Quality Austria has issued a statement claiming that it stopped “all new business” in Russia, but the website for the company’s Russian office appears to contradict the claim.

The Austrian certification body received criticism for partnering with Rostec, a Russian state-run military firm under international sanctions since at least 2016 for its role in Russia’s invasion of Crimea. After Russia invaded Ukraine in 2022, new sections were imposed, but Quality Austria continue to utilize Rostec as its regional office for Russia. Management of Quality Austria consistently refused to bring the company into compliance with EU sanctions against Russia and, specifically, Rostec.

Oxebridge had filed official complaints with Quality Austria as far back as May of 2021, all of which were ignored. In the official AS9100 database, OASIS, Quality Austria falsely claimed they had formally replied to the complaint in June of 2021. In fact, no such reply was ever sent. The OASIS complaint remains open, over a year later. The oversight body IAQG has refused to take action against Quality Austria.

Recently, however, the Quality Austria website was updated to include a statement condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine, claiming that decision was made as early as February 2022:

The service company Quality Austria, which is primarily active in the field of training and certification of management systems in Russia, has already stopped new business in Russia in February 2022 in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. “We firmly condemn the attack on Ukraine and Russia’s military aggression”, say the CEOs of Quality Austria, Christoph Mondl and Dr. Werner Paar, as well as the qualityaustria management team. “Existing certifications and contracts are regularly subjected to a legal conformity check and are terminated or suspended for companies that have been sanctioned. In view of the worsening situation, we are continuously reviewing all options and taking all necessary actions, while considering applicable law and sanctions,” says the Management.

Oxebridge has confirmed that Quality Austria did not cease its certification work in Russia at all, and has continued to allow the Rostec subsidiary to issue certificates on its behalf. Furthermore, it appears the “February 2022” date was added to the Quality Austria website much later, in an attempt to back-date actions that were taken far more recently.

The Rostec website, meanwhile, continues to market itself as the local office for Quality Austria, and continues to use the Quality Austria logo.

The scandal is worsened by the fact that Quality Austria had previously granted the Rostec office — its own subsidiary — an ISO certificate, in violation of conflict of interest rules. Yet again, the IAF refused to take action against Quality Austria.

Oxebridge previously discovered that at least one manager of Quality Austria had allegedly accepted bribes from foreign executives in order to overlook ISO violations. Neither the IAF nor IAQG took action on that matter, either. The case is now before the Austrian courts.

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Since 2000, Oxebridge has worked to improve ISO and related certification schemes by identifying problems and then proposing solutions. We report on issues affecting standards users because so few other news outlets do. Our belief is that in order to fix the problems in these schemes, we must first understand the nature and breadth of those problems. Our reporting aims to do just that. Elsewhere on the Oxebridge site you will find White Papers and other articles proposing ideas to correct these problems.

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