Fraud Prevention Strategy: build one in 6 easy steps

Fraud prevention is one of the key policies that can aid an organisation in safeguarding itself against reprimands of the matter. One of the greatest encounters a fraud auditor can confront is the mission of persuading management that the peril of fraud is in existence across all aspects of corporate culture – regardless of whether it is from internal factors or external factors. Sadly, fraud cannot ever be eradicated from the corporation wholly as collusion is adept in continually conquering routine organisational regulations.

What’s a Fraud Prevention Strategy?

The objective of a Fraud Prevention Strategy is to identify a high-level proposal on how an organisation should go about implementing its fraud prevention policy in the presence of its internal and external influences. The strategy forms the most important part of the fraud deterrence strategy thus the policy an organisation chooses to implement must be necessitated be straightforward and pragmatic.

Combatting fraud requires a distinct and refreshing methodology that entails including all three facets of the fraud cycle:

  • Fraud deterrence and prevention
  • Fraud detection
  • Fraud investigation

Preferably, with the fraud cycle in mind, every enterprise ought to put together a distinctly specified fraud prevention strategy that integrates the following:

  1. Determine the proper culture with the proposed policy: having protocols and policies in place for dealing with fraud will help you establish a good grounding for identifying it.
  2. Counteract and detect: To detect fraud, you need to have effective systems and processes in place covering all aspects of your business
  3. Investigation of any occurrences in which fraud occurs.
  4. Review and monitor policies and occasions in which fraud has transpired regularly to make certain that fraud levels stay below the goal amount.
  5. Learn from previous occurrences and update training procedures per that.
  6. Risk management covering all types of risk from corporate and social responsibility compliance to performance measurement. To learn more about third-party risk management, why not check out our brochure below?

 

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What should be established in a fraud prevention strategy:

Whistle-blowing policy:

  • Whistleblowing is the act of exposing information about misconduct in the workplace and is a crucial element in any prevention strategy. When whistle-blower hotlines are implemented and sustained correctly, they can aid in substantially decreasing an organisation’s exposure to fraud by permitting for prior detection and thus savings in the form of reduced fraud losses from the prior detection.

Identify the risks:

  • The risk of fraud is not solely based on an employee’s background but also a myriad of other factors. Most notably, it is important to be able to identify risks by nature of items (some examples include size and value, ease of resale and cash), nature of the control environment (including separation of duties, safeguards, complexity, turnover and related party transactions) and pressures ( i.e., level of dissatisfaction – if the workforce is unhappy with the company, they will be more inclined to engage in fraud, expectations and guarantees). Identifying these risks is the first step in being able to figure out how to counteract them thus preventing fraud.

Implement effective controls:

  • When it comes to implementation, organisations need to ensure that they complete the action plan and then refer it to an appropriate person – in most instances this is from HR and other figures in leadership to management of employees. It is then up to the subordinates to assist them with implementing the strategy, reviewing the strategy, or delegating it to the employees. Most policies implement:
  • Making employees aware of emergency procedures
  • Making employees aware of the location of first aid stations
  • Educating employees on the location and obvious danger and workplace hazards
  • Examine health and safety workplace responsibilities; wear the necessary protective clothing or equipment participate and have input to management report incidents or mishaps as considered essential by management

Increase awareness of the risks:

  • It must not be presumed that staff members have an innate perception of the risks of fraud, or that they have any understanding of the scope of risks that encircle them. This means that it is incredibly important to stimulate a risk-conscious culture within an organisation. Some examples of methods to increase such awareness include:
  • Performing risk audits and engaging as many individuals as possible in the organisation in the risk auditing procedure
  • Benchmarking – studying “best practices” from other organisations that have executed risk management.
  • Sending organisation personnel to attend industry seminars on fraud prevention as well as risk management

Plan for the worst:

  • It might sound pessimistic, but it is always best to prepare yourself and your employees for the worst-case scenario. As hard as we try to minimize fraud, it cannot unfortunately be fully eradicated. If it appears too good to be true, it most likely is. It is good practice to meticulously probe all, agreements, prospects, transactions, data and documents.

Want to know more about recruiting the right people for your organisation? Visit our page on Background Screening services or view the brochure below.

