What are the stages of ISO 37001 Certification?

ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Certification is critical for organisations in the public, private and non-profit sectors. After all, consider the benefits: Certification adds a distinct level of credibility to the organisation’s management systems and ensures that the organisation implements a viable anti-bribery management program utilising widely accepted controls and systems. It assures management, investors, business associates, personnel and other stakeholders that the organisation is actively pursuing internationally recognised and accepted processes to prevent bribery and corruption. ISO 37001:2016 certification also protects the organisation, its assets, shareholders and directors from the effects of bribery. But what, exactly, is the process for getting ISO 37001:2016 certified by CRI Group? Once your organisation has submitted questionnaire information and completed the approval and contract stage, the certification cycle is ready to begin.

Step 1: Audit confirmation

An audit plan will be developed with your organisation and confirmed to the Certification’s Body Assessment Team at least three months before the organisation’s first audit.

Step 2: Pre-assessment audit (optional)

The organisation can opt to perform a pre-assessment audit to identify any possible gaps between its current management system and the standard requirements. This audit is optional and helps the organisation check its preparedness for the stage 1 and 2 assessments by identifying any major non-conformities that have not been addressed.

Step 3: Stage 1 audit

Review the results of the audit, including:

  • General observations
  • Non-conformities (major or minor, see below)

Minor non-conformities: These are not seen as serious. The organisation must complete an internal Corrective Action Plan (CAP) before Stage 2. CAP is not required to be sent to the Assessment Team at Stage 1.

Major non-conformities: These are more serious. The organisation will need to submit a CAP within ten days of receiving the audit report, with all actions scheduled to be completed before Stage 2. The CAP should be sent to the Assessment Team. The major non-conformities raised during Stage 1 will be re-assessed during Stage 2 Audit.

Step 4: Stage 2 audit

This is an on-site audit and takes place after the organisation has successfully completed Stage 1 and corrected any major non-conformities identified during the Stage 1 audit. Stage 2 confirms that the organisation’s management system is fully aligned to the standard. The evaluation is of management system implementation and its effectiveness.

Outcome: The audit report will detail the following:

  • Any positive observations
  • Opportunities for improvement – suggestions for improvement and any findings that could lead to potential non-conformities.
  • Non-conformities (Major or Minor)
  • Recommendation for Certification

Minor non-conformities: The organisation must complete an internal Corrective Action Plan (CAP) and submit this to the Assessment Team within 45 working days of receiving the audit report. The Assessment Team will review the CAP; it must detail the non-conformity, the cause, the proposed corrective action, who is responsible and the date the action will be implemented. Based on the evaluation of CAP, the recommendation for certification will be made.

For minor non-conformities, if an organisation has a corrective action procedure, this will not delay the certificate.

Major non-conformities: The organisation must complete an internal Corrective Action Plan (CAP) and submit it within 90 days (or 180 days depending on the number and risk of major non-conformities) of receiving the audit report be sent to the auditor.

What comes next?

Stay tuned for more on ISO 37001:2016: sign up for our newsletter HEREISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System certification is offered under CRI Group’s ABAC® Centre of Excellence, an independent certification body established for Anti-Bribery Management System training and certification, Compliance Management System and Risk Management System certification. The program will be tailored to your organisation’s needs and requirements. For assistance in developing and implementing a fraud prevention strategy, contact ABAC today or get a FREE QUOTE now!

Who is CRI Group?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 37301:2021 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Q&A: Corporate fraud & corruption in the UK 2021

The United Kingdom scores 77 out of 100 on Transparency International’s (TI)  2020 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), as is one of the 25 least corrupt countries across the globe. However, it all seems great on the surface as corporate fraud and corruption cases have been noticeable in various industries across the UK. TI reports that corrupt actors enjoy their illicit gains by “buying luxury property in the world’s most sought-after cities, like London”. Based on the article “CPI 2020: Trouble in the top 25 countries”, “While the UK (77) is the first G20 country to launch a public register of beneficial ownership, a loophole in the law allows foreign companies to purchase real estate anonymously. This is particularly problematic as research shows that over 75 per cent of properties subject to criminal investigations between 2004 and 2015 used offshore anonymous companies to hide their owners’ identities. The UK government committed to closing this loophole by introducing a register of beneficial ownership for property, but it has yet to be implemented. The necessary legislation has been subject to significant delays. In the meantime, rich businesspeople linked to autocratic regimes are allegedly purchasing property via shell companies, such as billionaire and daughter of former President of Angola, Isabel de Santos.”

To discuss the situation of corporate fraud and corruption, CRI Group and its ABAC® Center of Excellence were invited to share the expert views in the special InDepth Feature by Financier Worldwide “Corporate fraud and corruption 2021”. In this edition, CRI Group’s CEO Zafar Anjum and ABAC®’s Scheme Manager Huma Khalid talk about how corporate fraud and corruption affect businesses not only in the UK, but across the globe, and provide solutions and insights for businesses to become better protected from corporate fraud, bribery and corruption. Read on the answers to the below questions:

  • To what extent have you seen a notable rise in the level of corporate fraud, bribery and corruption uncovered in your country of focus?
  • Have there been any legal and regulatory changes implemented in your country of focus designed to combat fraud and corruption? What penalties do companies face for failure to comply?
  • In your opinion, do regulators in your region have sufficient resources to enforce the law in this area? Are they making inroads?
  • If a company finds itself subject to a government investigation or dawn raid, how should it respond?
  • What role are whistleblowers playing in the fight against corporate fraud and corruption? How important is it to train staff to identify and report potentially fraudulent activity?
  • What advice can you offer to companies on conducting an internal investigation to follow up on suspicions of fraud or corruption?
  • What general steps can companies take to proactively prevent corruption and fraud within their organisation?

Q: To what extent have you seen a notable rise in the level of corporate fraud, bribery and corruption uncovered in your country of focus?

A: The COVID-19 pandemic has created increased opportunities for fraud worldwide. The UK is not immune, unfortunately, and such a disruptive event as the pandemic increases the likelihood that normal safeguards and risk management controls can be bypassed and subverted. There has been an increase in reported fraud and corruption cases over the past year. A survey of fraud experts by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) in August 2020 showed that 77 percent were seeing an increase in fraud. Perhaps not surprisingly, cyber fraud is the fastest-growing problem area, but there has also been an uptick in unemployment fraud. This is bad news in the UK, where fraud is our most common crime, costing the country £190bn annually, according to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI).

Q: Have there been any legal and regulatory changes implemented in your country of focus designed to combat fraud and corruption? What penalties do companies face for failure to comply?

 A: There is proposed legislation, supported by the secretary of state of the UK’s Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, that would increase accountability for corporations that produce falsified financial statements. This includes a provision that would require company directors to personally sign off on their corporation’s financial statements, under penalty of fines and possible prison time. Under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in the US, the penalty for falsely certifying such statements is steep: up to 20 years in prison and up to $5m in fines, and the UK is looking at similar measures to step up its fight against fraud and corruption. The UK also recently approved the formation of an audit, reporting and governance authority (ARGA) that should come into force within the next two or three years. Accordingly, the UK is taking a stronger stance against fraud going forward.

> STAY UPDATED: Sign up for risk management, compliance, corporate and background investigations, business intelligence and due diligence related news, solutions, events and publications

 Q: In your opinion, do regulators in your region have sufficient resources to enforce the law in this area? Are they making inroads?

A: Combatting fraud is never straightforward. When looking at progress in detecting and preventing fraud, it sometimes feels like a question of whether the glass is half full or half empty. For example, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) brought 13 fraud defendants to trial in 2019 and 2020, with a 95 percent four-year success rate by case. Many of these represent large frauds, and they are meaningful wins, but how many more fraudsters are out there undiscovered? Other bodies, including Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC), among others, also have key roles to play in investigating fraud, but a considerable amount of fraud is still investigated and prosecuted at the local level. It is important for leaders in the UK to know what resources law enforcement have and where they need training and support in the fight against fraud.

Q: If a company finds itself subject to a government investigation or dawn raid, how should it respond?

A: Any investigation, and especially a raid, can be an incredibly stressful time for a company and its employees. The important thing is to not panic – the investigators have a job to do, and the sooner they get to the truth of the situation, the better for everyone. Companies should direct their management and their employees to cooperate fully, while also engaging legal counsel to properly protect the corporation from future litigation. If fraud is detected, it is a criminal matter and the company should make a good faith effort to work with prosecutors and regulators, while making sure to document all control measures and prior steps taken to manage fraud risk. Having a track record of meeting compliance requirements and having proper internal controls in place at the time fraud occurs could have a mitigating effect in terms of potential prosecution and penalties down the road. View the reprint of the interview, covering not only the UK but also the United Arab Emirates.

