ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management Systems
Anti-bribery steps are becoming an important company need. Corruption raises the cost of business, undermines public trust and hampers growth. It disproportionately affects the poor and vulnerable by diverting resources from essential public services such as health care, education, transportation and water sanitation.
Bribery is one of the world’s most destructive and challenging issues. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Developmentthere are over US$ 1 trillion paid in bribes each year. The consequences are catastrophic, reducing quality of life, increasing poverty and eroding public trust.
Yet despite efforts on national and international levels to tackle bribery, it remains a significant issue. Recognizing this, ISO developed a new standard to help organizations fight bribery and promote an ethical business culture. It is designed to help an organization implement an anti-bribery management system, or enhance any existing controls. It helps to reduce the risk of bribery occurring and can demonstrate to stakeholders that an organisation has put in place internationally recognized good-practice anti-bribery controls.
ISO 37001 can be used by any organization, large or small, whether it be in the public, private or voluntary sector, and in any country. It is a flexible tool, which can be adapted according to the size and nature of the organization and the bribery risk it faces.
What is an anti-bribery management system?
An anti-bribery management system is designed to instil an anti-bribery culture within an organization and implement appropriate controls, which will in turn increase the chance of detecting bribery and reduce its incidence in the first place. ISO 37001, Anti-bribery management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, gives the requirements and guidance for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an anti-bribery management system. The system can be independent of, or integrated into, an overall management system.
It covers bribery in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including brib- ery by and against an organization or its staff, and bribes paid or received through or by a third party. The bribery can take place anywhere, be of any value and can involve financial or non-financial advan- tages or benefits.
What benefits will it bring to my business or organization?
ISO 37001 is designed to help your organization implement an anti-bribery management system or enhance the controls you currently have. It requires implementing a series of measures such as adopting an anti-bribery policy, appointing someone to oversee compliance with that policy, vetting and training employees, undertaking risk assessments on projects and business associates, implementing financial and commercial controls, and instituting reporting and investigation procedures.
Implementing an anti-bribery management system requires leadership and input from top management, and the policy and programme must be communicated to all staff and external parties such as contractors, suppliers and joint- venture partners.
In this way, it helps to reduce the risk of bribery occurring and can demonstrate to your management, employees, owners, funders, customers and other business associates that you have put in place internationally recognized good-practice anti-bribery controls. It can also provide evidence in the event of a criminal investigation that you have taken reasonable steps to prevent bribery.
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