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Crucial components that a proper fraud prevention strategy accomplishes:

It is easy to infer that fraud can leak into all aspects of corporate culture and can destroy an organisation from within. Despite this issue, several organisations opt not to implement a fraud prevention strategy – it is primarily implied that this is ascribed to the absence of knowledge circulating on the benefits of such a strategy. However, the rewards reaped from this type of policy is beneficial to corporations in the long run and can reap rewards such as:

  • Lower consequential loss pertaining to fraud
  • Lesser/no legal and investigative costs relating to fraud
  • Lesser/no regulatory fines paid in the occurrence of fraud
  • Better time management can be used to enrich employee’s knowledge and experience at the organisation.
  • Reduced insurance premiums
  • Lower turnover of key staff and customers
  • The lessened cost of/capability to increase new finance

All in all, the process of preventing fraud can be an extensive one but one that’s benefits outweighs the onerous course. If you still have any questions surrounding fraud prevention, why not get in touch with CRI? Our experts have years of experience and have been trained to provide your business with bespoke advice fit for your organisations’ needs. Don’t hesitate, prevent fraud in your workplace today.

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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 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 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.

Getting Started with Risk Management? Get your FREE playbook

How do you manage risk? Managing risk effectively is essential to ensure businesses succeed and thrive in an environment of constant uncertainty.  All types and sizes of organisations face internal and external factors that directly impact whether an organisation can achieve their objectives or not. CRI® Group can help you simplify risk management through a wide range of solutions that can be fully customised, regardless of the size, nature, or location of a business.

An organisation can implement risk management across the entire company, and it can do so at any time. Risk management plans, such as ISO 37001 Audit Process, can offer several benefits that make them a worthwhile endeavour for every business. For example, risk management plans help companies to identify the potential risks they may face. Being aware of these risks allows businesses to make plans to avoid specific risks or deal with them when they arise. There are many benefits of implementing a risk management strategy:

  • Can be used by organisations to compare their risk management practices with an internationally recognised benchmark, providing sound principles for effective management and corporate governance;
  • Leads to more satisfied customers: is a clear indicator to your customers, and other stakeholders that as an organisation, you are committed to managing risks in every part of your business;
  • Increases public confidence in the organisation as it demonstrates your management capabilities in protecting your business from internal and external threats;
  • Gives you a healthier bottom line;
  • Makes for consistent and efficient operations;
  • In competitive bidding for commercial tenders, it will enhance your company’s reputation and give you a competitive advantage.

This playbook covers everything you need to know about Risk Management; here’s a quick rundown of the playbook structure:

  • What is Risk?
  • What is Risk management?
  • How is risk management evolving to tackle modern challenges?
  • Business Risks Every Organisation Should Plan For
  • Principles of Risk Management
  • How Risk Management and Due Diligence Interlock?
  • and more…

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In a risk environment that continues to grow more hazardous and expensive, companies need to consider implementing strategic risk resources throughout their organisation as a means of developing buoyancy and to gain a competitive edge in the market.

If you’re still unsure, why not arrange a free consultation with one of our risk management experts today? CRI Group has worked with clients from all over the globe and ensure that each client receives personalised advice in accordance with their needs.

CRI® offers a wide variety of risk management solutions to meet the needs of different companies. Please contact us today to learn more  about the importance of a risk management plan, general risk assessment or to know about our solutions.

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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. In addition, 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 37001:2021 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.

Risk assessment breakdown: Identification, Analysis, Evaluation

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. Whatever your reasons or motivations might be, if your organisation’s objective is to have an effective risk assessment management strategy in place. This article discusses the importance of Risk Assessment. There are two important building blocks that form the core of risk management:

  • Risk assessment
  • Risk treatment

Each of these stages can stand on their own – in this article we will 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.

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

Business Intelligence (BI) Solutions can help during this stage. BI take many shapes and forms in today’s complex business environment. Budgets are stretched and the challenges facing a business and its employees can sometimes lead to issues that start off small, but then lead to wider spread problems which can affect the very fabric of your organisation and damage both your credibility, reputation and bottom line profits. CRI® Group takes two approaches to BI solutions:

  • Intelligence operations (via market research and analysis): we focus on researching the future and potential growth of your business – i.e. determine the commercial viability and potential for success in the market, analyse consumer behaviour and business trends in that market, etc.
  • Investigative operations (via commercial investigations): we focus on the current status of your business – i.e. location of assets, financial information, identification of unmet needs of any market, gauge brand awareness and identity in the market, etc.)