Q: What role are whistleblowers playing in the fight against corporate fraud and corruption? How important is it to train staff to identify and report potentially fraudulent activity?

A: Employees are a company’s first line of defence against fraud and corruption. But training them to recognise the red flags of fraud is only half of the process. The company must also implement a reporting system that is anonymous and easy to use, so that employees are encouraged to report any suspicions. Then, the company must follow through and fully investigate any reports that do come in. If they do not, whistleblowers will believe that combatting fraud and corruption is not a corporate priority, and the tips will stop coming in. How important are those tips? According to the ACFE, they are by far the highest detection method for fraud, well above audits and other means. The company should communicate that a whistleblower hotline or online reporting system is available, and that there is a zero-tolerance policy for any type of retaliation against whistleblowers. Over time, the tips will come in.

Q: What advice can you offer to companies on conducting an internal investigation to follow up on suspicions of fraud or corruption? 

A: Investigations can be challenging, and they require expertise. For example, there are rules for collecting and handling evidence, including physical evidence and witness statements, that must be followed for such evidence to be admissible in court. There are also laws in the UK dealing with privacy and the rights of the accused. The bottom line is that a company already dealing with a potentially costly and damaging fraud scenario should not risk adding more legal trouble through a faulty investigation. Hire experts who deal with corporate crime and specialise in fraud and corruption cases. Like any other area of expertise, they will have the knowledge and resources to help proceed with an investigation and lead it to the most favourable outcome for your company. If you already have anti-fraud professionals on staff, let them take the lead, but provide outside resources as needed.

Q: What general steps can companies take to proactively prevent corruption and fraud within their organisation? 

A: A fraud prevention strategy has many different elements, and the sooner companies implement them, the sooner they can begin to work together in a proactive way to prevent fraud. Mandating employee training, such as ISO 37001 ABMS, having an ethical code of conduct signed by every member of staff, providing regular and surprise audits, and implementing a fraud reporting system are all effective ways to help prevent and detect fraud and corruption. None of these methods is strong enough on its own to properly protect organisations. But together, they can be very effective. It is also important to set a ‘tone at the top’, from ownership, directors and management on down, that fraud will not be tolerated. Anti-fraud controls only work if the company sees them through and thoroughly investigates every report. When fraud is confirmed, any perpetrators should be terminated and potentially prosecuted, sending a message of zero-tolerance.

> Find out more about the ISO 37001 training

About CRI Group

]Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, the CRI Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.[/accordion_son][accordion_son title=”Meet our CEO” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]Zafar I. Anjum, is the Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI Group (www.crigroup.com), a global supplier of investigative, forensic accounting, business due diligence and employee background screening services for some of the world’s leading business organisations.  Headquartered in London (with significant presence throughout the region) and licensed by the Dubai International Financial Centre-DIFC, the Qatar Financial Center-QFC, and the Abu Dhabi Global Market-ADGM, CRI Group safeguards businesses by establishing the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with your business. CRI Group maintains offices in UAE, Pakistan, Qatar, Singapore, Malaysia, Brazil, China, the USA, and the United Kingdom.

Contact CRI Group to learn more about its 3PRM-Certified™ third-party risk management strategy program and discover an effective and proactive approach to mitigating the risks associated with corruption, bribery, financial crimes and other dangerous risks posed by third-party partnerships.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI Group Chief Executive Officer
37th Floor, 1 Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London, E14 5AA United Kingdom
t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@crigroup.com

 

Source & Credits

The original version of the Q&A was published on Financier Worldwide’s InDepth Feature: Corporate Fraud & Corruption 2021Download the reprint here.

 

CPI 2020 overview: Middle East & Asia

The newly published Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI 2020) has ranked 180 countries and territories by their perceived levels of public sector corruption. This index uses a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean. CPI 2020 identified that despite progress, most countries still struggle to stop corruption effectively – more than 2/3 of countries score below 50 on CPI, with an average score of just 43. That proves the need to implement more stringent anti-bribery anti-corruption measures worldwide.

In this article, which was originally published on ABAC® Center’s of Excellence website, we will look at how the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Pakistan scored in the CPI 2020 and discuss solutions to tackle bribery in these regions.

 

Asia Pacific

Transparency International identified that with an average score of 45, the Asia Pacific region is still struggling to combat corruption despite continuous efforts. Region’s top leader New Zealand (88) is followed by Singapore (85), Australia (77) and Hong Kong (77). Conversely, Cambodia (21), Afghanistan (19) and North Korea (18) ranked lowest in the region. Malaysia, the country which introduced more stringent measures to fight bribery and corruption, proves that it takes time to see improvements. The country has moved down to 51 points compared to 53 points in 2019. Accordingly, the ranking also moved down to 57 in comparison with 51 in 2019. “Although a drop in the score appears statistically insignificant, the government must be cognizant that our rank falling 6 steps means that compared to other countries we are not improving as well as other countries in our efforts to fight corruption” – said Transparency International Malaysia in a statement. TI-M added: “The Government after coming into power in early 2020 committed to continue with the agenda to fight corruption and among them were to gazette the enforcement date of 1 June 2020 for the Corporate Liability and continue with the National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) initiated by the previous Government which is commendable. The NACP (National Anti-Corruption Plan) is a comprehensive plan but the government must ensure the implementation is effective and the Chief Secretary to the government should be empowered to lead the implementation and be made accountable”.

In our published whitepaper “South Asia grapples with anti-bribery compliance”, which overviews anti-bribery, anti-corruption and ISO 37001 solutions in Malaysia and entire in South Asia, we wrote that South Asia has a troubled record when it comes to preventing bribery and corruption, as well as enforcing compliance. Recent cases and statistics show that the problem persists in most countries in the region. Both government officials and private sector business leaders are struggling to adopt policies, control methods and best practices to help reduce bribery and corruption on their watch. High profile cases such as the 1MDB scandal in Malaysia and, more recently, the alleged Meikarta township case in Indonesia underscore this point. The investigations that were triggered by these cases demonstrate, however, that regulators are serious about addressing the threat of bribery and corruption as more than just a legal issue, but as a societal one, as well. In response, organisations that are committed to being in compliance are adopting the ISO 37001 – Anti-Bribery Management Systems standard as a comprehensive approach to mitigating risk and demonstrating ‘adequate procedures’ taken to prevent bribery and corruption.[vc_hoverbox image=”10629″ primary_title=”What are the major bribery and corruption cases in Malaysia?” hover_title=”Find out the case studies “]READ ARTICLE[/vc_hoverbox]

Middle East

Transparency International identified that with an average score of 39, the Middle East and North Africa region is still perceived as highly corrupt, with little progress made towards controlling corruption. Even though the United Arab Emirates (71) and Qatar (63) are best performing in the region, UAE is still appearing in headlines with bribery and corruption scandals.

In the article “CPI 2020: Trouble in the top 25 countries” Transparency.org wrote: “The United Arab Emirates has been heavily criticised by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) for its inadequate anti-money laundering framework. The country’s chaotic approach to registering companies makes it incredibly difficult for law enforcement to detect who is behind a suspicious company when thirty-nine different registries operate across the seven Emirates.

The UAE’s booming construction and real estate sector accounts for a fifth of the Emirates’ GDP, but remains vulnerable to money laundering because of complex and opaque ownership structures”.

Recently CRI Group was featured in Financier Worldwide’s InDepth Feature: Anti-Money Laundering 2021 publication and shared the view about the unfortunate situation of money laundering in this region: “When it comes to money laundering, a recent report from Carnegie Endowment found that there is a steady stream of illicit funds from corruption and crime flowing into the UAE. This should be alarming to organisations and regulators alike. The perpetrators take advantage of ‘free trade zones’ and often the money is funnelled through real estate deals, especially in luxurious properties in Dubai, for instance. This might be facilitated by foreign mobsters, gold smugglers, and even warlords. These are high-level criminal operations that can pose a risk to any legitimate organisation operating in the UAE and the Middle East as a whole”. In this edition, CRI Group’s CEO Zafar Anjum and ABAC®’s Scheme Manager Huma Khalid talked about the Anti-Money Laundering solutions and financial crime impact on businesses not only in UAE but across the globe: “Money laundering still represents a gap in enforcement, and organisations should not wait for government action to put their own AML frameworks in place. Like many countries around the world, the UAE is experiencing an uptick of fraud and financial crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic”. Read the full interview here.

 

Pakistan

As published in the press release, Pakistan’s CPI 2020 score “has lowered to 31/100 from 32/100 in 2019 and rank to 124/180 from 120/180 in 2019. This is despite NAB’s extraordinary efforts who claims to have recovered Rs 363 billion in the last two years, and Public Accounts Committee claims to have recovered Rs. 300 billion over the previous two years”.

