Dubai: Dubai Municipality’s Dubai Accreditation Centre (DAC) has withdrawn the accreditation of the company which sold an ISO 9001 2015 certificate to undercover XPRESS journalists this year.

Karama-based Bureau of Assessment Services (BAS) was dropped from DAC’s list of accredited agencies on May 9 based on the results of a high level probe ordered into the company following an XPRESS story.

On February 16, XPRESS reported how the much sought-after ISO 9001: 2015 certificate can be bought in the UAE by anyone who can pay for it.

Undercover operation

To prove their point two XPRESS journalists posed as directors of the non-existent electrical firm VDH and approached BAS which was authorised to issue ISO certificates in the country at that time.

All the journalists had to do was provide them a copy of VDH’s trade licence, an email address, phone number and Dh4,000 in cash. Less than 36 hours later they had the certificate in their hands.

In fact, BAS representatives even posed with the journalists for pictures while handing over the certificate in their office.

If this was not shocking enough, they even gave an exhaustive audit report detailing how their officers ‘assessed VDH’s operations at their facility and found it to be compliant with ISO standards on various parameters’.

Under normal circumstances the much trusted and globally recognised stamp is awarded only after a detailed audit and compliance survey which takes weeks, if not months. An official at DAC said BAS will have to immediately withdraw the certificates issued by them to clients.

It’s not immediately clear how many certificates were issued by them in the UAE but some estimates suggest the number could be well over 1,500. All these certificates are now worthless.

A comment from BAS was not available despite repeated attempts.