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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.

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.

But we all like to think that all of our employees will be trustworthy, but this is not always the case. There have been many instances in which an employee has been dishonest about their job history, qualifications or even criminal history. A dishonest employee could be unqualified for the position, possibly endangering others on the job. Or they might be a fraud risk, willing to bend the truth in other ways in order to enrich or advance themselves on your dime. No organisation can afford to have employees or staff who aren’t what they claim to be. Even a seemingly innocent embellishment can indicate more background problems under the surface, and the potential for future problems down the road so remember, trust your employees but, verify them too. 

CHECK OUT OUR EMPLOYEE BACKGROUND SCREENING SOLUTIONS  or  DOWNLOAD BROCHURE

Risk Assessment and ISO 31000 certification with ABAC®

While the team at CRI® do not deliver any training or certification on ISO 31000, our partner ABAC® Center of Excellence do. 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. 

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. 

The training helps establish an ethical culture by educating your personnel on the following:

  • What constitutes fraud, corruption, and bribery, and why these are so damaging to business
  • How to identify red flags of fraud, corruption, and bribery
  • The process for reporting fraudulent and unethical acts
  • The organization’s zero-tolerance attitude toward unethical behaviour and willingness to terminate employees for breaches, and prosecute unethical acts
  • The serious ramifications for committing fraud or bribery, the legal consequences, and the negative impact on one’s career

The ISO certifications helps us at ABAC® to provide appropriate anti-bribery training to personnel across various industries. This standard helps to assess bribery risks, perform the appropriate due diligence required for your business and to take reasonable and proportionate steps to ensure that controlled organizations and business associates have implemented appropriate anti-bribery controls.

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

Other Solutions

While CRI® may not offer the ISO certification, we do offer other services. We specialise in solutions regarding compliance, working as trusted partners to businesses and institutions across the globe. Our experts work with energy, insight and care to ensure we provide a positive experience to everyone involved – clients, reference providers and candidates. CRI’s unique identity and vision evolved from our fundamental desire to support our clients and their candidates, thus creating the DueDiligence360™.

The DueDiligence360TM reports to help organisations comply with anti-money launderinganti-bribery, and anti-corruption regulations. This service also proves beneficial ahead of a merger, acquisition, or joint venture as it can be used for a third-party risk assessment, onboarding decision-making, and identifying beneficial ownership structures. Identifying key risk issues clearly and concisely helps enhance your knowledge and understanding of the customer, supplier, and third-party risk, helping you avoid those involved with financial crime.

Why not consider our background investigative solutions? Employee Background Checks can aid in reducing the risk of hiring an employee who does not live up to their supposed skill set and could cause irrevocable damage. Firms spend years, thousands, even millions to brand their products and services – it only takes one bad hire to cause loss of capital and reputation. It can go as far as bringing a business to fail – especially if the employee holds malice towards the organisation. EmploySmart™ is CRI’s own solution aiming to expose vulnerabilities and threats within your organisation. Much like the ISO certification, our EmploySmart™ is a risk management measure which can be used to significantly reduce business and financial crime, fraud and malpractice within your workplace.

Our solutions are also certified by the British Standard Institute BSI for the scope of BS 7858:2019 Screening of individuals working in a secure environment, Code of practice (the only BS 7858 certified background screening services provider in the UAE and across the Middle East); and BS 102000:2018 Code of practice for the provision of investigative services.

Another risk management solution to consider from CRI® is our Third-Party Risk Management solution (TPRM),  also known as 3PRM™. In wake of the global pandemic, the 3PRM™ was developed in a bid to aid organisations to accurately determine the legal compliance, financial viability, and integrity levels of external parties, vendors, and customers who seek to be affiliated with and represent the business.

The 3PRM-Certified™ program consists of gap analysis and investigative due diligence on the targeted above parties.  This highly thorough program reveals anti-corruption, compliance and risk management discrepancies associated with the international regulatory framework helping your business to flourish at any scale. Find out more about CRI Group’s Solutions here.

