Meet Scott Morrison of Elizabethtown KY, a Lead Auditor with the registrar SAI Global. Morrison has a problem with Oxebridge, and out of the blue he felt it was necessary to lay it all down. Mind you, I have no idea who he is, never heard of him, and can’t find any record of him having audited any of my clients. So I have no idea what prompted this meltdown, but something really, really pissed him off.

Morrison began with a completely unsolicited email accusing me of an invisible profit motive, as well as some unspecified emotional issues, as the driving force for Oxebridge’s reporting on the ISO 9001 certification bodies and their auditors.

Hello Chris, we’ve talked before, years back.  I hope you’re doing well.

For a person with your accomplishments and “fame” of sorts within the Certification Industry I’m still puzzled at your distain for CB’s and AB’s which are very important components of an industry that you have profited from for a long time now.  Congratulations.  Don’t you understand that your role and our roles are linked?

Your lack of respect for 3rd Party Auditors is obvious but not justified in my perspective.  You attack us at every opportunity.  Not sure why?  Did you have a traumatic experience with a CB company or CB auditor that you can’t let loose of?

I’m well aware that not all auditors may not meet your esteemed criteria, we, like every other organization have bad-apples, but I don’t feel you understand that most of us auditors pay a dear price for what we do.  We  basically don’t have much of  social life, family life, no time for hobbies, no ‘easy-street’ life exists for us.  Travel is hard and sometimes dangerous.   We’re very engaged and committed to our clients and work hard for their best interest.  Integrity, fairness, and professionalism are important to us.

Hopefully someday your opinion will change and you’ll give us a break a little bit.  You don’t have to like us but just see that we’re not all grub-worms.  Best regards –Scott Morrison

It’s a pretty weird argument, and Morrison actually believes that consultants and certification bodies are not only linked financially, but that that financial link obligates consultants to be nice to auditors like him. Obviously, the actual accreditation rules say that consultants and auditors should be entirely firewalled, especially financially, but Morrison — who’s been auditing for SAI for a very, very long time — must have fallen asleep during that part of the Auditing For Beginners 101 course. Morrison demands consultants “respect third-party auditors,” hilariously unaware that his very demand proves that he deserves no respect at all, since he doesn’t respect the basic conflict of interest firewall.

I then wrote Morrison back and explained that it was not my “esteemed criteria” that I expected auditors to comply with, it was the rules as codified in ISO 17021-1. I told him that when they auditors stick to that, the problems go away.

Morrison didn’t like that much, either, and again reiterated — without any proof — that I was somehow making money by reporting on the waste, fraud and abuse within the CB scheme:

I don’t have and most of my auditor counter-parts don’t have any “problems” to go away, except un-fair comments by consultants, who mostly have a $$ agenda to maintain.   We’ve been and still are following 17021, nothing new there.  Our clients, …who are our real critics, rate us highly.  Enough said about that.  Just not clear on your “job”.  You put out a lot of valuable info that I even agree with, for the most part, …just have trouble with the sour grapes toward CB’s and AB’s.  Not sure where that comes from?, but it is what it is I guess, I assume it sells.

At which point I just outright asked him “WTF?” I told him he didn’t get to assign a cynical profit motive to my actions. I furthermore pointed out that his own employer — SAI Global — had been de-accredited a few months prior, and that they were involved in a damning Dept. of Defense report. I also suggested he not use his SAI Global email address to send harassing emails.

So then Morrison did what any well-adjusted, professional would do, and started down an increasingly disgusting, borderline homophobic rant, being nice enough to put it all in writing, again while using his Scott.Morrison@saiglobal.com email address:

Wow, corrective action/OFI here may include some “anger management” for you Mr. Paris.  I think I now have a clearer picture of your true personality.  “Smug, ignorant, self-important, clueless, …and I must add arrogant” …an assessment by you?, the self-proclaimed certification genius?, that’s a riot!! J  You’re a troll.  BTW, SAI Global wasn’t de-accredited you dim-wit, …it was temporary suspension only, just like other CB’s experienced, and it was lifted recently.  Also,  SAI Global has nothing to do with me making a subjective comment toward a blow-hard, trolling, consultant. There’s not an implication of anything here, except that I may somewhat imply that you’re a jerk with a hard-on for CB’s and AB’s.  That’s all.  You deal with fake-news too much, bright-boy.    So don’t throw the BS out and hope it sticks.  It won’t.   You have a great evening and keep on trolling.  We have nothing more to discuss.

Because he used the SAI email address, he thus implicated his employer. So I began forwarding his emails to the SAI execs in my contact list — something he apparently didn’t think I had. It’s also stunning that a so-called business expert like Morrison doesn’t know you shouldn’t implicate your employer in your hate mail. So I then told him he had “poked the bear,” to which he just doubled down with more harassment, again falsely suggesting that some childhood sexual violation was behind my CB reporting.

I’m not looking to work out anything for myself, …and I’m not bear-poking here either, …that would be demeaning to bears in this case.  I’m not looking for conflict with you.  If you noticed, I didn’t attack you publically on a post somewhere on some social media or post negative crap on a web-site somewhere.  It was just a quite email.

