In the latest news, the Bangladesh Alliance has accused three local engineering firms of unethical practices, saying they “manipulated” and “tempered” building safety reports, according to The Financial Express.
The U.S.-backed safety iniative reportedly said the three firms—Grihayan Rit Consortium, Uttaran Technologies and Space Design and Development—lacked the proper practical knowledge to be able to conduct engineering analysis or for drawing up retrofitting designs.
Engineers from the firms may have also given factory owners false hope about the conditions of their facilities, submitted late and faulty engineering assessments and engaged in negotiations with factory owners who wanted to avoid retrofitting.
The Financial Express said the Alliance has alerted the country’s major apparel body, the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) via letter about the accusations, and has requested the association put its member factories on notice so that engineers from the firms aren’t hired again.
BGMEA vice president Mahmud Hasan Khan confirmed receipt of the letter and told the Express, “We have decided to inform our members about the three engineering firms so that they can avoid any unwanted problems related to DEA [detailed engineering assessment] and other remediation work.”
Imrul Kayes, managing director of Grihayan Rit Consortium, which is currently doing work from some 35 Accord member factories, denies that his firm manipulated any reports or engaged in any unethical practices.
“Since we are not listed with Alliance, the allegations are part of the design to preclude us from doing such work,” he told the Express.
Uttaran Technologies, however, did admit to the wrongs and blamed them on scarcity of manpower.
He said the firm did submit reports late, explaining to the Express, “To prepare DEA report is a new dimension of work for the country and it takes more time than six weeks—a timeframe given by the Alliance.”
Some of his firm’s assessments have reportedly been approved by the Alliance, though others are still pending approval.
The Alliance has not issued a public statement on the accusations.