The Botswana Environmental Assessment Practitioners Association (BEAPA) is committed to ethical and professional practice in all its operations. BEAPA as a regulatory environmental assessment practitioners’ body in Botswana, through the Disciplinary Committee (DC), investigates complaints and other matters where an environmental assessment practitioner may have failed to meet standards of professional competence and conduct as outlined in the Code of Conduct (Schedule D of the BEAPA Constitution). The association is not in the position to address complaints and that fall outside the constitution such as scope of work, timing and payments. In these circumstances the Association suggests that both parties agree on some form of arbitration.
BEAPA COMPLAINTS’ POLICY
RESOLVING COMPLAINTS EARLY
Prior to registering a complaint with the BEAPA DC, the complainant (developer) should try to resolve the problem with the concerned environmental assessment practitioner first. Speak with the environmental assessment practitioner about your concerns as most practitioners want to solve problems before they become complaints. Many of the complaints we receive involve problems with communication. These cases can often be resolved at an early stage by the two parties (the complainant/developer and the environmental assessment practitioner). In the event that the two parties are not able to resolve the problem and it is elevated to the Secretariat, who will contact the developer and the environmental practitioner to explore opportunities for resolving the complaint. Early resolution can help repair relationships between the developer and the environmental practitioner, and is generally less time-consuming than a formal investigation.
Section 50 of the EA Act of 2011
Complaints and investigations are confidential unless disciplinary proceedings have begun. Section 50 of the EA Act of 2011 restricts the Board’s legal right to share information obtained as a result of the investigation with the complainant and with the accused Environmental Practitioner. Confidentiality is required even after the complaint has been addressed (without disciplinary proceedings).
Please note that, BEAPA will provide a copy of the complaint to the concerned Environmental Practitioner and afford them the opportunity to reply within the stipulated period.