Challenges of Third Party Auditing
09/12/2012

This newsletter reports on a recent fire in a Pakestani apparel plant which had been “certified” as safe by inspectors who had provided it with a prestigious SA 8000 certification, meaning it had met international standards in nine areas, including health and safety, child labor and minimum wages. The two inspectors were working on behalf of Social Accountability Inernational a nonprofit monitoring group based in New York that obtains much of its financing from corporations and relies on 21 affiliates around the world to do most of its inspections. This New York Time article can be accessed at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/20/world/asia/pakistan-factory-passed-inspection-before-fire.html?pagewanted=all

A workshop on third party auditing that grew out of a paper by Isadore Rosenthal, a senior research fellow at the Wharton Risk Management and Decision Processes Center, provides insights on the challenges of third party auditing. The paper by Isadore Rosenthal can be accessed at: http://opim.wharton.upenn.edu/risk/library/WP2010-10-01_IR_ThirdPartyRoles.pdf

Although this discussion is on the subject of safety auditing and its relationship to societal norms, it provides material for though as we move forward into the arena of third party auditing for international aviation security.  It highlights the responsibility for oversight and coordination which in the case of air cargo lies firmly in the hands of the appropriate authorities.