The leaders of the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA) and the Bangladesh Knitwear Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BKMEA) met yesterday (9 January) to discuss a unified code of conduct and formed a committee to develop the code and tackle audit fatigue.

“Multiple audits are not only a waste of time and money, but also create audit fatigue making compliance difficult for enterprises,” BGMEA explains. “As a result, calls for converging the protocols to audit garment factories are growing in the industry.”

Against this backdrop, the 11-member committee headed by BGMEA vice president Miran Ali will carry out a thorough assessment of the feasibility of a common code of conduct for social audits, including national laws, rules, and policies and international conventions such as the United Nations Guiding Principles (UNGPs) along with buyers code of conduct and third-party audit protocols.

BMGEA says the committee will give attention to the local context while adhering to local and international principles with the utmost consideration.

It will also engage with international stakeholders, including brands, trade associations, academia, and social partners to formulate a feasible path to end audit fatigue.

BGMEA recently urged the Bangladesh Commerce Ministry to simplify apparel export procedures to help with Covid-related challenges.

Meanwhile, toward the back end of last year, a study by the Bangladesh Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) claimed Bangladesh apparel factory labour conditions and rights need to be strengthened and follow the UNGPs.