Vendor Screening: Know Who You're Working With

Vendor screening can help reduce your liability when taking on third-party subcontractors. Depending on your industry, OFAC debarment screening, EHS screening, financial screening, and legal screening may hold significant benefits.

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Published February 19, 2019   •   3 minute read

As your company grows, the list of third-party vendors you work with will, too. To mitigate associated risks—contract risks, process risks, regulatory non-compliance risks, political risks, and those resulting from undesirable events and data systems failures—a proper vendor screening process should be implemented.

Depending on your industry, this might include background checks; Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury debarment screening; environment, health and safety (EHS) screening; and financial and/or legal vetting.

To best adapt to the ever-evolving trends and challenges of the global economy, your company’s vendor screening processes should encompass global regulations and other pertinent safeguards, such as international sanctions, government watch lists, and even negative media coverage.

Some questions you should ask yourself before signing any new vendor contract (just to name a few) include:

  • “Are they insured?”
  • “Are they compliant with my company’s standards?”
  • “Do they have a good reputation with other contractors?”
  • “Do they run background checks on all of their employees?”

The following is an overview of the four types of vendor screening services offered by BCS: OFAC Debarment Screening, EHS Screening, Financial Screening, and Legal Screening.

OFAC Debarment Screening

The Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) is part of the U.S. Treasury Department and responsible for administering and enforcing economic and trade sanctions. It helps protect businesses from losses related to terrorism, money laundering, identity theft, and fraud.

How It Works

When the OFAC levies sanctions against certain targeted nations, entities, and individuals, those parties are added to a list of “Specially Designated Nationals,” or “SDNs.” These targeted countries and regimes are barred from conducting trade and business with the United States.

BCS screens vendors against federal compliance requirements by inspecting the SDN list, as well as other sanctions lists, to determine whether or not it is safe to move forward with potential vendor partnerships.

EHS Screening

An integrated environmental health and safety (EHS) management system is mission critical for growing and maintaining a sustainable business. EHS screening helps protect you from working with vendors who are not in compliance with programs such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

How It Works

With BCS, the buck doesn’t stop at compliance verification. You get a compliance partner who provides consulting, training and auditing services to help enforce effective EHS and related quality programs. We can approach each company’s program type individually or collectively as a total management system with SafeComply, just one function of the BCS App.

Financial Screening

Contracts with vendors in poor financial health could spell major losses for your company. When your vendors’ books are backed up, you can find yourself stuck dealing with late deliveries, late payments, or unexpected business closures. Performing basic due diligence regarding potential vendors’ finances will help to reduce your risk, gain mutually lucrative partnerships, and keep you and all your vendor affiliates in uniformly prosperous financial standing.

How It Works

Our brilliant analysts have developed a proprietary algorithm, also embodied within the BCS App, that delivers a comprehensive, objective overview of suppliers’ financial health. It does so by mining a national nexus of credit bureaus, including Experian, and others similar, and providing our clients with an up-to-date, objective analysis of the overall financial health of their suppliers.

Legal Screening

For a company to reduce liabilities, ensure proper finances, remain in federal compliance, and prevent/mitigate unknown illegal actions, completing a thorough legal screening is a necessary first step in identifying and partnering with prospective suppliers or vendors.

How It Works

Authorized client users are granted access to our online document repository to help evaluate your company’s risk regarding suppliers and vendors. If requested, BCS also reports any adverse findings to our clients so that the appropriate actions can be taken before any potential problems arise. Don’t put your company at risk because of an unstable supplier or vendor.

The legal information provided for our authorized clients includes:

  • Bankruptcies (Up to a 10-year history of bankruptcy filing)
  • Liens (Up to a seven-year history of federal, state, and county tax liens)
  • Judgments (From small claims, municipal courts, and superior courts)

BCS prides itself on providing the perfect balance between technological support and human resources for third-party liability risk mitigation, including comprehensive vendor screening to ensure maximum security and proper compliance.

To learn more about what BCS can do for your business, request a demo today.

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