If you’re unsure of what solution may be best for you and your business, how about connecting with one of our experts for a free consultation? Receive tailored advice from the top analysts and investigators across the globe.

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About CRI® Group

Based in London, CRI® 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® also holds BS 102000:2013 and BS 7858:2012 Certifications, is an HRO certified provider and partner with Oracle.

In 2016, CRI® 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.

WEBINAR | Breaking Down The ISO 37001 Audit Process

There is no “one-size-fits-all” method to the ISO 37001 Audit Process to achieve the anti-bribery management systems certification

There’s been much discussion surrounding ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems and the ways that attaining certification to the standard can enhance an organisation’s existing anti-corruption compliance program.

The ISO 37001:2016 standard specifies a series of measures and controls to help organisations prevent, detect and address bribery.  These measures include adopting an anti-bribery policy, appointing an individual to oversee anti-bribery compliance, training, risk assessments and due diligence on projects and business associates, implementing financial and commercial controls, and instituting reporting, investigation and monitoring procedures.

CRI Group’s ABAC will be hosting a paid webinar on the 30th of September exploring the Pitfalls Most Organisations Often Commit – the importance of implementing Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS). Being a part of the solution means being able to share our expert knowledge on what would be best for your organisation.

Register Here

Our webinar will have a rundown of the following:

  • What are the core Bribery and Corruption Risks for Financial Institution?
  • How to protect financial institutions and corporations from bribery and corruption risk
  • Reparations from bribery that could affect the businesses, clients, and employees
  • Successful regulations to mitigate risk for bribery and corruption.
  • What can be done if bribery is detected?
  • Internationally recognised solutions laid forth by ISO 37001: Anti-Bribery Management System that gives businesses effective controls to mitigate risk
  • Components of risk management at a financial institution

Certification of compliance with the standard is based on an impartial, independent third-party review, assessment and audit of the organisation’s anti-bribery management system and the versatility, effectiveness and proactive nature of said system.

Register Here 

The compliance audit itself has too often been referred to as a “one-size-fits-all” or “check-the-box” subjective process, which couldn’t be further from the truth.  Proper certification to the standard requires a substantial amount of preparation and self-assessment beforehand; a highly involved review, interview and audit process (often involving a sampling of affiliated or regional offices); and an evaluation and monitoring phase which is annually conducted over the three-year certification cycle.

Let’s take a brief look at the audit process and examine why large multi-national companies such as Walmart, Microsoft, Alstom and a host of others have weighed the costs and benefits, and subsequently committed to attaining ISO 37001:2016 certification.

An Evidence-Based Review; A Risk-Based Approach

The ABMS audit is a diligent approach that links auditing activity to an organisation’s overall risk management framework, providing assurance to top management that risk management processes are effectively addressing all bribery risks throughout the organisation and its operations.

It should be noted that the certification audit isn’t solely structured on a review of paper-based controls.  As you’ll read below, the process assesses the organisation’s overarching stance on anti-bribery and how that stance is conveyed — tangibly and intangibly — from the board of directors right down to lower-level staff members.

Employing interviews, policy reviews, sampling, due diligence and testing of methods and techniques, the audit will produce sufficient evidence of a sound anti-bribery management system, while spotlighting specific areas of risk that demand attention and subsequent improvement to adhere to the standard.

Certified Auditors; ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Experts

First and foremost, ISO 37001:2016 auditors must be specifically certified and credentialed in order to lead and conduct such audits.  Auditors are guided by the requirements of ISO 17021-9 to conduct an ABMS assessment.  To attain this status, auditors must undergo intensive training to fully comprehend the concepts and principles behind the various ISO management systems compliance, and the corresponding specifications and auditing techniques associated with those ISO guidelines.  From that training, auditors will gain the necessary knowledge and skills to effectively plan and perform related audits.

Further — and just as vital — auditing professionals must possess considerable experience in the areas of anti-bribery and anti-corruption, and have deep-seated knowledge of the industry sectors and the respective geographic regions (with a familiarity of the legal jurisdictions) served by the organisation being certified.

