Tenders and Fraudulent Certificates
By W van Rooyen
27 October 2014
Recently the Department of Trade and Industry has embarked on Operation Khusela. The reason for this operation was to clamp down on illegal B-BBEE verification agents, who issue fraudulent broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) certificates. The operation was led by Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Mzwandile Masina and it targeted illegal agents, who operate outside the DTI offices in Sunnyside, Pretoria.
Not only can one buy fraudulent B-BBEE certificates of the street, but you can also buy fraudulent Tax Clearance Certificates as well as fraudulent Company Registration Certificates.
Now there can be multiple reasons why someone would try and obtain fraudulent Tax Clearance certificates, but why someone would want to get a fraudulent B-BBEE certificate, I really don’t know. The fact is that the business people that mostly fall prey to these fraudsters are SMME’s whose turnover is below R5 million per year. These business owners can easily obtain a valid EME B-BBEE certificate for as little as R350-00. Even if your business is large enough to be considered a QSE (turnover above R5 million), then still, a B-BBEE Certificate is not the most expensive thing to obtain.
I have heard of a business owner who owns a business in the property and mining sector, who was a victim to Fraudulent B-BBEE agents and as a result of the fraudulent certificate, he unknowingly acquired from these fraudsters, his business lost a tender amounting to R40 million.
Another area where fraudsters operate is the selling of false Company Registration Certificates. If you are a start-up business owner and you want to register a company you can shop around to get the best price from Registered Accountants and/or Auditors. The going rate these days is about R1800-00 per registration. But if this is too rich for you, you can go to your local Provincial Department of Economic Development and register a company through them. This is a very affordable route to take and normally you as business owner only have to pay the normal CIPC fees which are not more than R300-00. So it is not necessary to obtain fraudulent Company Registration Certificates. The only constraint, when registering a company, is that of time. So ensure that you have enough time to register your company to make the deadline of a tender.
A Private Company or Organ of State that is meticulous in their tender process will test the authenticity of your Tax Clearance, B-BBEE and Company Registration Certificates. If they find that there is a problem with just one of these certificates your tender response will be disqualified. Nine out of ten times you would not even be aware of the fact that your tender response has been disqualified.
It is clear that it is easy to obtain the necessary certificates to respond to tenders. It is also clear that these certificates shouldn’t have to bankrupt you as business owner.
Please visit our website at www.how2tender.com for more on these as well as other interesting topics. You will also find our Tender Manual there - the Tender Manual guides you through the whole process of responding to a Tender or a Request for Proposal.
Until next time.