Implementing an Anti-Bribery System: A Brief Introduction to ISO 37001

By United Language Group

A strong company cannot function without guidelines in place to prevent corruption. In particular, businesses around the globe need to be wary of bribery within an organization.

According to The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, over $1 trillion are paid in bribes each year, with the cost of corruption making up more than 5 % of worldwide Gross Domestic Product. This stat proves the importance of anti-bribery regulations, and the new ISO 37001 standard acts as a safeguard against hush money in the corporate world.

The first global anti-bribery standard, ISO 37001 aims to help companies prevent bribery within their organization and can be used as a measuring stick for compliance officers. Published last month, ISO 37001 replaces British Standard 10500.

What Is It?

The new standard deals with bribery in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It focuses on bribery by an organization, of an organization, by an organization’s personnel, or its business associates.

ISO 37001 can be used by businesses that want to implement a system for preventing bribery as the standard is similar to ISO 9001, which deals with quality management systems. Listed requirements in the new standard include putting in place an anti-bribery policy, anti-bribery training, bribery reporting and monitoring specifications as well as corrective action and continual improvement standards.

Particulars of the implementation of ISO 37001 will depend on the size and scope of the organization applying for certification. The standard can be achieved by companies of any size, large or small, in any country and businesses in either the public or private sector. In addition, both governmental organizations and NGOs can be certified.

Why Certification is a Boon for Business

Right off the bat, ISO 37001 implementation lowers the risk of bribery due to the fact that it creates a policy to prevent it. Having strong documentation that outlines anti-bribery procedures provides a common foundation from which companies can work off of. And maybe more importantly, ISO 37001 promotes a culture of ethics in the workplace, making clear to employees that bribery won’t be tolerated.

Certification also proves to clients that a company holds its ethical polices in high regard. Ultimately, certification is a competitive edge for businesses.

Effectively preventing bribery saves time and money down the road. A bribery scandal can ruin a company’s reputation and drain money, time and resources. In the end, crime doesn’t pay.

Although there’s no cure-all when it comes to defending against bribery within an organization, this new standard represents a good starting point.

ULG understands the importance of regulatory standards in all the verticals it works within. Standards matter, and creating processes that ensure quality work are an integral part of any company. ULG is certified to ISO 9001:2015; ISO 17100:2015; ISO 13485:2016 and ISO 27001:2013.

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