And finally, the ISO 37001:2016 auditor must be qualified to serve as a helpful, non-confrontational advocate during the entire audit process, expertly guiding the organisation through the process with the shared goal of achieving outcomes that will ultimately fortify the organisation’s commitment to battling instances of bribery in the global marketplace.

The ISO 37001 Audit Process

The process, which adheres closely to ISO 19011 requirements, begins well in advance of the on-site visit, with the auditor conducting a thorough analysis of news, social media and other public domain information pertaining to the organisation.  This outside review oftentimes helps the auditor determine the organisation’s perceived “culture of compliance” prior to initiating the audit.

The audit process itself is a critical assessment of a number of crucial elements that are required by the ISO 37001:2016 standard, and a determination of how the overall policy is represented by the various roles and responsibilities throughout the organisation.  The process entails:

  • A review of the organisation’s anti-bribery policies, procedures and controls;
  • An assessment of the organisation’s plan for communicating its polices to all employees worldwide;
  • In-depth interviews with compliance personnel, leadership, management, and legal, finance, procurement, human resource and communications staff members to assess familiarity with the policies and comprehension levels for identifying and responding to red flag events;
  • A review of all procedures and instructors involved with the organisation’s anti-bribery training;
  • Performing risk assessments specific to particular projects, industries, regions, jurisdictions and third-parties associated with the organisation;
  • Conducting due diligence on third-party partners (by region);
  • Assessment of monitoring, reporting and investigation procedures as related to anti-bribery events;
  • Bench-marking the organisation’s overall commitment to its anti-bribery policy and management systems;
  • Assessment of the organisation’s financial controls to detect and prevent incidences of bribery;
  • Review of all corrective actions to the policy following a bribery investigation;
  • Confirmation of the organisation’s attempt at continuous improvement of the anti-bribery management system.

And throughout the various processes of observation, document review, sampling, interviews, technical verification and evaluation, the audit team is constantly meeting and communicating through the proper channels to assist the organisation in identifying risks and improving its processes and procedures.

The audit process can take weeks or months to complete, and needless to say, this process varies widely between organisations, industry sectors and geographic regions.

 

Reporting & Documentation

Post-audit, the team convenes an oversight board comprised of anti-bribery experts to review the audit reports and findings, and makes recommendations to both the organisation and the certification committee.

The ensuing documentation covers a host of topics, including risk areas (by project, personnel group, and geographic region), training recommendations, investigative techniques, reporting processes, and other areas of improvement.

 

Follow-Up Surveillance Audits to Ensure Continuous Improvement

The certification process doesn’t end after the initial audit phase. Certification to the standard requires verification of continuous improvement and confirmation of how outcomes are implemented, documented, monitored and assessed over time.  To achieve this, the audit team will conduct annual surveillance audits of the organisation’s anti-bribery system over the three-year certification cycle.  Surveillance audits verify the organisation’s continued adherence to the standard, evaluate any prescribed corrective action plans, and review what the organisation is doing to improve its anti-bribery management systems.

Certification in ISO 37001:2016 symbolises an organisation’s unrelenting commitment to fight corruption and pursue best practices in an ongoing quest for compliance to the widely-accepted anti-bribery standards.  And the in-depth process involved in achieving certification to the standard — together with the counsel, risk assessment, and improvement recommendations that result from the audit — can make the certification process well worth the investment.

This paid webinar will be running from the following times on Thursday the 30th of September;

  • 08:00 to 10:00 GMT
  • 15:00 to 17:00 MYT
  • 12:00 to 14:00 GST

Your turnout with come with a certificate of Attendance (COA) as well as a complimentary webinar ABMS Awareness for 2 Pax per company. While you’re there, why not attain a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certificate and stay on top of your industry?

Register your place for this webinar here and find out how to tackle the issue of bribery and corruption in your workplace before it has time to manifest itself into a greater issue. Finance is the greatest asset to the economy after all.

Complete Registration 


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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zafar I. Anjum, is 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, USA, Canada, Latin America and the United Kingdom.

 

CONTACT INFORMATION

Zafar Anjum, MSc, MS, CFE, CII, MICA, Int. Dip. (Fin. Crime) | CRI Group Chief Executive Officer

t: +44 207 8681415 | m: +44 7588 454959 | e: zanjum@CRIGroup.com

Why Financial Services Firms Need ISO 37001 ABMS?

