-BBEE Rating Agency so as to ensure the they have sufficient time to prepare, verify and validate the various aspects associated to whatever engagement is underway, and in-turn to mitigate any "undue pressure" that may result due to the "rushing of work", due to having too little time to complete the process. Therefore, and taking the above into account, any unreasonable time-lines expected by the measured entity, may result in undue pressure, and it is for this reason why a B-BBEE Rating Agency has implemented their own specific time-lines and requirements, in terms of the related engagement at hand.

  • Another example, which would more than likely not be known to the measured entity, is that the B-BBEE Rating Agency would have internal measures in place so as to ensure that they maintain access to sufficient competent resources, so as to ensure that no verification decision being made by the B-BBEE Rating Agency is ever done so under any sort of influence.

The above are merely 2 examples of how the B-BBEE Rating Agency may approach any risks associated to "undue pressure", and that it's important to understand the reasoning behind the various processes implemented by the B-BBEE Rating Agency.

Often certain requirements imposed by the Agency may appear as being unreasonable, and/or unnecessary, however, the latter would more than likely be attached to certain measures put in place by the Agency so as to ensure compliance with the R47-03.

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