TI Pakistan recently reported that “A total of 95 corrupt persons were convicted and fined worth billion of rupees by various accountability courts during the last three years due to the vigorous persuasion of National Accountability Bureau, Rawalpindi“. The comment was made by the Director General NAB, Irfan Naeem Mangi Monday. These efforts, of course, plays a significant role in fighting bribery and corruption, however, Pakistan is still appearing in the headlines. Recently, Transparency International Pakistan has found the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) involved in prima facia violating procurement rules for IT-based solutions and causing Rs13.5 billion losses to exchequer.

As the expert in AML and risk management solutions, CRI Group was interviewed in the Annual Review (2018): Pakistan Corporate Fraud & Corruption, published by Financier Worldwide Magazine and highlighted that Corporate fraud and corruption in Pakistan are widespread (Rose-Ackerman, 1997, p. 4), particularly in the government and police forces. There is a need to reform accountability and anti-corruption policies in Pakistan. 

Rising fraud risks have driven companies to establish the right steps to prevent fraud and corruption from surfacing. Following through with a focused trajectory ultimately also ensures failsafe protections are put in place, which will guard against scandals or negative publicity, while minimising risk exposure. There is quite a notable empirical rise in the frequency of companies conducting background screenings to nip corruption in the bud. Though checks can vary in nature, enforcing internal controls by implementing ISO strategies can bring pivotal change to a company’s strategy. Risk management is an essential part of minimising the costs that can arise in the long term due to losses and falling prey to fraudulent practices in the corporate realm. This can be implemented through a resilient management system that has been designed to specifically target any loopholes and any roadblocks, the impact of which can often be greater than anticipated, rattling the company and causing harm that could lead to lawsuits, unanticipated monetary and financial losses and hefty fines imposed by regulatory authorities, from which the company may never recover.[/vc_column_text][vc_hoverbox image=”10628″ primary_title=”Q&A: Corporate Fraud and Corruption in Pakistan” hover_title=”Annual Review: Pakistan Corporate Fraud & Corruption (Financier Worldwide)”]READ THE Q&A NOW[/vc_hoverbox]

Demonstrating adequate procedures to prevent bribery and corruption 

ISO has developed a standard – ISO 37001:2016 ABMS – to help organisations promote an ethical business culture. “Designed to help your organisation implement an anti-bribery management system (ABMS), and/or enhance the controls you currently have. It helps to reduce the risk of bribery [and corruption] occurring and can demonstrate to your stakeholders that you have put in place internationally recognised good-practice anti-bribery [and anti-corruption] controls”.

“Adequate procedures” is a term made popular through the UK Bribery Act of 2010. It presents the potential of a company avoiding liability for failing to prevent bribery if that organisation can fully demonstrate clear, sound and established policies and procedures that deter individuals (inside and outside of the organisation) from partaking in questionable or corrupt conduct. Transparency International has written a checklist for countering bribery and assessing whether you have adequate procedures in place, do the  “Adequate Procedures” Checklist now, and find out!Provided by our ABAC®, ISO 37001 certifies that your organisation has implemented reasonable and proportionate measures to prevent bribery. These measures involve top-level leadership, training, bribery risk assessment, due diligence adequacy, financial and commercial controls, reporting, audit, and investigation.

Consider ISO 37001:2016 ABMS as one of the invaluable tools of your Third-Party Risk Management Strategy. Combined with due diligencebackground screeningbusiness intelligence and compliance solutions, ISO  37001 certification and training can lift your risk management process and help your business mitigate risks from third-party affiliations, protecting your organisation from liability, brand damage and harm to the business. Learn more about 3PRM™ program as a flexible and responsive tool to the various risk domains that are most important to your business.

ABAC® – aiming for a higher standard

At CRI Group’s ABAC® Center of Excellence Limited, we are affiliated with leading certification and accreditation bodies around the world. These affiliations and accreditations help demonstrate the high level of experience and knowledge we provide in anti-bribery, risk and compliance management to our clients on a daily basis.

That’s why ABAC® has achieved essential accreditations from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), Emirates International Accreditation Center (EIAC) and membership in the Association of British Certification Bodies (ABCB). ABAC® is also a member of the “Partner in Corporate Governance” programme with the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG) and a Corporate Member of Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M).

ABAC® was established in 2016 by CRI Group, a global leader in risk, compliance and anti-bribery management systems. ABAC® was launched to provide certification and online training in anti-bribery and anti-corruption risk management and compliance for organisations worldwide. CRI Group and ABAC® CEO Zafar I. Anjum, CFE, said that ABAC® is proud to be accredited by, and affiliated with, international accreditation bodies. “Our engagement with high-profile bodies like EIAC, ABCB and UKAS demonstrates the effectiveness of our ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System certification and training, along with our ISO 19600, ISO 31000 certifications and other programs,” Anjum said.

Visit ABACgroup.com to find out more about anti-bribery, anti-corruption, risk and compliance management solutions.[/vc_column_text][accordion_father][accordion_son title=”Who is CRI Group?” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched the Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.[/accordion_son][/accordion_father][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Protecting Your Company from the Global Corruption Pandemic

Organisations now, more than ever, become vulnerable and have to take actions now to protect themselves, reputation, employees and other stakeholders from bribery and corruption associated risks. The recently celebrated International Anti-Corruption Day drew attention to these sometimes hidden risks worldwide, and many organisation joined for this day to raise awareness of how to stop corruption inside and outside their organisations. That’s great news. But we at CRI Group and ABAC® believe that “saying NO TO CORRUPTION” is not enough and draw attention all-year-round on how organisations can take actions now to secure themselves and contribute towards businesses’ fight against bribery and corruption risks.

Even with the world under partial lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been no shortage of bribery and corruption cases. Did you know that £100 billion of dirty money passes through the UK systems and services every year? Or that £1.27 billion is lost annually to fraud, bribery and corruption in the NHS? Recently, the Airbus was fined £3.6 billion in February 2020 by courts in the UK, US and France for slush funds, “success payments” and lavish hospitality. Are you 100% sure what’s happening in your organisation or even department? Such risks could affect you any time and not only in healthcare or aviation industries – no industry, organisation or even country is immune to that. The above mentioned shocking figures indicate the need for organisations in public and private sectors and different industries to take more stringent actions to stop bribery and corruption. Learn more bribery and corruption-related facts by reading our ABAC®’s infographic here.

ANTI-CORRUPTION WEBINAR

As part of our continuous effort to educating businesses across the world of risk management, anti-bribery and anti-corruption solutions, we publish the library of insights and resources aimed to help you find the tools you and expand the knowledge.

This February, together with ABAC®, CRI Group presents the anti-corruption webinar, focused on helping businesses to stay protected from the global pandemic of corruption. This FREE “Protecting your company form the global pandemic of corruption” webinar (date TBA) will provide you with the knowledge to identify how to protect your organisation from global corruption and to critically assess the applicability of several recent legislative guidelines to the proactive mitigation of corruption and bribery in corporate administration across the world. Based on recent Airbus and Rolls-Royce cases of multinational, multi-party bribery, the webinar will dive into the consequences of systemic inadequacy, confirming a paradigm shift in corporate oversight and network risk management.

  • Discuss how to ensure compliance, compare and analyse the spectrum of regulatory instruments and corporate compliance standards and legislation in order to establish a comparative basis for Anti-Corruption policies and practices
  • Assess the Airbus and Rolls-Royce cases studies to outline rules-based violations and identify compliance instruments for mitigating future replication
  • Identify a combination of institutional solution for managing and monitoring corporate compliance to prevent bribery and corruption in a modern enterprise
  • Get the copy of webinar content supporting and complimentary eBook
  • Engage in a live Q&A session

[vc_btn title=”SIGN UP TODAY” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fabacgroup.com%2Fevent%2F2021-global-corruption-pandemic%2F||target:%20_blank|”][vc_column]Sign up today to hear directly from the industry expert Zafar Anjum, Group Chief Executive at CRI Group and ABAC® with more than 30 years experience in anti-bribery, anti-corruption and risk management. Explore case studies, discuss and compare local, regional and global corporate compliance standards and legislations and receive your copy of the whitepaper, titled “Countering bribery and corruption in the public and private sectors” with this complimentary anti-corruption webinar this February.

Explore our other resources, or sign up for risk management, compliance, anti-bribery and anti-corruption related news, solutions, events and publications in your inbox. We will be happy to hear from you if you have any questions at all – contact us today or get a quote for any anti-bribery, anti-corruption, risk or compliance management solutions.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]Who is CRI Group?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column]

CRI Group celebrates International Anti-Corruption Day

Wednesday the 9th of December marks the International Anti-Corruption day since the passage of the United Nations Convention Against Corruption on 31st October 2003. Based on AntiCorruptionDay.org, as the world is recovering from COVID-19 pandemic, this year “the campaign for International Anti-Corruption Day will therefore focus on measures to reduce the risks of mismanagement and corruption without compromising the speed and flexibility demanded by the health crisis, while ensuring an inclusive recovery. This year’s motto “RECOVER with INTEGRITY” focuses on recovery through corruption mitigation and emphasizes that inclusive COVID-19 recovery can only be achieved with integrity.”

