Complaints & Appeals Procedure

 

  1. SCOPE

This document covers the procedure for resolving complaints relating to any BEE verification activities for which Honeycomb is responsible.  It outlines the procedure of Receipt, Validation and Investigation, Resolution, Recording & Tracking and Completion of Complaints.

 

  1. PURPOSE

The purpose of this procedure is to provide a mechanism for the effective resolution of complaints so as to:

2.1   Protect Honeycomb, its verified entities and other users against errors, omissions or unreasonable behaviour; and

2.2   Safeguard all parties’ confidence in all verification activities.

 

  1. RESPONSIBILITY AND AUTHORITY

The Managing Director will be responsible for ensuring that all complaints against Honeycomb BEE Ratings are investigated and, where these are determined to be valid, the Managing Director will ensure that the complaints are adequately addressed in a timely manner.

 

  1. REFERENCES

R47-02 Clause 20

 

  1. PROCEDURE

5.1 Receipt of Complaints:

5.1.1    All complaints should be submitted to the Managing Director in writing;
5.1.2    The office of the Managing Director will capture the information onto the Complaints Register;
5.1.3   The Managing Director will determine whether the complaint relates to:
5.1.3.1   Honeycomb’s verification activities for investigation by Honeycomb, or
5.1.3.2   If it relates to a measured entity verified by Honeycomb in which case the complaint will also be referred to the verified enterprise in question;
5.1.4    The office of the Managing Director will acknowledge receipt of the complaint within 48 hours, confirming whether the complaint is a Honeycomb BEE Ratings matter for investigation or whether the complaint has been referred to the relevant verified enterprise to address.

5.2  Validation and Investigation of Complaints:

5.2.1    The Managing Director will nominate a competent member of staff to verify all the necessary information to validate the complaint and to conduct an investigation into the complaint. In all cases the person nominated to conduct the investigation shall be in a position senior to that of the person who is the subject of the complaint.

5.2.2    The validation exercise and investigation process will be subject to the requirements of confidentiality as they relate to the complainant and to the subject of the complaint.

5.2.3    The findings of validation exercise, the investigation and recommendations will be submitted in writing to the Managing Director within seven (7) working days.

Resolution of Complaints:

5.3.1    The Managing Director will determine the course of action to be taken based on the reported findings and recommendations.

5.3.2    The decisions and outcome of the complaint will be communicated in writing to the complainant by the Managing Director unless the complaint is against the Managing Director, in which case the Technical Director will be responsible for the communication.

Valid Complaints:

5.4.1    Should the complaint be valid, the Managing Director will complete HR/MPRep/003 – Non-conformance, Corrective Action and Clearance Report, and raise the complaint as a Non-Conformance.

5.4.2    HR/MPPRO/009 – Managing Corrective Action Procedure will then be followed, to prevent any re-occurrence of the same complaint or similar complaints.

Recording and Tracking of Complaints:

5.5.1    The process, findings and resolution of all complaints will be recorded in a Complaints Register in the office of the Managing Director

 

Complaint Receipt Date

Reference Number

Nature of the Complaint
(indicate –HR verification activity OR verified enterprise)

Findings Recommendations Agreed Actions (including completion date)

Letter of Completion
(Date)

 

Completion of Complaint:

5.6.1    The Managing Director will check and confirm that the agreed actions have been undertaken by the specified completion date.

5.6.2    The Managing Director will issue a Letter of Completion, outlining the Outcome of the complaint. The Managing Director will record the date of the letter in the Complaints Register.

5.6.3    The Managing Director will issue a formal notice of the completion of the complaints-handling process     to the complainant and record the date of issue.

5.6.4    The Managing Director will ensure the complaint is resolved and solution communicated to the complaint within 30 days after receipt.

 

6 RECORDS

 

Record

Responsibility Minimum Retention Period Disposal

Complaints Register

MD

2 years

Destroy

Original Invalid Documents MD 2 years

Destroy

 

Appeals Procedure

 

1.  Scope

This procedure covers the process to be followed in the event of a client wishing to appeal against the outcome of a BEE verification rating conducted by Honeycomb.

2.  Purpose

The purpose of this procedure is to ensure that appeals are dealt with quickly and fairly.

3.  Responsibility and Authority

The office of the Managing Director shall be responsible for the management and outcome of an appeal and the authority to either confirm, review or amend the original outcome and or scores of a BEE rating.

4.  References

R42-02 Clause 19
Appeals Policy- HR/MPPOL/010

5.  Procedure

5.1  Application for and Validation of an Appeal:

5.1.1.  Within 5 working days for Broad Based Clients and 3 working days for QSEs from the date on which it received the BEE Ratings decision, a client may appeal to the Managing Director of Honeycomb if it is dissatisfied with the BEE ratings decision.

