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Bangladesh factory owners want single agency inspections

Garment manufacturers and exporters in Bangladesh want a single agency than the three at present to inspect and monitor progress in remediation of factories. Currently, the Accord and the Alliance -- the inspection agencies of European and North American retailers and brands -- and the National Initiative backed by the government are inspecting and suggesting remediation to boost workplace safety.

All three inspection agencies apply different codes in inspection and as a result many owners face challenges in remedying their factories. Garment factory owners have prepared a new guideline for the next phase of inspection of apparel production units in a bid to reduce hassles and set a unified code of inspection. They have proposed that third-party auditors, having prior experience in audit and certification, will be hired for conducting all structural, fire and electrical audit.

Under the new initiative, factory assessment would be done on an individual basis and failure in the remediation in any particular unit would not impact other production units belonging to the same group. Laws of the land will be applicable for closure of factories, compensation for workers and penalty for the factory owners. The tenure of the legally binding Accord and Alliance will come to an end in June 2018.