International Anti-Corruption Day

 

Bribery and corruption stories 2020

Even with much of the world under partial lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been no shortage of bribery and corruption cases. Each of these stories makes it clear that organisations must have proper controls in place to prevent bribery and corruption. ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management Systems standard provides a comprehensive approach to mitigating bribery and corruption risk. In no particular order, we collated some of the top bribery and corruption stories we’ve seen so far in 2020. Click here to read the full list. 

Airbus

In February, French-based Airbus agreed to pay a record $4 billion in fines for alleged bribery and corruption spanning at least 15 years. The company reached a plea bargain with prosecutors in Britain, France and the United States. According to prosecution documents, Airbus used a global network of agents or middlemen for corrupt transactions, included payouts disguised as commissions to push airplane sales.

“Fallout from the Airbus bribery scandal reverberated around the world on Monday as the head of one of its top buyers temporarily stood down and investigations were launched in countries aggrieved at being dragged into the increasingly political row.” (Reuters, 2020)

Novartis

While the investigation into suspected corruption at Novartis began seven years ago, it appears that 2020 is the year the company can finally close this damaging chapter in its history. The resolution comes at a steep cost. The Swiss-based pharmaceutical company will pay a staggering $1.3 billion in a settlement for kickbacks, bribery and price-fixing.

“The latest settlements cover two different cases. In the first, federal prosecutors claim Novartis used ‘tens of thousands of’ speaker programs and events — some entailing exorbitant meals — as disguise to provide bribes to doctors. The goal, according to prosecutors, was to encourage doctors to prescribe its drugs, including Lotrel, Valturna, Starlix, Tekturna, Tekamlo, Diovan and Exforge.” (Fierce Pharma, 2020)

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder

While political corruption is nothing new, his constituents were nevertheless shocked when Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder was arrested, along with four alleged co-conspirators, as part of a $60 million racketeering and bribery investigation. The alleged scheme is being described as one of the biggest public corruption cases in Ohio, U.S. history.

“All the charges are tied to what federal prosecutors said was a criminal enterprise dedicated to securing a bailout for two nuclear power plants in northern Ohio owned by FirstEnergy Solutions of Akron. The bailout is expected to cost the state’s utility ratepayers $1 billion.” (Cincinnati Enquirer, 2020)

Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Charged by the SEC with violating the FCPA by bribing officials in Turkey and Russia, Alexion Pharmaceuticals will pay $21.4 million to resolve an investigation that began in 2015. The Connecticut, U.S.- based company was also accused of failing to keep accurate financial records at subsidiaries in Brazil and Colombia.

“In Turkey and Russia, Alexion paid government officials and doctors at state-connected hospitals to promote use of its blood-disease drug, Soliris. Alexion retained a consultant in Turkey from 2010 to 2015 with ties to health officials. Alexion Turkey paid the consultant over $1.3 million for ‘consulting fees and purported expense reimbursements,’ the SEC said. … In Russia, Alexion paid doctors at government hospitals over $1 million from 2011 to 2015 to increase Soliris prescriptions. … The bribery resulted in Alexion being ‘unjustly enriched’ by about $6.6 million in Turkey and $7.5 million in Russia, the SEC said.” (FCPA Blog, 2020)

> Read the full list of bribery and corruption cases in 2020

Prosecution of corruption is like a dose of painkillers. It can help with the symptoms, but it won’t solve the problem. On the other hand, the anti-bribery management system is comparable to a healthy diet. No one is excited about it but some of us are more determined to choose an apple instead of cake. International Anti-Corruption Day is the best time for organisations of all sizes and industries take steps now to ensure that they don’t end up on a future list of top bribery and corruption scandals. Earlier this year, we published a series of articles how ISO 37001 standard could be implemented into the different industries – the first part of the article focused on automotive, aviation, insurance industries, while the second edition examined how pharma and healthcare, property, IT and telecommunications, food and beverage industries might benefit from ISO 37001 certification too.

 

CRI Group’s continuous fight against bribery and corruption risks

At CRI Group we understand, that corruption and bribery affect any organisation, large or small, public or not-for-profit. It has the potential to cause severe harm to your business, including financial loss, dire legal consequences, damage to your brand, company’s reputation and sustainable development. Therefore anti-bribery needs to be managed correctly and effectively. ISO developed ISO 37001:2016 ABMS standard helps organisations promote an ethical business culture. “Designed to help your organisation implement an anti-bribery management system (ABMS), and/or enhance the controls you currently have. It helps to reduce the risk of bribery [and corruption] occurring and can demonstrate to your stakeholders that you have put in place internationally recognised good-practice anti-bribery [and anti-corruption] controls”.

The first step of demonstrating your organisation’s commitment to implementing an effective anti-bribery management system solutions is to commit to ISO 37001 solutions. In order to offer you ISO 37001 training and/or certification, CRI Group launched an Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence. ABAC® offers a complete suite of services and solutions designed to educate, equip & support the world’s leading business organisations with the latest best-in-practice risk & performance assessments, systems improvement & standards certification. ABAC® programs protect your organisation from damaging litigation & safeguard your business in the global marketplace by providing certification & training not only in ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management Systems but also in other internationally recognised ISO standards such as ISO 19600 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000 Risk Management Systems implementation.

ABAC® offers ISO 37001 Introductory, Internal Auditor and Lead Auditor training to upskill the teams and organisations who want to show a proactive way of demonstrating your organisation’s commitment to ethical sustainability. Your employees will be able to recognise any form of corruption, and report it. Our trainers are the best in the business. They’re passionate about sharing their knowledge with you and/or your employees. ABAC® trusted experts have years of hands-on and business experience – they bring the subject matter to life with relevant and contemporary examples.

Companies should take a zero-tolerance attitude towards corruption and put policies in place covering issues such as gifts, supply chains and whistle-blowers, in order to promote a fair and just environment. In business terms, integrity pays: the world’s most ethical companies prove a clear correlation between ethical business practices and improved financial performance.

Recently, ABAC® also launched ISO 31000 Risk management e-training – even though this course is for risk management in general, ISO 31000 implementation and training give businesses a broader view of all risks associated with their organisations and how to overcome them. ISO 31000 training is focused on improving your and/or your team’s skills in implementing ISO 31000 Risk Management which will help organisations see both the positive opportunities and negative consequences associated with all types of risk, and allow for more informed, and thus more effective, decision making, namely in the allocation of resources.

> Learn more about ISO 31000 training

Expand Your Third-Party Risk Management Strategies

CRI Group is launching a third-party compliance verification and certification program – 3PRM-Certified™ – across the Middle East, Europe and the Asian region. This Third-Party Risk Management (TPRM) program can help organisations establish the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of outside partners, suppliers and customers seeking to affiliate with their business.

Third-party relationships are critical in business today and include partnerships with suppliers, distributors, consultants, agents and other contractors. While such affiliations are essential to the success of your organisation, the consequences of inadequate due diligence cannot be overestimated. The risk of data breaches and supply chain disruptions continue to rise with COVID-19, so does the need for an effective TPRM program. Whether you’re a TPRM professional looking for a certification to advance your skillset, or the leader of your organisation considering how to better equip your team with the best knowledge and skills, the 3PRM-Certified™ program is an all-in solution.

Support International Anti-Corruption Day – consider ISO 37001, ISO 31000 and ISO 19600 as invaluable tools of your Third-Party Risk Management Strategy. Combined with due diligencebackground screeningbusiness intelligence and compliance solutions, ISO standard certifications and training can lift your overall risk management process and help your business mitigate risks from third-party affiliations, protecting your organisation from liability, brand damage and harm to the business.

Read more about the 3PRM-Certified™ program

 

Supporting International Anti-Corruption Day 2020

Find below CRI Group’s resources helping you to know more about bribery and corruption risk. It does not wait and can happen anytime – we encourage you to think about anti-bribery and anti-corruption not only on International Anti-Corruption Day 2020 but all year round. Explore our other resources, or sign up for risk management, compliance, anti-bribery and anti-corruption related news, solutions, events and publications in your inbox. We will be happy to hear from you if you have any questions at all – contact us today or get a quote for any anti-bribery, anti-corruption, risk or compliance management solutions through our ABAC® Center of Excellence. Explore our recourses and expert insights in the Q&A sessions now:

Q&A: Corporate Fraud and Corruption in Pakistan

Q&A: Corporate Fraud and Corruption in the UK is growing, FAST!

