Wednesday, January 04, 2006

GIA Makes Sweeping Changes After Scandal

Ralph Destino, former president of Cartier, Inc. was named as GIA Chairman, a newly created position. Current GIA president William Boyajian will keep his title but will now report to Destino.

Among other notable changes is the discontinuation of the GIA's "membership" structure where different clients were charged different prices based on their volume of grading submissions. There will now be a single pricing structure for all clients.

The GIA will also no longer accept or ask for donations from diamantaires whose diamonds are submitted for grading in the lab.

Linda Scholl, recently appointed to the post of Chief Compliance Officer will oversee the enforcement of compliance policies for the GIA lab. Some of the steps taken include the clear message that no employee may solicit or receive compensation in any form from lab clients. Violators will be fired. The retention of EthicsPoint, a leading provider of services to support compliance, workplace ethics and corporate governance to encourage open, anonymous and safe communication between GIA staff, clients, students and vendors.

GIA has also taken steps to strengthen its Professional Ethics and Conduct compliance statement and added a whistleblower policy whereby employees will lose their jobs if they fail to inform GIA management of any code of conduct violations that they may witness or become aware of.