When Société Générale, a global financial services institution based in France, agreed to pay a combined total penalty of more than $860 million for an alleged bribery and corruption scheme, it served as a warning shot to financial firms worldwide that a culture of enforcement has arrived. Société Générale was accused of paying bribes to officials in Libya and committing violations in manipulating the London InterBank Offered Rate (LIBOR), one of the world’s leading benchmark interest rates. Together with other regulatory penalties faced by the financial services giant, the total amount to be paid exceeds $1 billion. (The United States Department of Justice, 2018)

Bribery and corruption often go together with money laundering – and, as such, the financial sector faces new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules and legislation that is strict and increasingly enforced. Remaining in compliance through implementing proper prevention controls is a must. Failing to do so can mean a loss of business, trust and reputation: Banking giant Citibank was fined $70 million in the US for failing to address shortcomings in its anti-money laundering policies. We at CRI intend on being apart of the solution. Therefore, CRI Group’s ABAC will be hosting a webinar on the 30th of September exploring the Pitfalls Most Organisations Often Commit – the importance of implementing Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS). Being a part of the solution means sharing our knowledge so society is one step closer to an ethical reality.

Register Here 

In the US alone, more than 100 bribery investigations were in progress at the end of last year, with the financial services industry facing the most investigations. (Wall Street Journal, 2019)

Having layers of safeguards in place is required both from a legal and compliance standpoint. One of the most critical layers is an effective anti-bribery management system (ABMS).

Prevent corruption and promote compliance

There is a solution that financial services organisations can implement to take a proactive stance against bribery and corruption: The ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System standard. ISO 37001 ABMS is designed to help global organisations implement an anti-bribery management system (ABMS), as the standard specifies a series of measures required by the organisation to prevent, detect and address bribery, and provides guidance relative to that implementation.

For financial services firms, this is a critical layer of protection that provides both anti-bribery controls and a system for compliance with various anti-corruption legislation, such as the FCPA and UK Bribery Act. The UK Bribery Act’s adequate procedures requirement dictates that all companies need to have ongoing monitoring, training, surveillance and risk assessments – ISO 37001 ABMS is designed to fulfil these criteria and more.

CRI Group’s ABAC Certification Services is accredited to offer independent ISO 37001 certification to ensure that an organisation is in compliance with the standard, which is recognised and practised in more than 160 countries worldwide. CRI Group’s auditors and analysts work with financial services organisations to develop measures that integrate with existing management processes and controls, and include:

  • Adopting an anti-bribery policy
  • Establishing buy-in and leadership from management
  • Training personnel in charge of overseeing compliance
  • Communicating the policy and program to all personnel and business associates
  • Providing bribery and corruption risk assessments
  • Conducting due diligence on projects, business associates and other third-party affiliations
  • Implementing financial and commercial controls
  • Developing reporting and investigation procedures

Our paid webinar will have a rundown of the following:

  • What are the core Bribery and Corruption Risks for Financial Institution?
  • How to protect financial institutions and corporations from bribery and corruption risk
  • Reparations from bribery that could affect the businesses, clients, and employees
  • Successful regulations to mitigate risk for bribery and corruption.
  • What can be done if bribery is detected?
  • Internationally recognised solutions laid forth by ISO 37001: Anti-Bribery Management System that gives businesses effective controls to mitigate risk
  • Components of risk management at a financial institution

We will also be exploring how the implementation of such a standard aids in examining and dealing fittingly with any actual or suspected bribery within the corporation and also how to implement appropriate financial, procurement and other commercial controls so as to help prevent the risk of bribery in financial services as these organisations face unique challenges.

Register Here 

Among them are maintaining proper internal procedures as they relate to bribery and AML regulations. These measures can be logistically challenging, especially in the auditing process – but keeping accurate books and records is a key provision of the UK Bribery Act. ISO 37001 ABMS standard makes this a key provision in cultivating proper due diligence and reporting procedures.