Q&A session with our CEO: the United Arab Emirates fighting Fraud and corruption

Prove that your business is ethical
ABAC® published the free Highest Ethical Business Assessment (HEBA) to evaluate businesses’ current Corporate Compliance Programs. Find out if your organisation’s compliance program is in the line with worldwide Compliance, Business Ethics, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Frameworks. Let ABAC® experts prepare a complimentary gap analysis – the HEBA survey is designed to evaluate your compliance with adequate procedures to prevent bribery and corruption across the organisation. This survey is monitored and evaluated by qualified ABAC® professionals with Business Ethics, Legal and Compliance background. The questions are open-ended to encourage a qualitative analysis of your Compliance Program and to facilitate the gap analysis process.

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE!

Who is CRI Group?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Risk assessment breakdown: Identification, Analysis, Evaluation

Whatever your reasons or motivations might be, if your organisation’s objective is to have an effective risk management strategy in place, then ISO 31000 can provide the principles, framework and a process for managing risk. ISO 31000 is not a certifiable standard; the standard is a set of guidelines which provide guidance for internal or external audit programmes. However we recommend taking ISO 31000 Awareness training, this will enable you to fully understand Risk Management activities and mitigate risk.  According to ISO 31000, there are two important building blocks that form the core of risk management:

  • Risk assessment
  • Risk treatment

Under ISO 31000, each of these stages has a whole section of its own – they go into detail about best practices for identifying risks, how to analyse them in terms of probability and severity, and how they can be evaluated in terms of the company’s risk appetite. This article discusses the importance of Risk Assessment.

Risk management is a full-time, ongoing endeavour for organisations in today’s business world, and it poses constant challenges. Unfortunately, fraud, bribery and corruption are major factors affecting businesses and agencies of all sizes and industries. Being proactive against these risks can mean the difference between success and ruin. Our “Risk Management & ABMS Playbook” provides tools, checklists, case studies, FAQs and other resources to help you lead your organisation into better preparedness and compliance. READ MORE NOW!

What is Risk Assessment?

Risk assessment is the overall process of identification, analysis and evaluation of any given risk. It can be a systematic examination of a task, job or process that a risk professional carries out at work for the purpose of identifying significant hazards. For example, the risk of someone being harmed and deciding what further control measures to take to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. The process will vary between organisations, but it should start with identification of hazards, analysis of who and what might be harmed, evaluation of the risk, documentation of the risks, taking action and review. Your organisation should conduct a risk assessment systematically, interactively and collaboratively, drawing on the knowledge and views of stakeholders. It should use the best available information, supplemented by a further inquiry as necessary.

Risk assessment breaks down into:

  • Step 1: Identification
  • Step 2: Analysis
  • Step 3: Evaluation

Risk Identification

The purpose of risk identification is to find, recognise and describe risks that might help or prevent an organisation achieving its objectives. Relevant, appropriate and up-to-date information is important in identifying risks. The organisation can use a range of techniques for identifying uncertainties that may affect one or more objectives. The following factors, and the relationship between these factors, should be considered:

  • Tangible and intangible sources of risk;
  • Causes and events;
  • Threats and opportunities;
  • Vulnerabilities and capabilities;
  • Changes in the external and internal context;
  • Indicators of emerging risks;
  • The nature and value of assets and resources;
  • Consequences and their impact on objectives;
  • Limitations of knowledge and reliability of information;
  • Time-related factors;
  • Biases, assumptions and beliefs of those involved.

Your organisation should identify risks, whether or not your sources are under your control. Consideration should be given that there may be more than one type of outcome, which may result in a variety of tangible or intangible consequences.

> At CRI Group we are working on new ISO 31000 Awareness training course. Show your interest and sign up for more updates HERE!

Risk analysis

Risk analysis allows you to understand the nature of risk, its characteristics and level. Because an event can have multiple causes and consequences and can affect multiple objectives a risk analysis should involve a detailed consideration of uncertainties such as risk sources, consequences, likelihood, events, scenarios, controls and their effectiveness.

Risk analysis can be undertaken with varying degrees of detail and complexity, depending on the purpose of the analysis, the availability and reliability of the information, and the resources available. Analysis techniques can be qualitative, quantitative or a combination of both, depending on the circumstances and intended use. Risk analysis should consider factors such as:

  • The likelihood of events and consequences;
  • The nature and magnitude of consequences;
  • Complexity and connectivity;
  • Time-related factors and volatility;
  • The effectiveness of existing controls;
  • Sensitivity and confidence levels.

A risk analysis is likely to be influenced by a wide range of variables, from any divergence of opinions, biases to perceptions of risk, from judgements, quality of the information used to the assumptions and exclusions made and any limitations of the techniques and how they are executed. These influences should be considered any risk analysis, documented and communicated to any decision-makers involved in the process.

It is important to remember that any highly uncertain event can be difficult to quantify, and this is an issue. If you find yourself in such a situation, using a combination of techniques generally provides greater insight. Risk analysis provides input to risk evaluation, to decisions on whether risk needs to be treated and how, and on the most appropriate risk treatment strategy and methods. The results provide insight for decisions, where choices are being made, and the options involve different types and levels of risk.

Risk evaluation

Risk evaluation can support your decisions. Risk evaluation involves comparing the results of the risk analysis with the established risk criteria to determine where additional action is required. This can lead to a decision to:

  • Do nothing further;
  • Consider risk treatment options;
  • Undertake further analysis to better understand the risk;
  • Maintain existing controls;
  • Reconsider objectives.

Any decisions should take into account the wider context and the actual and perceived consequences to external and internal stakeholders. The outcome of risk evaluation should be recorded, communicated and then validated at appropriate levels of the organisation.

Who should do risk assessments?

Well, by law, every employer must conduct risk assessments. Risk assessments should always be carried out by a professional who is familiar to risk, a person who is experienced and competent to do so.  Competence can be expressed as a combination of knowledge, awareness, training, and experience. Remember competence does not mean you have to know everything about everything, competence also means knowing when you know enough or when you should call in further expert help. 

 

Risk Assessment and ISO 31000

ISO 31000 was developed by hundreds of experts in risk mitigation, from thirty countries. This international effort produced a standard that is worldwide and represents best practices and leading operations for risk management. Organisations can trust that they are following a tested, robust standard to increase success. The standard converts risk management into a set of “friendly” and actionable – and straightforward to implement – guidelines, regardless of the size, nature, or location of a business.

> Find out more about ISO 31000 Risk Management and other standards now!

[/vc_column_text][accordion_father][accordion_son title=”About CRI Group” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.[/accordion_son][/accordion_father][vc_empty_space][/vc_column][/vc_row]

CRI supports Fraud Week 2020

International Fraud Awareness Week, 15-21 November 2020 – and CRI Group is once again a proud Official Supporter of this global movement. Fraud Week was created to reduce the impact of fraud and corruption by promoting anti-fraud awareness and education.

Fraud statistics

Fraud is still increasingly common. Even when it comes to hiring employees, companies must be vigilant. CRI Group’s investigative team found that providing incorrect employment details is the most common red flag, as it was uncovered in about 4.5 per cent of background screenings. This is followed by providing incorrect education degree details as well as having adverse media (unfavourable news or online mentions), both at 2.33 per cent. Most employers would probably say that when it comes to educational background, the only thing worse than providing incorrect degree information would be outright claiming a fake degree – which occurred in nearly 2 per cent of cases.

> Read more in our article “Background Screening Red flags: Numbers Don’t Lie”.

In another survey conducted by CRI Group, which analysed how COVID-19 has impacted human resources and its functions, it was revealed that companies understand the fraud risk factor during the pandemic: nearly 77 per cent of HR professionals accept that there is a risk that employees can initiate fraudulent activity because of the work-from-home arrangement. Also, the shocking number of survey participants highlighted that they have encountered employee fraud in their career. Luckily, most companies do conduct background screening of some type. In fact, 85 per cent do so, which is important because many companies have learned that trust can be misplaced. While an overwhelming 92 per cent said they trust their employees with confidential data, background screening can help verify that your employees aren’t hiding anything in their backgrounds that might put your company at risk.

> Read more about the survey, as it provides valuable information for companies, employees, and human resources professionals and teams who serve them. It also sheds light on the critical need for increased employee background screening and data protection during a tumultuous time.

Some other stats to note (the following come from the ACFE):

  • The average fraud lasts 18 months before it is discovered. The longer a fraud lasts, the greater the financial damage (schemes that last for several years can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars).
  • The most common detection method for fraud is tips. And organisations that have reporting hotlines are much more likely to detect fraud through tips than organisations without hotlines.

