The factory assessment system
The system consists of the following components:
Registration of participating factories
The Ministry of Commerce requires registration with Better Factories Cambodia in order to obtain an export license.
Approximately 300 factories are registered with Better Factories Cambodia. Registration means that the ILO and the participating factory sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)outlining their duties and responsibilities. The factory agrees to provide ILO monitors with full access to the factory premises at all times. The factory also agrees that ILO monitors will interact freely with shop stewards, union representatives and factory workers, both inside and outside the factory premises. See a complete list of active factories that have registered and been monitored by the project.
The ILO agrees that assessing visits will be fair and objective, will minimize disruption to factory operation, and that any allegation of misconduct by its own monitors will be considered in good faith.
Procedures for assessment visits
Better Factories Cambodia monitors have been trained in Cambodian Labour Law and international labour standards, interviewing techniques, and report-writing. In visiting factories, monitors are guided by a checklist of questions, most of which relate to articles in the labour code or provisions in the relevant ILO conventions. The government as well as employers and unions involved in the garment industry have endorsed this checklist.
Monitors normally visit factories in pairs. All assessment visits are unannounced visits. Each visit follows a similar procedure, which includes meetings with management, an unaccompanied walk-through and observation, collection of documents such as payroll, contracts and leave records, and interviews with individual workers as well as worker and union representatives. Interviews with workers are done both at and away from the factory.
The currently one-day monitoring visit will be changed to two-day visits in 2012. After collecting assessing data, ILO monitors record their assessment results in the IMS, a computerized system for collecting, storing and analyzing data.
The Chief Technical Advisor, who is the head of the project, provides final approval for assessment reports. Once a factory report has been approved and uploaded to the IMS, Better Factories Cambodia notifies the factory by email. Factories can log onto the IMS’s limited access website to view their own detailed reports. Other users (e.g., head office, buyers or vendors) can also access reports for specific factories, provided they have been granted access. Factories that do not have email or internet access receive paper copies of their reports.
Factories can lodge objections to findings in their factory’s reports online. Objections will be reviewed by the ILO, and will be visible to buyers who have been granted access to the reports.
Upon request from management, Better Factories Cambodia can offer assistance to factories in implementing the suggestions identified in the report.
Public reporting procedures
The IMS enables Better Factories Cambodia
to publish synthesis reports
on a semi-annual basis. The synthesis reports include an executive summary, easy-to-read graphs highlighting compliance trends, employment figures for the garment industry, and progress made on improving working conditions. The public can access this summary information from the ILO Better Factories Cambodia’s website. These summary reports will be posted as soon as the factory report has been finalized
See a list of synthesis reports produced before and after the IMS was implemented.