With the changeover to the new B-BBEE codes for all certificates issued from 1 May 2015, LexisNexis South Africa, the leading provider of content and technology solutions for the legal and professional sectors, has added a B-BBEE compliance module to ProcureCheck – its leading procurement vetting and management tool.As companies develop plans to meet the stringent requirements of the amended codes the new edition puts all the intelligence required for conducting procurement business professionally and ethically on one platform, facilitating the entire vendor management function.

“The new B-BBEE legislation is changing the way in which a company’s vendor database must comply with BEE codes and standards. Whereas previously only vendors pertaining to 80% of procurement spend had to be BEE compliant, now 80% of the vendor database needs to be compliant and to meet the new quotas. This means more SMEs and EMEs will need to be vetted for companies to comply,” said Greg Brown, Director of Governance, Risk & Compliance at LexisNexis South Africa.

“ProcureCheck with B-BBEE Compliance is designed to reduce the cost of compliance, fulfil regulatory requirements, enhance decision making and protect businesses from fraud and reputational damage.

This innovative solution adds the ability to manage B-BBEE compliance including: monitoring the expiry date of your certificate, monitoring your procurement spend and monitoring your suppliers’ progress in terms of B-BBEE to the other capabilities of Procurecheck. In addition it will help you identify Enterprise Development/Supplier Development opportunities to increase your scores in this area of the B-BBEE scorecard,” Brown added.

He urged companies to start planning for their next verification on the amended codes warning that insufficient planning could result in organisations being downgraded. He also highlighted that the new edition ProcureCheck was being launched at a time when procurement fraud and corruption have been widely publicised and strict reforms were being introduced.

In February 2015 Finance Minister, Nhlanhla Nene announced in his budget speech that from April 2015, a central supplier database would be introduced. The database will interface with South African Revenue Services (SARS), the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission and the payroll system. It will electronically verify a supplier’s tax and BEE status, and enable public sector officials doing business with the state to be identified.

“While the system will expose public sector officials, it will also put pressure on companies looking to win government business to comply, to constantly monitor and improve their B-BBEE status, as well as to meet all the requirements of the Public Finance and Municipal Finance Management Acts,” said Brown.

ProcureCheck links to various data bases including the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), South African Fraud Protection Services (SAFPS), SARS, Value Added Tax (VAT), Judgements and the National Treasury Restricted Database. It enables supply chain staff to access the information they need anytime, anywhere, to:

* Combat corruption by identifying potential connections and ownership of property;
* Identify possible fraudulent activity within vendors and employees with the help of South African Fraud Prevention Services and automated or online procurement management systems;
* Establish the business interests of employees within your organisation;
* Look for and recognise conflicts of interest within your organisation and potential supply chain management partners;
* Vet vendors and create a preferred vendor list; and
* Monitor vendors on an ongoing basis.

“Under King III, the CEO of a company can be held accountable for any theft, fraud, corruption and bribery taking place in his business under his watch and should therefore take procurement vetting seriously.

“Used effectively Procurecheck with B-BBEE Compliance enables users to turn compliance into competitive advantage, ” Brown added.