• Governance I Risk I Compliance Management

Bribery and corruption are a form of abuse of the economy’s progress. It has far-reaching consequences that hinder the development of individuals, businesses, and the nation. The impact of corruption and bribery goes beyond discernment and can lead to financial losses, withdrawal of investors, dissuasion of shareholders, the perpetuation of fraud, reputational damages, business inefficiency, and numerous other factors that deter economic growth.

Some random facts and figures relating to bribery and corruption taken from transparency.org.uk will make for interesting reading:

  • The annual costs of international corruption are estimated to amount to a staggering $3.6 trillion in the form of bribes and stolen money.
  • £100 billion of dirty money passes through UK systems and services every year.
  • 87,000 land titles in England and Wales are owned by opaque corporate structures that hide the true owners.
  • Just 52 people made a sixth of all declared UK political donations between 2001 and 2016.
  • £1.27 billion is lost annually to fraud, bribery and corruption in the NHS.
  • Corruption often impacts the poorest in societies the most. In Paraguay, the poorest households are forced to pay nearly 13% of their income in bribes – twice as much as the richest households.
  • Airbus was fined £3.6 billion in February 2020 by courts in the UK, US and France for slush funds, “success payments” and lavish hospitality.
  • Corruption in the health sector kills an estimated 140,000 children a year.
  • Up to 25% of public procurement funds are lost to corruption each year.
  • Governments are spending $7.5 trillion a year on providing healthcare globally. But corruption means that $500billion (7%) of that money is lost.

Business leaders have constantly been aspiring to bring their businesses to greater heights. A resilient foundation needs to be created. Every aspect of their work is accounted for, each part of their operations is monitored, and all procedures and processes are rationalised. If the policies do not protect the corporation, community, or country against bribery and corruption, then the nation’s evolution is deferred. This negligence breeds bribery and corruption and erodes the organisation’s substance. It decreases the fuel of the economy, which is its people, and the investments that improve the standard of living in the country.

It is true when they say that ‘beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.’ Corrupt countries are always viewed as less attractive to investors than nations that practice more transparency. Due to ambiguous government activities, investors enter the market through joint ventures with a local or existing company that understands regional rules and regulations and can assist them in acquiring local licenses and permits. Through the partnership, the local establishment prepares the foreign company to pass through the bureaucratic maze with ease and at a lesser cost to adapt to the local conditions of the nation.

The bureaucratic maze is a puzzle filled with many twists and turns. The size, employees, nature of business and economic circumstances affect the conglomerate’s growth. If not protected by secure laws, the company falls into the trap of defeat where the heads might give in to unreasonable demands, which may be detrimental to the advancement of the establishment. The demand may be in the form of bribes or corrupt activity, which poses a risk and is against the company’s vision. Thus, bribery and corruption negatively impact investments in the country, which are distinguished by its kind, form, level, and quality.

In short, foreign companies lack confidence in doing business in a new country or in a state where bribery and corruption are common. If the firm does not find a reliable local partner, stable resource or suitable support system, they are likely to pull out their investment and look for other partners or countries that comply with their requirements. Hence, the local companies need to create a strong international ethical standard to boost the confidence of their potential partners for future business affiliations.

No individual, enterprise or economy is immune to bribery and corruption. Appropriate risk management measures need to be created that are on par with the global economy’s demand. The ISO 37001:2016 is an internationally recognised standard for executing an Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS) that helps combat illegal activities and prevent its repeated occurrence. It is a structural tool specifically formulated to strengthen an organisation’s anti-bribery policies and procedures. An investment in the ISO 37001:2016 is equal to an investment in the organisation’s betterment which is one of the prime building blocks of the nation.

In the United Arab Emirates, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption (ABAC®) Center of Excellence is the only independent accredited certification body established for ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System, providing training and accredited certification. We have widened our range of disciplines and ISO standards to include ISO 31000:2018 Risk Management- GuidelinesISO 37000:2021 Governance of OrganisationsISO 37002:2021 Whistleblowing Management System, ISO 37301:2021 (formerly ISO 19600) Compliance Management system, and Anti-Money Laundering (AML).

Through the principles of detection, prevention and protection, ABAC® Center of Excellence advocate stringent methods and rigorous initiatives to ensure the cooperation of top-level leaders and their affiliates. Having a global network of audit teams and subject specialists with training in risk management, financial controls, due diligence, investigative analysis and other assessment areas, ABAC® Center of Excellence provides the best compliance framework to distinct organisations in any part of the world to sustain the future of the global economy.

About ABAC® Center of Excellence

ABAC® is an independent certification body powered by CRI Group. ABAC® Center of Excellence 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 in internationally recognised ISO standards, such as ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management SystemsISO 19600 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000 Risk Management Systems.