New anti-bribery standard addresses growing global concern over bribery in organizations

31 October 2016

Public and private sector organizations of all sizes set to benefit from internationally recognized anti-bribery standard

BSI, the business standards company, has launched ISO 37001, Anti-bribery management systems: requirements with guidance for use, a standard to aid the prevention and detection of bribery in organizations.

ISO 37001 assists organizations with turning the legal requirements of the 2010 UK Bribery Act into practical measures, by providing guidance on how to put the right controls in place. The standard sets out the requirements for an organization or business looking to set up a management system to prevent and detect bribery within an organization – and how to confront bribery should it arise. 

Managing the risks posed by bribery is high on the agenda of many organizations globally. ISO 37001 covers the many forms of bribery which can damage an organization, including bribery of individual personnel; bribery of the organization by another party; bribery by the organization itself; and indirect bribery from a third party.

The standard provides a system for organizations to use to avoid funds being misappropriated, and safeguards against projects being undermined and not carried out with due diligence. Critically, ISO 37001 sets out how to maintain an effective anti-bribery system once it is in place, and reviewing and improving these safeguards periodically.

The relevance of the standard for different areas of the workplace is far-reaching. ISO 37001 will benefit senior leadership within an organization responsible for compliance, legal and governance issues, as well as employees who work in risk and financial management. Human Resources managers and corporate secretaries are also cited as key beneficiaries of the security afforded by the standard. 

Anne Hayes, Head of Market Development for Governance and Resilience at BSI, said: “In a 24 hours news cycle, any association with bribery can be fatal for the reputation of an organization. It’s critical for public and private sector organizations to be seen to have a strong system of leadership in place to weed out corruption, root and branch.

“ISO 37001 is a tangible way for organizations of all sizes to demonstrate to their employees, suppliers and the public at large that they are managed with integrity and have the necessary safeguards in place to tackle bribery if it arises.” 

Should an organization fall foul of a bribery scandal by a rogue employee, ISO 37001 can be used to demonstrate to clients and contractors that the organization is committed to a comprehensive anti-bribery policy.

The standard follows Annex SL, and was designed to align with other management systems including ISO 9001 (quality), ISO 14001 (environment) and ISO 26000 (sustainability).

Experts from over forty countries were involved in designing this standard. The forerunner to this standard, BS 10500, received coveted support in 2011 from the prestigious Anti-Corruption Standing Committee of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations, an umbrella group which represent over 15 million engineers from over 90 nations.   

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