5.1.2.  The Appeal Application should contain sufficient information to validate the grounds for the appeal. Such information must include:

  • Issues: Precise identification of the issues being appealed. Issues could include interpretations of the BEE Act, the Codes or information from the client; calculation of scores for an element, sub-element or the final score; on-site assessment procedures, etc.;
  • Grounds: The detailed grounds of appeal in respect of each issue being appealed. Grounds could include an incorrect interpretation of the Codes or misunderstanding of a client document such as a shareholders agreement; an incorrect calculation of a score; an incomplete assessment of the client’s employee composition for employment equity purpose, etc.;
  • Supporting documents: Documents which are relevant to the issues and grounds of appeal; written statements by management, staff or advisors appointed by the client to assist with the appeal;
  • Desired outcome: The appeal must describe the desired outcome of the appeal.

5.1.3  If the appeal is based on evidence that was not taken into account by the analyst, then such evidence must be included;

5.1.4  The client must provide proof that the evidence was submitted to Honeycomb,

5.1.5  If the client had undergone any changes that affected the score, proof that these changes were submitted to Honeycomb must be provided.

5.1.6  The MD or a person nominated by him / her (“the nominee”) must review the application and advise the client within 5 working days whether the application contains sufficient information to validate the grounds for the appeal and, if not, what further information is required. If necessary, the MD may require the client’s authorized representative to validate the appeal at an informal hearing.

5.1.7  Within 5 working days on receipt of the MD’s request, the client must furnish Honeycomb with the further information requested. If the client fails to do so, the MD may dismiss the appeal.

5.1.8  As soon as the MD is satisfied that he / she has sufficient information to validate the grounds for the appeal, he / she will notify the client, in writing, that the appeal has been accepted and will be investigated.

5.2.  Investigating An Appeal:

5.2.1.  The MD or the nominee must investigate the appeal within 10 working days of informing the client that the appeal has been accepted.

5.2.2.  In coming to a decision on the outcome of the appeal, the MD or the nominee will take account of the following.

5.2.2.1.  The information provided by the client for validating the appeal.
5.2.2.2.  The agreement between Honeycomb and the client, including the Annexures.
5.2.2.3.  The information provided by the client in the BEE Measurement Form.
5.2.2.4.  The analyst’s Pre-liminary Report and Rating.
5.2.2.5.  The Verification Manager’s report on the Pre-liminary Report and Rating.
5.2.2.6.  Any information or comment provided by the client on the Pre-liminary Report and Rating.
5.2.2.7.  Any objections lodged by the client regarding the Pre-liminary Report and Rating.
5.2.2.8.  The Final Report and Scorecard.
5.2.2.9.  Any complaints lodged by the client during the verification process.

5.2.3.  The MD or the nominee may engage with the analyst, or the Verification Manager appointed to conduct the assessment and verification of the client’s BEE status.

5.2.4.  In the event of a dispute of fact arising during the course of the investigation between the client, on the one hand, and the analyst and / or Verification Manager on the other, the MD or the nominee shall constitute a fact-finding appeal hearing in order to resolve the disputes of fact on a balance of probability.

5.2.5.  Throughout the process, the MD or the nominee will provide the client with progress reports.

5.3.  Action to be Taken:

5.3.1.  At the end of the investigation, the MD or the nominee may:

5.3.1.1.  Confirm the BEE Ratings decision.
5.3.1.2.  Re-rate the client on the basis of the information obtained during the investigation.
5.3.1.3.  Appoint a new Verification Analysts and / or Verification Manager to perform the verification exercise afresh at no cost to the client.

5.4.  Notice of the Outcome to the Client:

As soon as the MD or the nominee has made the decision on the application, which must be made within 25 working days from the date on which the appeal was lodged, he / she must notify the client in writing regarding the outcome of the appeal

5.5.  Tracking and Recording Appeals:

All stages in the process all information, documents and records related to the appeal will be recorded in Honeycomb’s management system as the process progresses for security and confidentiality purposes and for the purposes of tracking the appeal.

5.6  Valid Appeal:

5.6.1  should the complaint be valid, the MD will complete HR/MPRep/003 – Non-conformance, Corrective Action and Clearance Report, and raise the complaint as a Non-Conformance.

5.6.2  HR/MPPRO/009 – Managing Corrective Action Procedure will then be followed, to prevent any re-occurrence of the same complaint or similar complaints.

5.7  Records

Honeycomb will keep the records of all appeals, as well as the remedial actions that Honeycomb has taken

6.  Records

Record

Responsibility Minimum Retention Period Disposal

Verified Entities Files (hard copy)

MD 2 years

Destroy

Verified Entities Files (electronic)

MD 2 years

Destroy

Original Invalid Documents MD 2 years

Destroy