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Job posters are now able to specify "confidentiality level"
Thread poster: Henry Dotterer

Henry Dotterer
Local time: 00:20
SITE FOUNDER
Dec 19, 2016

Hi all,

Job posters now have the option to specify a "Confidentiality level" when posting a job. The levels are:

High - strict security procedures should be used
Medium - standard security procedures may be used
Low - confidentiality is not a concern on this job

This field is for informational purposes only. Completing the field is optional, and it is off by default. If the poster specifies a level, that level is displayed on the job posting. No restrictions result from this setting; the group of people authorized to access and express interest in a job is not affected by the field.

This field is not meant to dictate job handling; it is a flag only (like other fields in the job posting form). Which is to say, it is assumed that no matter the setting, discussions and NDA or other contract agreements will ensue, as they normally do.

The addition of this field relates to the SecurePRO™ program recently announced.

This field is not yet supported in the API and mobile app.


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2G Trad  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:20
Member (2000)
English to Italian
+ ...
What about a Bureaucracy Level field? Dec 19, 2016

Hi Henry,

what about creating a Bureaucracy Level field for job posters?
In EU especially, some clients require translators to provide tax documents (e.g. fiscal residence certificate, VIES registration, etc.), otherwise the translators don't get paid in full (the client withholds a percentage of the amount, allegedly based on his country's tax rules for foreign providers).
This field should be a mandatory field since too many times translators find out they should have provided a tax certificate only when their invoice becomes due and the client suddenly informs you he/she will withhold 20-30% of your invoice...
If this field is mandatory, translators will immediately know what kind of documents they have to provide if they want to co-operate with that client/job poster.

In my experience the fiscal residence certificate is the most difficult document to provide (money and time consuming), then goes VIES registration for EU clients, then W-8BEN for US clients.
So the bureaucracy levels could be:
- High - fiscal residence certificate
- Medium - VIES registration, Long NDAs and SLAs (> 2 pages)
- Low - W-8BEN, Short NDAs and SLAs (< 2 pages)
- None - zero bureaucracy

Thanks for your attention
Cheers
Gianni


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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:20
Romanian to English
+ ...
Doing business Dec 20, 2016

2G Trad wrote:

what about creating a Bureaucracy Level field for job posters?

If this field is mandatory, translators will immediately know what kind of documents they have to provide if they want to co-operate with that client/job poster.

In my experience the fiscal residence certificate is the most difficult document to provide (money and time consuming), then goes VIES registration for EU clients, then W-8BEN for US clients.
So the bureaucracy levels could be:
- High - fiscal residence certificate
- Medium - VIES registration, Long NDAs and SLAs (> 2 pages)
- Low - W-8BEN, Short NDAs and SLAs (< 2 pages)
- None - zero bureaucracy


How could a job poster possibly know who needs what? Does a job poster know in advance who gets the job posted, i.e. what country the successful applicant comes from and ergo, what documents he needs to provide?

It is the service provider's duty to know what documents he needs according to the laws of his country in order to do business. This was the first thing I checked with my tax administration, and as far as I remember, it took about 2 minutes to fill in the EU VAT number form and 2 to complete the VIES registration form. Living in a highly bureaucratic country, I don't think it should take more than that anywhere else.

Having an EU VAT number is not a capricious client's expectation, but a requirement under EU law, in certain cases. The law clearly says: if you can't provide a valid EU VAT number, the transaction shall be considered B2C. Of course, I still don't understand why I, as a non-VAT payer in my country, need a VAT number for intra-EU transactions, but hey, it's surely a reasonable expectation that I be spared of this bureaucratic requirement, even though thousands of other businesses in the same position don't find it complicated to comply with it?

Why not include a bureaucracy level Less than none: no invoice required, transaction is clandestine?


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:20
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Contradiction Dec 20, 2016

Annamaria Amik wrote:

How could a job poster possibly know who needs what?

...

It is the service provider's duty to know what documents he needs according to the laws of his country in order to do business.


A job poster would know "what documents he needs according to the laws of his country". E.g. A US based job poster would know he'll need a W8-BEN (or not...) from their service providers, while I believe it isn't the service provider's duty to know the regulations and obligations of any country a job poster could hail from. In this respect, Gianni's proposal makes perfectly sense and would indeed be helpful to us.


Having an EU VAT number is not a capricious client's expectation, but a requirement under EU law, in certain cases.


But extremely long, complicated (and sometimes even poorly written/conceived) and in certain cases even vexing and extremely biased NDAs definitely are, so, again, Gianni's proposal makes sense.