Another major challenge involves monitoring third-party risk. The due diligence practices and risk assessments implemented through ISO 37001 ABMS are critical in this area. Financial services firms, more than any other sector, must conduct effective vetting and ongoing monitoring of third-parties. This goes beyond “on-boarding” and relates to how companies continually assess risk from outside partners – including brokerage firms, introducers, agents, joint-venture relationships, even clients – as borrowers, for example, represent a major risk on the balance sheet.

Some financial services companies do not properly score or assign risk profiles to third-party partners, and this can represent a major weak point in efforts to prevent bribery, corruption and money laundering. Regulators understand this, too. That’s why ISO 37001 ABMS dictates thorough and comprehensive due diligence in regards to all third-parties and especially in the case of mergers and acquisitions.

Once certified, an organisation must continue surveillance and undergo a recertification audit over three years to ensure that the organisation still complies with the ISO 37001:2016 ABMS standard. During this time, any changes to processes, the addition of new partners and expansion/acquisition of new assets or energy contracts, etc. are carefully reviewed.

Long-lasting benefits of certification

ISO 37001 ABMS provides a strong framework for addressing and isolating risk factors, and the benefits of certification are far-reaching, impacting not just the primary organisation but also influencing contractors, clients, and raising the profile of the company as an ethical entity that is a good trading partner. By achieving ISO 37001:2016 ABMS certification, a financial services firm will:

  • Ensure that the organisation is implementing a viable anti-bribery management system utilising widely accepted controls and systems.
  • Assure management, investors, business associates, personnel and other stakeholders that the organisation is actively pursuing internationally recognised and accepted processes to prevent bribery and corruption.
  • If needed, provide acceptable evidence to prosecutors or courts that the organisation has taken reasonable steps to prevent bribery and corruption.

Cases like Société Générale are not isolated, but more and more, we are seeing companies punished for not taking proper preventative action with a robust anti-bribery management system (ABMS). Financial services firms need to be aware and stay in front of increased anti-bribery and corruption legislation given that such regulations have, in most cases, achieved a global reach. For ownership and management, the stakes are especially high – accountability now includes criminal liability for organisation personnel as individuals, beyond (and in addition to) liabilities faced by the organisation. This trend will only continue as governments, and their publics become increasingly intolerant of fraud, bribery and corruption. Significant media coverage and the real and perceived threat to governments’ economies contribute to this changing landscape of public opinion.

As the ISO 37001 International standard document states, “Conformity with (ISO 37001) cannot provide assurance that no bribery has occurred or will occur in relation to the organisation, as it is not possible to eliminate the risk of bribery. However, (the standard) can help the organisation implement reasonable and proportionate measures designed to prevent, detect and respond to bribery”. With this in mind, It’s important to note that ISO 37001 certification, on its own, is not a “safe harbour” from prosecution should bribery or corruption be discovered. Significantly, ISO certification is, as the above explains, a potential mitigating piece of evidence to regulators or even prosecutors and the courts that the entity has taken meaningful steps in its efforts to prevent bribery and corruption.

Financial Services Firms Need ISO 37001 ABMS

It is critical that any financial services organisation have a proper, comprehensive strategy to prevent and detect bribery and corruption, and remain in compliance with all regulations – on the local, regional, and international levels. The ISO 37001 ABMS standard is an established, tried and tested program to address those issues head-on through a comprehensive program of training and certification. The training process is tailored to the organisation while still following the developed curriculum and documented best practices. Due diligence procedures and risk assessments are applied in a thorough, comprehensive manner. Certification requires the demonstration that processes have been implemented effectively, with follow-up evaluations.

Worldwide developments in laws and regulations have demonstrated that there isn’t time to wait to implement controls and compliance procedures – the next investigation and/or prosecution may be too late. The harm caused by bribery and corruption to an entity’s reputation, investments and business can be far-reaching and long-lasting.

This paid webinar will be running from the following times on Thursday the 30th of September;

  • 08:00 to 10:00 GMT
  • 15:00 to 17:00 MYT
  • 12:00 to 14:00 GST

Your turnout with come with a certificate of Attendance (COA) as well as a complimentary webinar ABMS Awareness for 2 Pax per company. While you’re there, why not attain a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certificate and stay on top of your industry?

Register your place for this webinar here and find out how to tackle the issue of bribery and corruption in your workplace before it has time to manifest itself into a greater issue. Finance is the greatest asset to the economy after all.