I was just curious why someone who has profited from the Certification Industry would continuously attach the establishments of certification?  It’s like you are biting the hand that feeds you.  Yeah, I know there are problems, but damn, sounding like a broken record, on and on, is not the solution.   But as I read your material, articles, posts,  (I’m not buying your books), my hard-earned money has better things to do, but I think I see a pattern, similar to one that Donald J. Trump used to get elected, …target the establishments, attack and attack, make them look stupid and corrupt, and then profess “I, …C. Paris, …I alone only can save you from the corrupt CB’s, AB’, F-up auditors, and the evil ISO organization”.  You get customers to buy into that mantra of fear and anger, …kinda makes sense, it worked for that idiot Trump.  Some folks out there may get goo-goo over the rants and raves and look for a savior.  I’m sure you have a fan club of sorts.   I’d bet a month’s pay that you’re a Trump supporter, …am I right?  I think so.   Great minds think alike, eh?  I will give you this Chris Paris, you’re one of the best self-promoters I’ve ever run into.  You’re good, damn good.  You’re talented, just wish you would channel that talent away from your vendetta you hold against part of the industry that you know so much about.  Odd.  Did a CB auditor traumatize you when you were young?  Maybe touch you in an inappropriate manner?  Bound to be some RC for this.

I wish now that I didn’t  chime in on this, I regret trying to reason with an opposing view that will never change.  But we kept it private anyway, not out in the public.  Not my MO.   Our opinions will never change, that’s obvious.  I guess we can agree to disagree and just let this go.  Keep in mind, this is just from someone who feels pride in this profession, I feel I give value to clients, I work hard at it, clients benefit from 3rd party certification, millions of dollars of contract award and revenue have been awarded to clients because of their certification and having an effective QMS that in return benefits their customer needs and expectations.  The system works, despite what you spew.   I’m done.  Got to do my job tomorrow, and I’ll feel good about it at the end of the day.   -SM

Notice how despite his alleged loathing for Trump, he still borrows the tactic of labeling any negative news as “fake” even when it’s supported by facts. It’s a fact that SAI Global lost its accreditation for months. It’s a fact that SAI Global issued an AS9100 certificate to a company that the US Dept. of Defense found had over 40 major nonconformities, and it’s a fact that SAI Global is still certifying that same company despite the DOD report. In Morrison’s mind, I not only made up these “fake news” stories, I must have engaged in a massive conspiracy that involved the participation of the entire DOD, IAQG, ANAB and SAI Global itself!  That makes more sense than actual facts.

Things got weirder still. After his last email, I then received two voicemails from an Ohio number about two hours away from Morrison’s home. The first just called me a “fake,” but the second one was really, really creepy. Have a listen, and remember this is a grown man:

Now maybe it’s not Morrison calling, but given the fact that the caller drops the same “fake” accusation and it came from a number near his house, it doesn’t look good. And, of course, he name-drops Elsmar, the home of all bitter and smug CB auditors.

(Quick note: there’s another ISO personality called Scott Morrison of the Whittington consulting group; he’s not the same Scott Morrison from Kentucky, however. Please don’t confuse the two.)

UPDATE 11 May 2018: Sure enough, the gods at SAI must have spoken to Morrison, since I just received this email:

Note he doesn’t apologize for suggesting my “lack of respect” for auditors comes from a childhood violation, or any of the other clearly batshit accusations he makes. He’s just fulfilling an obligation so, presumably, SAI doesn’t fire him. But remember, when I challenged him previously about using his SAI email address, he dismissed it, saying “SAI Global has nothing to do with me making a subjective comment toward a blow-hard, trolling, consultant. There’s not an implication of anything here, except that I may somewhat imply that you’re a jerk with a hard-on for CB’s and AB’s.” Now he’s caught with his tail between his legs.

But SAI shouldn’t have a rageaholic working in their auditor pool. His unprofessional behavior begs the question: what is Morrison saying during a closing meeting when a client disagrees with one of his findings? Is he having similar unhinged explosions? Is he making homophobic comments during audits? In any other job, he’d be fired; but CB auditing is not like any other job.

Given SAI’s recent problems with a lack of auditors, however, they couldn’t fire him if they wanted to; they risk getting suspended again if they start firing the auditors they have left, no matter how horrible they are. That problem emboldens the remaining auditors they have, since they know they are protected, if only out of circumstance.

I don’t know what happened to SAI. They used to be one of the better large registrars, and the 50 or so Oxebridge clients who have used them rarely had problems. Then they couldn’t schedule audits anymore, had their accreditation suspended, and a top sales guy (Nelson Lima) left for BSI. A new accreditation manager, plucked from TC 176 itself (Paul Simpson) lasted only a few months. Now their top “Chief Risk Officer” finds her name slathered on AS9100 and ISO 9001 certificates found at the center of major controversies. Clients are complaining about the remaining auditors they have; one auditor refuses to walk the plant floor, and conducts major portions of the audit sitting in silence, typing on his laptop, not even interviewing anyone. It’s a train wreck, and it points to some serious defects in senior management. Add to that having an auditor like Morrison using their name in homophobic email rants, and you’ve got the image of a company on the brink of implosion.

 

    About Christopher Paris

    Christopher Paris is the founder and VP Operations of Oxebridge. He has over 25 years' experience implementing ISO 9001 and AS9100 systems, and is a vocal advocate for the development and use of standards from the point of view of actual users. He is the author of Surviving ISO 9001:2015. He reviews wines for the irreverent wine blog, Winepisser.