AQRATE will be impartial, and all its staff and associates will act in such a way that they will be perceived to be impartial. AQRATE recognizes that the source of revenue for AQRATE is the client paying for its service and that this is a potential threat to impartiality. In order to obtain and maintain confidence, AQRATE will always demonstrate that its decisions are based on objective evidence and that its decisions are not improperly influenced by other interests or by other parties. See procedures and forms.

AQRATE will demonstrate commitment to impartiality in the BEE Verification activities especially through its top management structures. AQRATE will have a publicly available statement regarding the importance of impartiality when managing conflict of interest and that ensures objectivity when carrying out its activities. Having relationships does not necessarily present AQRATE with a conflict of interest. However, if any relationship creates a risk to impartiality, the AQRATE will document how it eliminates or minimizes such risk. Notwithstanding the foregoing, AQRATE will not perform the verification of any related party mentioned in clause 3 above. The board of each AQRATE will cause all shareholders to declare on an annual basis any further interests that they might have acquired over and above those declared in clause 3 above.

AQRATE will ensure that activities of other bodies do not affect the confidentiality, objectivity and impartiality of its activities. AQRATE will avoid any situation that would create a conflict of interests arising from the activity of any other body. All AQRATE personnel, either internal or external, or committees, which could influence the verification activities, will act impartially and will not allow commercial, financial or other pressures to compromise impartiality.

AQRATE will require personnel, internal and external, to declare any situation known to them that may present them or AQRATE with a conflict of interest. AQRATE will use this information as input to identifying threats to impartiality raised by the activities of such personnel or by the organisations that employ them and will not use such personnel, internal or external, unless they can demonstrate that there is no conflict of interests.

If a member of the verification team, or their immediate family member, has a direct financial interest, or a material indirect financial interest, in the client, the self-interest threat created would be so significant the only safeguards available to eliminate the threat or reduce it to an acceptable level would be to:

Dispose of the direct financial interest prior to the individual becoming a member of the verification team;
Dispose of the indirect financial interest in total or dispose of a sufficient amount of it so that the remaining interest is no longer material prior to the individual becoming a member of the verification team; or
Remove the member of the verification team from the verification engagement.

AQRATE recognizes the following potential threats to impartiality and will continuously design and implement procedures to manage the risk involved:

Self-interest threats - threats that arise from person or enterprise acting in their own interest, for example financial self-interest.
Self-review threats - threats that arise from a person or enterprise reviewing the work done by them.
Familiarity (or trust) threats - threats that arise from a person or body being too familiar or trusting of another person instead of seeking evaluation evidence to base the verification conclusion on
Intimidation threats - threats that arise from a person or enterprise having a perception of being coerced openly or secretively, such as a threat to be replaced or reported to a supervisor.
Any threat to impartiality e.g. intimidation threats, commercial or financial threats, that arises after the verification team has made an original declaration of impartiality as per F 10 and after having been appointed to the verification team, must immediately be reported to the Managing Director of the AQRATE office concerned. The verification team member must report the threat telephonically, followed by a written report via e-mail. This report must be filed on the measured entity file. The verification team member involved will stop all work on the measured entity file immediately and leave the premises of the measured entity where applicable, until the Managing Director have resolved the threat by either:

Addressing the matter with the measured entity and they having subsequently removed the individual or circumstances that has created the threat to impartiality.
Replaced the verification team member.
Cancelled the verification engagement as per AQRATE standard terms and conditions.
The independent approval of all verification shall be done by the Verification manager. The Verification Manager, as the person making the final verification decision, must be independent from the verification that is performed and may therefore not be an analyst on the same verification in which it acts as Verification Manager or vice versa. AQRATE staff will report any impartiality or conflict of interest issue to the Operations Manager or Verification Manager depending on the phase of the verification.

Contact Details

Tel: 0861 277 283 / 021 045 0801

POPIA Compliance Disclosure



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