If you are a Malaysian and you possess a valid driving license, you probably understand what "BAO" means. It meant "ALL IN ONE PACKAGE" to pass your driving test despite how terrible your driving skills are. Interestingly, these packages offerings have extended to ISO Certifications as well.
Recently I noticed there are Registrars / Certification Bodies in Malaysia offering consultancy services. They are smart enough to have a separate company that offers consultancy service and their auditors worked for both. It has come to a situation where companies were forced to buy their services in order to have a smooth and easy audit, be it the assessment or the surveillance audits later on.
Who are these people? Easy for others in the business to identify - one of the few big boys who have above 700 clients + some other certification work can afford to survive as 'independent' auditors and maintain their pride. Others have to survive by moonlighting as 'consultants' or 'monkeys'. But they are making good money despite offering cut-throat charges because they only do part of the auditors job and charged both 3rd party plus consultants cost.
One party I know of (they operate both in Singapore and Malaysia) was investigated by UKAS some years back. Now they are as strict as others for their normal clients but the yardstick changes when it comes to those who employed them as consultant cum 3rd party auditor.
During a recent seminar on compulsory certification for contractors beyond a certain 'size/volume of business', somebody from one 'big' but 'supermarket' style CB in Malaysia whisper into my ears - "if you engage us, it's OK if you cannot meet the dateline because we have people inside".
I will not waste my time or effort moaning over here but whenever I meet my business friends or peers in business meetings etc, and have chance to speak or offer advice, it is - If you are a reputable firm, get an auditor of comparable or equal reputation. Not one that allow others to hang a big question mark on you or your firm.
Whether you are buying or selling "KAWDIM" Certificates, the Commercial Crime Department will be knocking your doors soon. Good Luck!
SAM CONSULTING MALAYSIA