In 2016, responding to the need for a global standard to help organisations prevent and detect bribery and corruption, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) introduced ISO 37001: Anti-Bribery Management Systems. This certification provides the anti-bribery framework for organisations of any size or industry to implement practical solutions against bribery. Perhaps overlooked, however, is the fact that ISO 37001’s framework isn’t designed only for an organisation’s own internal systems. It can also be applied to existing or potential third-party partners. This adds a crucial layer of third-party due diligence and risk management in today’s world of international business.
The ISO 37001 Framework
Corporations, agencies, and even small companies don’t exist in a bubble. The reality of international trade and the interconnectedness of business make the potential for bribery and corruption a serious and continuous concern. While there are laws that govern business conduct along these lines, such as the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and the UK Bribery Act 2010, prior to 2016 organisations lacked a unified standard to help them implement proper controls for prevention and detection. This was a critical vulnerability, considering new laws in various jurisdictions were prescribing heavier penalties, and governments were, by and large, pursuing more enforcement actions.
Recognising this need, ISO unveiled 37001 with a twofold approach: Provide a practical, measurable system that organisations can implement to prevent and protect fraud; while keeping the system flexible and adaptable to fit any industry or jurisdiction. ISO was uniquely positioned to develop such anti-bribery framework with its reputation, having been in the standards business since 1947; and its global reach, which includes 164 member countries.
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CRI Group has safeguarded businesses from any risks, providing investigations (i.e. insurance fraud), employee background screening, investigative due diligence, business intelligence, third-party risk management, forensic accounting, compliance and other professional investigative research services. 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. Contact ABAC® for more on ISO Certification and training.