If I compare the service agreement template provided by ATA (for instance) with those I've been sent by some (potential) clients, I definitely wish I had known that in advance...


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Annamaria Amik  Identity Verified
Local time: 07:20
Romanian to English
+ ...
VIES and other requirements Dec 20, 2016

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

Annamaria Amik wrote:

How could a job poster possibly know who needs what?

...

It is the service provider's duty to know what documents he needs according to the laws of his country in order to do business.


A job poster would know "what documents he needs according to the laws of his country". E.g. A US based job poster would know he'll need a W8-BEN (or not...) from their service providers, while I believe it isn't the service provider's duty to know the regulations and obligations of any country a job poster could hail from. In this respect, Gianni's proposal makes perfectly sense and would indeed be helpful to us.


Having an EU VAT number is not a capricious client's expectation, but a requirement under EU law, in certain cases.


But extremely long, complicated (and sometimes even poorly written/conceived) and in certain cases even vexing and extremely biased NDAs definitely are, so, again, Gianni's proposal makes sense.


There's no contradiction in the VIES case. As a service provider who issues the invoice, I need to know what my invoice must contain. An invoice, first of all, needs to be in line with local legislation, and at least in EU countries, the national laws implement the EU-wide VAT rules. So it is MY country's tax rules that require me to have an EU VAT number if I issue an invoice to a client in another Member State, and ask for the client's VAT number when making out the invoice. If they can't provide one, I must treat it as a B2C transaction and apply tax rules accordingly.

I had clients from the US and several other non-EU countries, and they never asked me to fill in any forms, other than sending my invoice. Spanish agencies did mention the tax certificate in their agreements, but once I explained that I have an EU VAT number, which is enough proof that I am resident in Romania for tax purposes, they never asked for it.

Lengthy NDAs are another matter, indeed. I do agree that it would help to know in advance how long the job poster's Terms are and what vendor registration or other formalities they have in place. For example, some clients send the proofread translation back for comments - since I'm not just sitting here all day waiting for the occasional job to come in, it's very difficult so squeeze this part in with other deadlines waiting, unless I know in advance.
Others - and this is what I hate most, unless properly compensated by higher rates - expect the translators to run various QA tools that are sometimes completely useless and time-consuming, or update the agency's term bases with the "most important" terms from the translation, to build the agency's glossaries.

[Edited at 2016-12-20 11:15 GMT]


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2G Trad  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:20
Member (2000)
English to Italian
+ ...

Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:20
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
Fresh example Dec 20, 2016

I have just seen the first example of a job posted on the board using the new option. "Confidentiality level: HIGH" for a source text already published on the Internet... (the link to it was provided in the job description) and with a budget of €.03 per source word, and it was not an "Eastern" agency, but a (very) Western end client...

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José Henrique Lamensdorf  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 03:20
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Just another resource to make bottom-feeders FEEL important Dec 20, 2016

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

I have just seen the first example of a job posted on the board using the new option. "Confidentiality level: HIGH" for a source text already published on the Internet... (the link to it was provided in the job description) and with a budget of €.03 per source word, and it was not an "Eastern" agency, but a (very) Western end client...


Of course, being given the option, all job posters - especially the groveling-rate ones - will demand ultimate confidentiality level, even if it's just a "no smoking" sign.

It's the same breed of customers who demand "must have Trados" for translating audio/video recordings, handwritten notes, "dead" (= scanned) PDF files, etc., and won't let Proz give their time of the day to anyone who doesn't have it. The cherry on the top is that they need it done yesterday, but will pay (if they ever do!) 60 days after this month ends. Their rates? About USD 1 or 2 cents/word; who would expect more?

Perhaps the burden has been placed on the wrong side. I treat each and every job as top secret, even if it's translating and subtitling a video from YouTube that has received a million "likes" on Facebook already.


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Maria S. Loose, LL.M.  Identity Verified
Belgium
Local time: 06:20
German to English
+ ...
Exactly Dec 20, 2016

Annamaria Amik wrote:


It is the service provider's duty to know what documents he needs according to the laws of his country in order to do business. This was the first thing I checked with my tax administration, and as far as I remember, it took about 2 minutes to fill in the EU VAT number form and 2 to complete the VIES registration form. Living in a highly bureaucratic country, I don't think it should take more than that anywhere else.

Having an EU VAT number is not a capricious client's expectation, but a requirement under EU law, in certain cases. The law clearly says: if you can't provide a valid EU VAT number, the transaction shall be considered B2C. Of course, I still don't understand why I, as a non-VAT payer in my country, need a VAT number for intra-EU transactions, but hey, it's surely a reasonable expectation that I be spared of this bureaucratic requirement, even though thousands of other businesses in the same position don't find it complicated to comply with it?

