Lloyds Register (LRQA) has instituted what appears to be a ban on incoming mail sent by Oxebridge, in an apparent attempt to cut off communication regarding an official complaint. The discovery was made after Oxebridge VP Operations Christopher Paris sent Denis Ives and Bjoern Mueller of LRQA a courtesy copy of a complaint filed with UKAS. The courtesy email was bounced by the LRQA server with the message that the Oxebridge address has been “blacklisted.”
Further attempts to send the complaint to LRQA via other Oxebridge email addresses resulted in the same blacklist notice, indicating that LRQA has instituted a ban on the entire Oxebridge.com domain. Mr. Paris followed up by sending the complaint to LRQA via the Oxebridge Gmail account, which is not blocked.
The original complaint alleges two major concerns: first, that LRQA failed to acknowledge and process formal complaints lodged against it, and second that LRQA issued an ISO 9001 certificate to an organization which it knew was circulating counterfeit “photoshopped” ISO 9001 certificates bearing the LRQA and UKAS logos.
Upon the discovery of the email blacklist, the complaint was amended with the new information, and another allegation placed against LRQA. The amended complaint now alleges that LRQA is willfully neglecting its duty under ISO 17021 to process complaints submitted to it by industry stakeholders. The full complaint may be downloaded here. (PDF file – 400 kb)
“This will be a serious stress test of the ability and willingness of UKAS and the accreditation bodies to exercise their role in policing large certification bodies like LRQA,” Mr. Paris said. “If LRQA is not sanctioned, this will send a message that the CB’s are accountable to no one, and that ISO 17021 has no teeth.”