Due Diligence, Compliance Control and ‘Value-Added Auditing’
Just Solutions undertakes in-depth social audits in all operating theatres for select clients to a very specific brief. While we do not see traditional compliance auditing as a sufficient safeguard in and of itself, we do acknowledge that continuous monitoring is essential to drive change in a desired direction and to provide a check on the results of remediation. A Just Solutions audit is therefore a ‘value added’ product that follows an initial deep investigation to identify the root causes of non-compliances encountered in supplier factories. An important part of this audit will be our HE assessment – to show where organisational energy may be blocked or diverted by structural or behavioural barriers.
Based on the results of this initial work, a comprehensive action plan is developed with the client for remediation work that may be carried out by an in-house team, by a separate partner (often an NGO), or by other specialists within the Just Solutions Network. Future monitoring will be undertaken in light of the longer-term change that has been planned, with the opportunity to fine tune remediation to address the inherent problems that have been identified.
A number of Just Solutions consultants have extensive experience in both bespoke and code-centred training, including ETI/Sedex, SA8000, BSCI and ISO standards as well as individual brand codes. Although individual auditors do undertake certifications to SA8000 and ISO standards as contractors to the appropriate accreditation bodies, Just Solutions works exclusively with individual companies to obtain buy-in and deep compliance with their own in-house codes. We have audit teams active on the ground in China, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and throughout the Asia Pacific Region; in Europe and North Africa; Central Europe (based in Bulgaria); Eastern Europe; the Americas; and in South Africa. Through our constantly-evolving network of independents, we can normally provide local audit support in most operating locations.
Corporate governance issues and financial crises have placed increased emphasis on pre-investment due diligence. Investment committees have become far more cautious and detailed in their approach and require much deeper levels of assurance. Investment funds and inter-governmental agencies are now seeking comfort outside traditional financial areas by investigating the environmental, community and human resources impacts of client companies.
With its network of embedded specialists, Just Solutions is able to get to the heart of these issues and to interface easily with local stakeholders. Stakeholder mapping is undertaken to identify constituencies of interest and interviews are carried out swiftly to surface any potential issues. An analysis is then undertaken in light of the client’s planned scenario. A report is presented and discussed with the client by the lead consultant who may also be in a position to suggest remedial action to alleviate risk.
Just Solutions networkers have contributed to pre-investment due diligence for a number of International Financial Institutions.