One of the world’s most challenging issues is bribery. Over 1 trillion US dollars are paid in bribe each year resulting in catastrophic results. In general bribery refers to giving, offering, promising and accepting an advantage with a value to influence the decision of person who is in charge of a duty. Organizations and individuals that are involved in bribery means they have received or paid something with the intention to influence the person in favour of the party giving the bribe.
In order to prevent corruption and bribery, a number of laws, regulations and acts have been established and implemented. Where some were implemented successfully, many were not. With the constant rise in bribery, it has become a matter of concern for individuals and organizations as well. This leads to lack of transparency, trust and confidence in both private and public sectors.
Bribery remains a significant issue, despite the efforts made on national as well as international levels to tackle it. This is where ISO took a strong step forward and initiated the establishment of a new standard to fight against bribery. Specifically dealing with bribery risks, an Anti-bribery Management System(ABMS) focuses on promoting an ethical business culture.
About ISO 37001
Developed by the The International Organization for Standardization, ISO 37001 is an Anti-bribery management system to assist organizations in maintaining an effective corruption compliance program. The purpose is to establish, implement, maintain and improve the anti bribery program. This standard addresses the following kinds of bribery:
- In private, public and nonprofit sectors
- Direct and indirect bribery (involving third party)
- Bribery of and by the organization, its personnel or business associates who are acting on the company’s behalf
ISO 37001 needs the organizations to implement certain procedures to address these concerns:
- Select and implement an anti bribery policy
- Designate accountability for overseeing compliance
- Get commitment and approval from the top management
- Provide required anti bribery training for employees and third parties
- Perform due diligence on business associates and projects
- Take corrective actions in case of any violations
- Continually improve the effectiveness of the program
Benefits of ISO 37001
1.Implement required measures – By implementing the ABMS as per ISO 37001 requirements, an organization will be able to execute the required measures for reducing the risk of bribery. It is possible by either detecting or preventing the risk from negatively affecting the organization. In addition to this, based on the nature of bribery risk an organization is facing, the standard provides the requirements and guides to enact these measures
2.Promotes confidence and trust – Organization that have a ABMS in place, are more reliable as the risk of bribery is lower here. These organizations promote trust and get into agreements with other organizations that have similar policies in place
3.Avoid reputational damage – Reputational damage, the consequence of being involved in bribery, can be avoided by adopting this standard. Reputation is extremely important for an organization’s longevity and an effective ABMS will help it in avoiding the damage
Any organization, be it a small or large one and whether in public or private sector, can use ISO 37001 standard. This flexible tool can be adapted according to the nature and size of the organization along with the kind of bribery risk it faces.