Why not include a bureaucracy level Less than none: no invoice required, transaction is clandestine?


You need a VAT number for intra-EU transactions even as a non-VAT payer in your country in order to report this transaction to your fiscal administration so that the latter can forward this information to the fiscal administration of your client's country. The system was set up to prevent VAT fraud.



[Edited at 2016-12-20 17:06 GMT]

[Edited at 2016-12-20 17:07 GMT]


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Mirko Mainardi  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 06:20
Member
English to Italian
+ ...
About VIES Dec 20, 2016

Annamaria Amik wrote:

There's no contradiction in the VIES case. As a service provider who issues the invoice, I need to know what my invoice must contain. An invoice, first of all, needs to be in line with local legislation, and at least in EU countries, the national laws implement the EU-wide VAT rules. So it is MY country's tax rules that require me to have an EU VAT number if I issue an invoice to a client in another Member State, and ask for the client's VAT number when making out the invoice. If they can't provide one, I must treat it as a B2C transaction and apply tax rules accordingly.


I was obviously referring to your entire post, since you picked a single item from Gianni's to apparently (and sarcastically) dismiss the whole thing, while in my opinion it does raise some valid points, as you yourself admitted in your previous reply to me. That was the gist of my entire reply.

As for VIES in particular, I concur with you, and don't consider it a taxing requirement per se (and I am VIES registered myself), however, please allow me make an example: I am not VIES registered (maybe don't even have a VAT ID...) and exclusively work with national and/or non-EU clients. I see a job posting and am unsure as to whether the client will require me to be VIES registered or not, as they might very well have multiple branches around the world and I am not sure where they are legally based for tax purposes and/or if they have multiple "HQs". In such a case, would a "VIES required" flag be helpful to me? I would think so. But I concede that would be quite the peculiar case.

I had clients from the US and several other non-EU countries, and they never asked me to fill in any forms, other than sending my invoice. Spanish agencies did mention the tax certificate in their agreements, but once I explained that I have an EU VAT number, which is enough proof that I am resident in Romania for tax purposes, they never asked for it.


Then consider yourself lucky in this respect, Annamaria, but I can assure you such clients do exist out there, which is one more reason why Gianni's proposal is not out of left field. It is highly irksome (euphemism) to spend hours on end discussing things with a client, possibly, examining and signing NDAs, SLAs, passing a translation test, etc. and then be asked to issue invoices based on THEIR templates or add apparently random statements on them, provide copies of your passport, ID card, "tax status certification" or anything else that might strike their fancy... (for whatever reason and/or purported national or EU regulation). It is probably even more "irksome" to spend MORE hours trying to explain them they don't actually need any of that, and that, in any case, I won't budge... (and yes, all of the above happened to me).

Just tell me beforehand and I'll steer clear.

Lengthy NDAs are another matter, indeed. I do agree that it would help to know in advance how long the job poster's Terms are and what vendor registration or other formalities they have in place. For example, some clients send the proofread translation back for comments - since I'm not just sitting here all day waiting for the occasional job to come in, it's very difficult so squeeze this part in with other deadlines waiting, unless I know in advance.
Others - and this is what I hate most, unless properly compensated by higher rates - expect the translators to run various QA tools that are sometimes completely useless and time-consuming, or update the agency's term bases with the "most important" terms from the translation, to build the agency's glossaries.


Agreed (obviously). Been there as well (unfortunately).


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:20
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
How about some job posters' obligations? Dec 20, 2016

Annamaria Amik wrote:
I had clients from the US and several other non-EU countries, and they never asked me to fill in any forms, other than sending my invoice. Spanish agencies did mention the tax certificate in their agreements, but once I explained that I have an EU VAT number, which is enough proof that I am resident in Romania for tax purposes, they never asked for it.

You've clearly had a lot of good luck then, Annamaria. The worst case I've had was with a Romanian agency that stated that it was totally unable to pay my invoice without a residency certificate. The most they could possibly come up with would be 80%. The rest would be donated to the Romanian government, as though I was a Romanian tax payer. It was the devil of a job for me to come up with that certificate and it took several months. Fortunately I did manage to get one and send it off. While you have all the necessary proof that you ARE resident there, Annamaria, it isn't so easy for others to prove that they AREN'T. The fact that you've never set foot in the place doesn't count for anything.