All of the above indicates that the fraud issue is real and organisations must take actions to prevent the fraud risks for their organisations and even careers. For CRI Group, the goal is to help business leaders think about fraud and corruption this week and take steps to minimise it year-round. So, what is your organisation doing for Fraud Week?

Get involved in the Internal Fraud Awareness Week

Join CRI Group and ACFE in the fight against fraud. ACFE provides a great set of the following tools to go a step further in your role and to start discussions amongst peers, co-workers, executives and stakeholders in your community about how important fraud prevention is to society as a whole:

  • Post on social media using new badges and informative images with the tag #fraudweek
  • Add the new Official Fraud Week Supporter badge to your email signature.
  • Invite a CFE to talk to your employees and co-workers virtually on how to avoid common mistakes when preventing fraud.
  • Download the free Fraud Week logo to share on materials or websites.
  • Involve your local chamber of commerce or city council to spread tips on fraud prevention for small businesses.
  • Encourage your governor to issue a proclamation (.doc) declaring that your state supports Fraud Week.
  • Host a talk or seminar for your co-workers or community on regularly staying aware of fraud prevention best practices. You can post that event to share what you are doing on our events page.
  • Perform a fraud check-up for your organisation and present your findings to executives, as well as a proactive plan for how to remedy weak spots in your current controls.

How does CRI Group fight fraud?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Fraud Week

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_section][accordion_father caption_url=””][accordion_son title=”2018 Fraud Week” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]CRI Group proudly celebrates International Fraud awareness week and highlights that this occasion (called Fraud Week, for short) is an important effort to put a spotlight on fraud, help educate people about its perils and build a fraud-free future.

“Fraud Week reminds us that awareness is any organisation’s first line of defence against fraud and corruption, as properly trained employees will have a better opportunity to recognise the red flags of fraud, and a better understanding of their organisation’s zero-tolerance policy toward such behaviour”, Zafar Anjum, founder and CEO of CRI Group says.

“Fraud is everybody’s problem, and it cannot be prevented and detected if employees aren’t provided with the information they need to combat it. Providing a robust anti-fraud training program increases your company’s protection from risks of fraud and unethical behaviour. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.”

For CRI Group, though, helping organisations prevent and detect fraud is a year-round commitment. That’s why Fraud Week is a great time to reflect on CRI Group’s recent efforts in the fight against fraud, and to also look ahead to activities on the near horizon. Below are just a few of the highlights.

CRI Group is here to help and create a fraud-free future. Contact us today to learn more about our ABAC training and certification opportunities, our EmploySmart background checking process, our investigative services and other offerings.

 

Who is CRI Group?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.[/accordion_son][accordion_son title=”2017 Fraud Week” clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be”]2017 International Fraud Awareness Week (also called “Fraud Week”) kicked off on Sunday and is in full swing. CRI Group is a proud supporter of this important initiative every year, and we encourage business leaders to take this time to consider all of their fraud prevention measures, including anti-fraud training for employees.

Does your organisation have a training program in place that addresses fraud, bribery and corruption? And, if so, how robust is your training? How often is it administered? And how do you know it’s working?

These are important questions, especially considering the fact that we know most fraud is discovered internally through employee tips. A recent case study is a perfect illustration of that.

Case study: Conflicts of interest

A major pharmaceutical company’s security department received conflict of interest complaints that reportedly involved a range of employees, from sales personnel on up to the chief financial officer (CFO).  The company engaged CRI Group to conduct an integrity due diligence and conflict of interest investigation in order to uncover unethical practices, including bribery and corruption, by senior employees.

CRI Group’s investigators quickly launched a risk assessment of the company’s third-party relationships, which included several interviews with identified vendors and suppliers to help ascertain the engagement process and associated risks.

Investigators found one of the vendors used letterhead that lacked a physical address, and the only contact information listed was a single cell phone number. Site visits, background checks and interviews helped determine that the suspicious vendor was not a company at all – but a single person, and he was none other than the brother-in-law of the client company’s CFO. Worse still was the fact that this obvious fraud was being conducted right under the noses of the company’s procurement and finance professionals.

CRI Group investigators discovered that the individual’s residence was being utilised as a warehouse to help facilitate the fraud. Comprehensive litigation records check with local and regional courts found that the subject was previously convicted in federal court and spent three years in prison for the charges of selling counterfeit products, physician samples and expired medicines; further regulatory checks found that his pharmacist license had been cancelled.

The fraud had continued for five years. However, the one thing that saved the company from further financial harm was the fact that employees had stepped forward to report unethical behaviour. If not for their action, the fraud could have continued indefinitely.

Fraud Week reminds us that awareness is any organisation’s first line of defence against fraud and corruption, as properly trained employees will have a better opportunity to recognise the red flags of fraud, and a better understanding of their organisation’s zero-tolerance policy toward such behaviour.

CRI’s Certification body, ABAC Center of Excellence provides employee training as part of the curriculum for a participating organisation. In fact, ISO 37001:2016 certifies that your organisation has implemented reasonable and proportionate measures to prevent bribery, and these measures involve training, top-level leadership, bribery risk assessment, due diligence adequacy, financial and commercial controls, reporting, audit and investigation.

Some key things to remember:

  • Anti-fraud training should be mandatory. This includes managers and executives, who should also receive special training regarding their position of responsibility.
  • Anti-fraud training should be an element of new employee orientation. After that, it should be provided to all employees on an annual basis, if not more frequently.
  • Training might be presented live (in-class), on video or online in an interactive format. The live class is preferred, as it allows questions and personal engagement. However, in today’s business world, some employees work remotely and an online format may be more feasible.

Fraud is everybody’s problem, and it cannot be prevented and detected if employees aren’t provided with the information they need to combat it. Providing a robust anti-fraud training program increases your company’s protection from risks of fraud and unethical behaviour. An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.

Learn more about how CRI Group and the ABAC Center of Excellence can help you have a well-trained workforce serving as your front line of defence against fraud, bribery and corruption.

 

Who is CRI Group?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.[/accordion_son][/accordion_father][/vc_column][/vc_row][/vc_section]

Top 10 Bribery & Corruption Stories of 2020

Even with much of the world under partial lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, there’s been no shortage of bribery and corruption cases through the first half of 2020. Each of these stories makes it clear that organisations must have proper controls in place to prevent bribery and corruption. ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management Systems standard provides a comprehensive approach to mitigating bribery and corruption risk.

Organisations of all sizes and industries should take steps now to ensure that they don’t end up on a future list of top bribery and corruption scandals. Due to last year’s “Top 10 Bribery and Corruption Cases of 2019” successful article we decided to compile a 2020 list too. In no particular order, ABAC® Center of Excellence collated the top bribery and corruption stories we’ve seen so far in 2020.

In no particular order, here are 10 of the top bribery and corruption stories we’ve seen so far in 2020.

#10. Airbus

In February, French-based Airbus agreed to pay a record $4 billion in fines for alleged bribery and corruption spanning at least 15 years. The company reached a plea bargain with prosecutors in Britain, France and the United States. According to prosecution documents, Airbus used a global network of agents or middlemen for corrupt transactions, included payouts disguised as commissions to push airplane sales.

“Fallout from the Airbus bribery scandal reverberated around the world on Monday as the head of one of its top buyers temporarily stood down and investigations were launched in countries aggrieved at being dragged into the increasingly political row.” (Reuters, 2020)

#9. Novartis

While the investigation into suspected corruption at Novartis began seven years ago, it appears that 2020 is the year the company can finally close this damaging chapter in its history. The resolution comes at a steep cost. The Swiss-based pharmaceutical company will pay a staggering $1.3 billion in a settlement for kickbacks, bribery and price-fixing.

“The latest settlements cover two different cases. In the first, federal prosecutors claim Novartis used ‘tens of thousands of’ speaker programs and events — some entailing exorbitant meals — as disguise to provide bribes to doctors. The goal, according to prosecutors, was to encourage doctors to prescribe its drugs, including Lotrel, Valturna, Starlix, Tekturna, Tekamlo, Diovan and Exforge.” (Fierce Pharma, 2020)

#8. Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder

While political corruption is nothing new, his constituents were nevertheless shocked when Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder was arrested, along with four alleged co-conspirators, as part of a $60 million racketeering and bribery investigation. The alleged scheme is being described as one of the biggest public corruption cases in Ohio, U.S. history.

“All the charges are tied to what federal prosecutors said was a criminal enterprise dedicated to securing a bailout for two nuclear power plants in northern Ohio owned by FirstEnergy Solutions of Akron. The bailout is expected to cost the state’s utility ratepayers $1 billion.” (Cincinnati Enquirer, 2020)

#7. Alexion Pharmaceuticals

Charged by the SEC with violating the FCPA by bribing officials in Turkey and Russia, Alexion Pharmaceuticals will pay $21.4 million to resolve an investigation that began in 2015. The Connecticut, U.S.- based company was also accused of failing to keep accurate financial records at subsidiaries in Brazil and Colombia.

