• Governance I Risk I Compliance Management

What’s the first step when addressing the bribery and corruption crisis?

May 10, 2021

We always say that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. That applies well to risk management and anti-fraud, anti-corruption strategies in your organisation when you aim to tackle all possible risks by implementing adequate procedures. That’s a meritorious and proactive approach and mitigating your organisation’s risks with an ethics and compliance strategy is vital to your success.

However, unfortunately, even the best approach exercised is foolproof. Let’s say you reduced the organisational risks by introducing anti-bribery anti-corruption policies in place and screening your trustworthy partners and employees. But suddenly you surprisingly suspect that fraud arose within a firm. What steps do you need to take to evaluate and resolve the potential fraud, bribery and corruption crisis problem?

The first step: investigation

Vigilance from compliance professionals must ensure that fraud is detected within companies. If such suspicions are aroused, a prompt response strategy must be put in place. However, if the suspect is ultimately found innocent, it may dampen employee morale and affect the company’s credibility and reputation. Setting up a committee is an integral step to helping companies investigate any potentially fraudulent activity, the quorum of which should be comprised of senior management, finance, compliance and HR professionals. In the interest of avoiding any internal conflicts of interest, an independent investigation company should be employed to conduct due diligence on the suspect and share the report with the committee for immediate action to be taken against the suspect, if proven guilty.

When the organisation is involved in external investigations, it can be an incredibly stressful time for a company and its employees. The important thing is to not panic – the investigators have a job to do, and the sooner they get to the truth of the situation, the better for everyone. Companies should direct their management and their employees to cooperate fully, while also engaging legal counsel to properly protect the corporation from future litigation.

Corporate fraud & corruption in the UK & UAE 2021

Download the interview reprint, covering the United Kingdom and the United Arab Emirates.


Addressing a bribery and corruption crisis with a free webinar 

If fraud is detected, it is a criminal matter and the company should make a good faith effort to work with prosecutors and regulators, while making sure to document all control measures and prior steps taken to manage fraud risk. Having a track record of meeting compliance requirements and having proper internal controls in place at the time fraud occurs could have a mitigating effect in terms of potential prosecution and penalties down the road.

Adequately addressing such catastrophe can help you to learn the lesson and strengthen your current risk management systems in place. However, it is also important to understand what are the causal factors and how did it occur. We invite you to explore how to respond to such bribery and corruption crisis by watching the free webinar where our industry experts – Zafar Anjum, CEO at ABAC® and its parent organisation CRI Group, and Robert Youill, Executive Director at Key Risk Consulting Asia, talk about the steps you have to take in the next 48 hours after bribery discovered concerning your organisation and how to identify the gaps in your existing anti-bribery anti-corruption management system.


Watch this free session where we look at bribery and corruption from another point of view or download the eBook prepared by our speakers to have on hand as an action list for bribery and corruption crisis management.

About ABAC® Center of Excellence

ABAC® Center of Excellence is an independent certification body powered by CRI Group. ABAC® offers a complete suite of services and solutions designed to educate, equip and support the world’s leading business organisations with the latest best-in-practice risk & performance assessments, systems improvement & standards certification. Find out more about ABAC®!

ABAC® programs protect your organisation from damaging litigation & safeguard your business in the global marketplace by providing certification & training in internationally recognised ISO standards, such as ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000 Risk Management Systems.

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. Contact CRI Group today for further information on how CRI Group can help your business.