Complete Registration 

 

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.

ISO 37001 Solutions for all industries (Part 3)

In part 1, we discussed how ISO 37001 ABMS can help companies across a wide range of industries, including automotive, aviation and insurance. In part 2, we looked at how pharma and healthcare, property, IT and telecommunications organisations can benefit from Anti-Bribery solutions as well. In this final part, we will explore some aspects of how companies from financial, oil and energy industries could implement ABAC solutions.

Finance

Bribery and corruption are among the top fraud concerns for all financial organisations. These include banks & financial institutions, real estate lenders, business credit and finance companies, commercial investment corporations, asset-based lenders, debt financing firms, acquisition capital firms and others. Having safeguarding processes in place is required both from a legal and compliance standpoint and from the position of being a trusted, secure financial institution. The financial sector includes new Anti-Money Laundering (AML) rules and legislation, and these regulations are strict and increasingly enforced. As such, remaining in compliance through implementing proper prevention controls is a must.

In one high-profile case, between 2006 and 2013, JPMorgan Chase and its subsidiary, JP Morgan Securities (Asia Pacific) Limited (JPM-APAC) took on about 100 Chinese interns and full-time employees who ended up at the centre of a bribery case spread over two continents and worth hundreds of millions of dollars. In order to win business from members of the Chinese government and state-owned companies, JPM-APAC allegedly targeted their children, offering them high-ranking and well-paid positions in the business in order to curry favour with their parents. JP Morgan fell into trouble for allegedly violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), and the DoJ called the scheme ‘bribery by any other name’ – alleging that it had threatened national security. In November 2016, the bank was ordered to pay $264 million to settle the claims against it – $130m to the SEC for violations of the FCPA, $72m to the US Justice Department and $61.9m to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors.[/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]

ISO 37001 in Oil, Gas and Energy industries

The oil and energy sector is a massive portion of the world’s economy, dealing mainly in petroleum – including upstream (exploration, development and production of crude oil or natural gas) and downstream (oil tankers, refiners, retailers and consumers) pipeline. The need to prospect, discover, and realise oil and energy production in various (and often far-flung) locations lends to the vulnerability to fraud – but geographic considerations aren’t the only risk factors.  Perhaps even more impactful is the complexity of business relationships required to operate in the industry – relationships with governments, contractors, regulators, investors/venture partners, equipment suppliers and other parties. Every such interaction and dealing can be considered susceptible to bribery and corruption where cutting corners may be considered profitable or even perceived to be “business as usual.”

An infamous example is the case of Petrobras. In December 2017, the world’s largest builder of offshore rigs agreed to pay $422 million in penalties after entering a guilty plea for bribery charges connected with the Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras) scandal. Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd. made illicit payments to both Petrobras officials and government representatives for more than a decade, between 2001 and 2014 (Reuters, 2017). The sweeping multimillion-dollar bribery scandal that rocked Petrobras led to numerous investor lawsuits and the downfall of disgraced government officials. It also served as the embodiment of the huge risk of bribery and corruption that confronts the entire oil and energy sector. See “Oil and Energy Companies Look to ISO 37001.”[/vc_column_text]

Long-lasting benefits of certification of ISO 37001

ISO 37001 provides a strong framework for addressing and isolating risk factors in all industries. The benefits of certification are far-reaching, impacting not just the primary organisation but also influencing contractors, clients, and raising the profile of the company as an ethical entity that is a good trading partner. Even more effective, ABAC® tailors IS0 37001 to the specific needs of the client.

By achieving ISO 37001:2016 certification, an organisation will ensure that it is implementing a viable anti-bribery management system utilising widely accepted controls and systems. It will also assure management, investors, business associates, personnel and other stakeholders that the organisation is actively pursuing internationally recognised and accepted processes to prevent bribery and corruption. Today, companies cannot afford to be reactive to threats of bribery and corruption. By achieving ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management System certification today, an organisation will remain in compliance and better positioned to address risks head-on.[/vc_column_text]

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]

What are the stages of ISO 37001 Certification?

The ISO 37001:2016 Certification is an Anti-Bribery Management System Certification 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.

A Breakdown of the Stages of ISO 37001:2016 Certification

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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