“In Turkey and Russia, Alexion paid government officials and doctors at state-connected hospitals to promote use of its blood-disease drug, Soliris. Alexion retained a consultant in Turkey from 2010 to 2015 with ties to health officials. Alexion Turkey paid the consultant over $1.3 million for ‘consulting fees and purported expense reimbursements,’ the SEC said. … In Russia, Alexion paid doctors at government hospitals over $1 million from 2011 to 2015 to increase Soliris prescriptions. … The bribery resulted in Alexion being ‘unjustly enriched’ by about $6.6 million in Turkey and $7.5 million in Russia, the SEC said.” (FCPA Blog, 2020)

#6. Taiwan Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan

In Taiwan, a scandal embroiling some top legislators prompted Presidential Office Secretary-General Su Jia-chyuan to resign from office. Su Jia-chyuan’s nephew, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching, is reportedly under investigation in a bribery case related to the ownership of a department store. Su Jia-chyuan said he has “nothing to hide” and insisted he is stepping down to avoid letting the controversy continue to affect the president.

“Taipei prosecutors on Saturday filed a motion to detain Su Chen-ching, along with four other former and incumbent lawmakers as part of an investigation into bribery allegations against six current and former legislators and their aides. The court hearing on whether to grant the prosecutors’ request to detain them was ongoing as of press time last night. The DPP’s anti-corruption committee convened a meeting at 8 pm to discuss the penalties for Su Chen-ching and former legislator Mark Chen, who has also been implicated in the case and was released on NT$500,000 bail early on Saturday.” (Taipei Times, 2020)

#5. Former Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak

As part of the 1MDB corruption scandal, former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak was convicted on seven counts for charges that include money laundering, abuse of power and criminal breach of trust. Investigators said he transferred about $10 million from a 1MDB affiliate to his own bank accounts, and the Malaysian High Court agreed. Razak was forced out of office in 2018 during the scandal.

“In 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported that Najib deposited about $700 million from 1MDB into his personal accounts. He has always denied the allegations. He faces more trials in Malaysia on at least 35 additional corruption charges. The judge Tuesday imposed a 12-year prison sentence on Najib, 67, but suspended it during any appeals.” (FCPA Blog, 2020)

#4. Alstom

A multi-year, multi-million-dollar bribery and money laundering investigation involving Alstom Indonesia resulted in more indictments this year. Reza Moenaf, former president, and Eko Sulianto, former director of sales, for Alstom Indonesia were charged along with a former deputy general manager of Marubeni Corporation’s overseas power project department. They are accused by the U.S. Justice Department of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

“According to the Justice Department, Kusunoki, Moenaf, and Sulianto engaged in a conspiracy to pay bribes to officials in Indonesia — including a high-ranking member of the Indonesian Parliament and the president of Perusahaan Listrik Negara, the state-owned and state-controlled electricity company in Indonesia — in exchange for assistance in securing a $118 million contract, known as the Tarahan Project, for Alstom Power and its consortium partner, Marubeni, to provide power-related services for Indonesian citizens.” (Compliance Week, 2020)

#3. Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar

Corruption in local politics is still a major issue, especially in a major city like Los Angeles, U.S.  That’s where City Councilman Jose Huizar is alleged to have engaged in a wide array of bribery and corruption acts to enrich himself and his associates. He now faces a laundry list of charges after a federal grand jury returned a 34-count indictment against Huizar.

“Huizar was charged last month with one count of conspiracy to violate the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Thursday’s indictment charges Huizar with the following criminal charges: 12 counts of honest services wire fraud; two counts of honest services mail fraud; four counts of traveling interstate in aid of racketeering; six counts of bribery; five counts of money laundering; one count of structuring cash deposits to conceal bribes; one count of making a false statement to a financial institution; one count of making false statements to federal law enforcement; and one count of tax evasion, according to prosecutors.” (CBS News, 2020)

#2. Asante Berko, Former Goldman Sachs Executive

Former Goldman Sachs executive Asante Berko was charged by the SEC as a result of their investigation into his alleged bribery plot. Berko is accused of FCPA violations in his effort to help an energy company based in Turkey secure a contract for a power plant in Ghana. He was charged in a civil complaint in New York, U.S., for “aiding and abetting violations of the FCPA anti-bribery provisions.”

“According to the SEC, Berko helped the Turkish energy company pay at least $2.5 million to a Ghana-based intermediary, ‘all or most of which was used to bribe Ghanaian government officials’ to secure approval of an electrical power plant project. … In 2015, Berko negotiated a contract for the Turkish energy company to pay the intermediary $2.5 million at first, and up to $42 million over five years, the complaint said.” (FCPA Blog, 2020)

#1. Cardinal Health

Ohio, U.S.-based Cardinal Health paid the SEC $8.8 million Friday to settle FCPA offenses related to a Chinese subsidiary that provided marketing services. Cardinal Health allegedly violated provisions for maintaining books and records, as well as internal accounting controls. Cardinal Health first began doing business in China after acquiring an existing company and rebranding it. It appears the company made voluntary disclosures and has been taking proactive steps to address the corruption issues in its ranks.

“In 2016, Cardinal China learned that the marketing employees and the dermocosmetic company had disguised some ‘marketing payments’ that were funneled to healthcare professionals who provided marketing services, as well as other employees of state-owned retail entities. The state-owned entities had influence over purchasing decisions related to the dermocosmetic company’s products. Cardinal took steps to stop the suspect payments in 2016 when it learned about the misconduct, the SEC said. In December 2016, Cardinal voluntarily disclosed the results of its internal investigation to the SEC.” (FCPA Blog, 2020)

Staying one step ahead of any critical risk to your organisation is part of being an effective business leader. Contact us today to get started on implementing a robust program that will serve you well for years to come. Get your FREE QUOTE now!

We Welcome You To Have Free Gap Analysis of Highest Ethical Business Survey: prove that your business is ethical. Complete our FREE Highest Ethical Business Assessment (HEBA) and evaluate your current Corporate Compliance Program.

TAKE THE GAP ANALYSIS NOW!

Find out if your organisation’s compliance program is in the line with worldwide Compliance, Business Ethics, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Frameworks. Let ABAC® experts prepare a complimentary gap analysis of your compliance program to evaluate if it meets “adequate procedures” requirements under UK Bribery Act, DOJ’s Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs Guidance and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.

The HEBA survey is designed to evaluate your compliance with the adequate procedures to prevent bribery and corruption across the organisation. This survey is monitored and evaluated by qualified ABAC® professionals with Business Ethics, Legal and Compliance background. The questions are open-ended to encourage a qualitative analysis of your Compliance Program and to facilitate the gap analysis process.

TAKE THE GAP ANALYSIS NOW!

The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete. ABAC® is powered by CRI Group – this GAP analysis will be performed by ABAC®

About CRI Group

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue Diligence and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.

Stay tuned for Part 2 or follow us on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter for more industry news and insights.

ISO 37001 Solutions for all industries (Part 2)

In part 1, we discussed how ISO 37001 ABMS can help companies across a wide range of industries, including automotive, aviation and insurance. In this part, we look at how pharma and healthcare, property, IT and telecommunications, financial, oil and energy organisations can benefit from Anti-Bribery solutions as well.

Pharma and Healthcare

Corruption involving pharmaceutical companies and healthcare providers is a major concern around the world. With varied layers and a complicated supply change, corruption can easily gain a foothold even among the most well-meaning healthcare providers and their companies, especially with the industry overburdened with inflating costs and increasing fraud schemes. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that, where losses have been measured and the types of health expenditure have been covered, the average annual cost of fraud totals 7.29 per cent of healthcare budgets (Gee and Button, 2014). For fraudsters, big pharma and healthcare represent a target-rich environment.

Take global pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline. The company was accused in China of a large-scale bribery scandal, charged with systematically paying bribes and “gratuities” to doctors and hospitals in return for favourable product use and promotion. China was in the midst of an emerging anti-graft campaign and imposed tough penalties against GSK and its executives: In the end, various company leaders were arrested and eventually given suspended prison sentences; GSK was fined $490 million; and the corporation published a statement of apology to the Chinese government and its citizens (BBC, 2014). Read more about pharma and healthcare fraud in “Pharma and Healthcare Companies can Benefit from ISO 37001.”[/vc_column_text][vc_hoverbox image=”8517″ primary_title=”” hover_title=”Pharma and Healthcare Companies can Benefit from ISO 37001″ hover_btn_title=”TAKE ME TO CASE STUDY” hover_add_button=”true” hover_btn_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fcrigroup.com%2Fokatsukr%2F2020%2F09%2Febook_Pharma-case-studies-uncovered-due-diligence-lessons-learned.pdf||target:%20_blank|”]CRI Group investigates: Pharma corruption case included CFO[/vc_hoverbox][vc_empty_space height=”45px”]

Property

Property and real estate provide ample opportunity for bribery and corruption, unfortunately. Every step of the process, from zoning and permits to construction and sale or resale represent vulnerabilities and risk. Unfortunately, for as long as there has been a market for buying and selling land, property and resources, there have been schemes that aim to defraud.