I for one welcome the suggestion made by 2G Trad. Posters at present don't have to tell us a thing about the jobs they post, and it's high time they did. Why should we waste time at all on quoting for jobs when the poster can't be bothered to tell us - or refuses to tell us - the most basic information about the job:
- the subject matter
- the document type
- the volume
- the file format(s)
- the variant (source and/or target) where appropriate.

Okay, you can say that we don't have to waste time quoting - we can just go straight to the "X" button. But we're here to earn a living, aren't we? Maybe it's a good job that we'd be turning our backs on. Posters are often very quick to tell us what they expect from us, and now they can tell us about confidentiality too; but are we not entitled to expect anything from them? I personally believe that clients should be at least minimally vetted by ProZ.com staff before posting and they should be obliged to complete at least the most basic information about the job they want done. Otherwise, how can we give a sensible, professional, quote?


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:20
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
I was expecting this... and it means multiple problems Dec 20, 2016

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

I have just seen the first example of a job posted on the board using the new option. "Confidentiality level: HIGH" for a source text already published on the Internet... (the link to it was provided in the job description) and with a budget of €.03 per source word, and it was not an "Eastern" agency, but a (very) Western end client...


I think this shows that this may be another option that is not needed and not understood by most outsourcers. In my experience, those clients who truly need confidential handling of their materials will not publish the text, instead, they will discuss the matter in detail with those who apply for the job. Those with the highest sensitivity aren't likely to post jobs publicly at all, they would search through the directory and make contact that way.

I understand that this is another experiment to see how the outsourcers use this option, and it is related to the validation of the SecurePro program, but I think it may be causing more confusion and more disconnect than intended.

Another problem is that it is vague, and carries the risk of misinterpretation. It opens up the possibility of the outsourcer using it in lieu of a proper NDA, and subsequently claiming confidentiality breach for whatever reason. For example, if the translator posts a low BB rating, they may say "We indicated that the job was highly confidential, so you breached that by disclosing our working relationship on the BB. Remove the rating or else...".

[Edited at 2016-12-20 17:45 GMT]


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 00:20
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Usage on first day: 54% medium, 35% high, 11% low Dec 20, 2016

I think it may be useful to share some statistics from the first day of usage.

The setting is unset by default, and completion is optional, so unsurprisingly, most job posters left it unset. But a significant number -- 31 -- did set it. Of those who set it, 35% set confidentiality level as high, 11% set it as low, and 54% set it as medium.


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Henry Dotterer
Local time: 00:20
SITE FOUNDER
TOPIC STARTER
Interesting idea, Gianni! Dec 20, 2016

2G Trad wrote:
what about creating a Bureaucracy Level field for job posters?
In EU especially, some clients require translators to provide tax documents (e.g. fiscal residence certificate, VIES registration, etc.), otherwise the translators don't get paid in full (the client withholds a percentage of the amount, allegedly based on his country's tax rules for foreign providers).
This field should be a mandatory field since too many times translators find out they should have provided a tax certificate only when their invoice becomes due and the client suddenly informs you he/she will withhold 20-30% of your invoice...
If this field is mandatory, translators will immediately know what kind of documents they have to provide if they want to co-operate with that client/job poster.

In my experience the fiscal residence certificate is the most difficult document to provide (money and time consuming), then goes VIES registration for EU clients, then W-8BEN for US clients.
So the bureaucracy levels could be:
- High - fiscal residence certificate
- Medium - VIES registration, Long NDAs and SLAs (> 2 pages)
- Low - W-8BEN, Short NDAs and SLAs (< 2 pages)
- None - zero bureaucracy

Thanks for your attention
Cheers
Gianni

It is an interesting idea! I understand the problem you are trying to solve here. I'll keep it in mind for the future.


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jyuan_us  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:20
Member (2005)
English to Chinese
+ ...
Nowadays Eastern or Western don't make a lot of difference Dec 20, 2016

Mirko Mainardi wrote:

I have just seen the first example of a job posted on the board using the new option. "Confidentiality level: HIGH" for a source text already published on the Internet... (the link to it was provided in the job description) and with a budget of €.03 per source word, and it was not an "Eastern" agency, but a (very) Western end client...


In 2016, I got a couple of good clients from India, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Brazil, Lithuania, and Cyprus. On the other hands, I dumped most of my existing clients from UK because they made me sick. A potential client from UK asked me to work for them for $0.015 per word but a potential client from Vietnam offered $0.06 on the same day. Although I declined both of them, I felt the former should be ashamed of themselves, and the latter deserves my respect.

[Edited at 2016-12-20 21:09 GMT]


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