Property fraud can be difficult to detect and prevent. Fraudsters often produce fake or forged documents, and there is likely to be collusion involved. For example, a crooked investor might provide kickbacks to an appraiser in return for inflating the value of a property, or he/she may sell a property to a “straw buyer” at an inflated price, with the straw buyer intentionally going into default (and splitting the proceeds of the loan with the fraudulent investor). There are “handshake deals” and “facilitation payments” ready to be made, many in direct contradiction to ethics and the law.

IT and Telecommunications

Internet technology (IT) and telecommunications providers are the engines that help power commerce on a global scale. This massive industry includes companies that provide the infrastructure for communication across multiple countries and continents, including phone and internet providers. Given their role and the technology on which they (and all of us) depend, these services must always be on guard for vulnerabilities to fraud. There is a high risk, however, for bribery and corruption in such a massive market.

In one example, Sweden-based telecommunications provider Telia Company AB agreed to pay $965 million in a global settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, U.S. Department of Justice, and Dutch and Swedish law enforcement to resolve charges related to violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) to win business in Uzbekistan. According to the SEC’s order, Telia entered the Uzbek telecommunications market by offering and paying at least $330 million in bribes to a shell company under the guise of payments for lobbying and consulting services that never actually occurred. In another case, Cinergy Telecommunications (based in Miami) pleaded guilty to violating the FCPA after admitting to a role in a bribery scheme aimed at locking down a contract with the state-owned telecommunications company in Haiti. The case included large fines and criminal prison sentences for the key players.[/vc_column_text][vc_empty_space height=”45px”]

Food and beverage

This industry is one of the fastest-moving industry in regards to changes. Consumer tastes, preferences, packaging, manufacturing, storage
and transportation is constantly changing and challenging the industry. It has been years since the news of the horsemeat scandal first broke and rocked
the industry. It is not immune to bribery and corruption either. In recent years, the food and beverage industry was shaken by the scandal, when British confectionary company Cadbury Limited and its owner, Mondelez International, Inc., agreed to pay $13 million to settle charges of violating the internal controls and books-and-records provisions of the FCPA. According to the order from the SEC, the FCPA violations arose from payments their subsidiary in India made to a consultant to obtain government licenses and approvals for a chocolate factory in Baddi, India.

An SEC investigation found that in February 2010, Mondelez, formerly known as Kraft Foods, Inc., acquired Cadbury and its subsidiaries, including Cadbury India Limited, which manufactures and sells chocolate products in India. Cadbury India retained and made payments to an agent to interact with Indian government officials to obtain licenses and approvals for a chocolate factory in Baddi, India. Cadbury India failed to conduct appropriate due diligence on, and monitor the activities of, the agent.

To find out more, click below to read our e-book on how ISO 37001 provides solutions to British companies exposed by Brexit challenges:[/vc_column_text][vc_hoverbox image=”7902″ primary_title=”” hover_title=”Brexit poses bribery challenges but ISO 37001 provides solutions” hover_btn_title=”TAKE ME TO CASE STUDY” hover_add_button=”true” hover_btn_link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fcrigroup.com%2Fcase-study%2Fbrexit-poses-new-bribery-challenges%2F||target:%20_blank|”]With Brexit posing challenges through new, untested trade deals in various markets, organisations need ISO 37001 – Anti-Bribery Management Systems standard as a comprehensive approach to mitigating risk.[/vc_hoverbox]

Stay updated 

Stay tuned for Part 2 or follow us on LinkedInFacebook or Twitter for more industry news and insights.

[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_cta h2=”Subscribe to our monthly newsletter now!”]Sign up for risk management, compliance, corporate and background investigations, business intelligence and due diligence related news, solutions, events and publications.[/vc_cta][/vc_column][/vc_row][accordion_father][accordion_son title=”Who is CRI Group?”]Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk ManagementEmployee Background ScreeningBusiness IntelligenceDue DiligenceCompliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.[/accordion_son][/accordion_father][/vc_column][/vc_row]

CRI Group’s ABAC® anniversary: 4 years of achievements

CRI Group’s ABAC® Center of Excellence Limited is excited to be celebrating the 4 years anniversary since its formation back in 2016.

At ABAC®, we are committed to helping businesses fight bribery and corruption inside and outside their organisations. Every day, we work extensively to promote transparent business relations across the world and spread knowledge about the negative impact of bribery and corruption.

For the last four years, we educated, equipped and supported the world’s leading business organisations with the latest best-in-practice risk assessments, performance assessments, systems improvement and standards certification.

To commit with our promise to ensure the highest quality of certification and training services, ABAC® is affiliated with leading certification and accreditation bodies around the world. These affiliations and accreditations help demonstrate the high level of experience, knowledge and credibility we provide in anti-bribery, risk and compliance management to our clients on a daily basis. That’s why ABAC® has achieved essential accreditations from the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS), Emirates International Accreditation Center (EIAC) for ISO 37001 Certification, and membership in the Association of British Certification Bodies (ABCB).

ABAC® is also a member of the “Partner in Corporate Governance” programme with the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance (MICG) and a Corporate Member of Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M). From the last year, ABAC® became a registered vendor of the Ministry of Finance Malaysia, got registered with Malaysia External Trade Development Corporation under the Malaysia Ministry of International Trade and Industry, has been accepted as an Alliance Partner of Business Integrity Alliance, Malaysia, and became an Observing Member of Association of Anti-Bribery Management System Practitioner, Malaysia. Learn more about our affiliations and accreditations here.

The past year has helped ABAC® to expand our network even more and establish core business relationship across different regions. The bigger ABAC® team is thankful to all clients, partners and global teams for being together in this journey and wishes for many more years of continuous partnerships.

See below our timelines.

Who is CRI Group & ABAC?

Based in London, CRI Group works with companies across the Americas, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia-Pacific as a one-stop international Risk Management, Employee Background Screening, Business IntelligenceDue Diligence, Compliance Solutions and other professional Investigative Research solutions provider. We have the largest proprietary network of background-screening analysts and investigators across the Middle East and Asia. Our global presence ensures that no matter how international your operations are we have the network needed to provide you with all you need, wherever you happen to be. CRI Group also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI Group launched Anti-Bribery Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence – an independent certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems, ISO 19600:2014 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management, providing training and certification. ABAC® operates through its global network of certified ethics and compliance professionals, qualified auditors and other certified professionals. As a result, CRI Group’s global team of certified fraud examiners work as a discreet white-labelled supplier to some of the world’s largest organisations. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.[/accordion_son][accordion_son clr=”#ffffff” bgclr=”#1e73be” title=”2 Years Anniversary”]ABAC celebrates 2 years since the formation of the CRI Certification, now re-branded as the ABAC Center of Excellence, back in October 2016. For two years we have gone from strength to strength, having hosted two ABAC Summits in both Pakistan and Malaysia, with plans for more to come.

2018 has seen great advances for us. This year CRI Group has been granted accreditation by the Emirates International Accreditation Center – EIAC (formerly known as Dubai Accreditation Center – DAC) for the scope of ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Conformity Assessment Body. The accreditation is the first of its kind awarded to a certification body specialising in global anti-bribery and anti-corruption, risk and compliance standards.

Similarly, our application for UKAS has now been accepted and we are working hard towards achieving this further accreditation, thus giving us that greater credibility edge. We are excited to see where the next two years moving forward will take us.

Let’s stay connected!

ABAC® anniversary

 

3 Years Anniversary

CRI Group’s ABAC® Center of Excellence is proud to be celebrating three-years anniversary since its formation back in 2016. For three years, ABAC has gone from strength to strength, having hosted three ABAC® Summits in Karachi, Islamabad and Kuala Lumpur, with plans for more to come. During this time, ABAC® was accredited by EIAC for administering ISO 37001 certification, audited and awarded clients with ISO 37001 ABMS certifications, collaborated with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Transparency International, The Malaysian Youth Council and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Foundation to develop a nationwide anti-corruption awareness campaign on International Anti-Corruption Day and initiated other activities to fight bribery and corruption globally. Bribery and corruption is everybody’s problem, and it cannot be prevented and detected if your employees aren’t provided with the information and training they need to combat it.

ABAC® is committed to promoting transparency and compliance to businesses and their professional relationships. Let’s address bribery and corruption together.

ABAC® anniversary