• Governance I Risk I Compliance Management

The World Bank Group considers corruption a major challenge to its twin goals of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and boosting shared prosperity for the poorest 40 percent of people in developing countries. Corruption has a disproportionate impact on the poor and most vulnerable, increasing costs and reducing access to services, including health, education and justice. So here is 10 ways you can reduce bribery and corruption:

1. Update anti-bribery and anti-corruption policies:

An ethical code of conduct should be tailored to your company and your organisation – no two will be the same. What are the risks inherent in your organisation? What about in your industry? A pharmaceutical company will have some different risk areas than a retail store, for example. A non-profit organisation might have concerns that relate to fundraising, a government agency might be focused on preventing bribery or collusion. The goal of an ethical code of conduct is to help all employees understand the expectation that they always behave in a legal and ethical manner, and that the organisation has zero-tolerance for unethical behaviour.

2. Get the tone right from the top:

Smart corporate leaders know that “Tone at the Top” is a significant factor in the general corporate culture. The behaviour and mindsets demonstrated by those at the top of the chainset are the standard for the rest of the industry to follow. This couldn’t be truer when it comes to ethical standards; if an organisation is lenient and easy-going towards unscrupulous behaviour, it generates a perplexing memorandum for other members of the same workforce and encourages damaging habits.

When an organisation creates a zero-tolerance environment for fraud and corruption, the opposite is true: personnel come to understand that ethical behaviour is the norm. Anything outside of those bounds will be reprimanded – perhaps with the loss of their job or even prosecution.

Creating a zero-tolerance approach to fraud doesn’t happen overnight. When your organisation enrols in ISO 37001 ABMS training and certification, the program involves your entire team. The training helps establish an ethical culture by educating your employees on the following:

3. Embed ABAC principles in corporate culture:

Governments around the world are responding to the need to enact new legislation to fight corruption. Until the last 20 years or so, most laws and regulations were relatively weak, other than the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). However, a growing intolerance for corruption and increased outrage at high-profile cases has changed the landscape, spurring the more recent U.K. Bribery Act (UKBA) 2010 and other similar stringent Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption (ABAC) laws.

Bribery and corruption can cause extreme harm to organisations and economies, causing distrust, economic loss, criminal consequences and loss of reputation. As we see more and more countries promulgating new and more sophisticated antibribery and corruption legislation as well as aggressive enforcement by government regulators we know it can get complicated to understand and keep tracking of all this information.

After the tremendous success and popularity of our short three-part article series: “ABAC Laws and Regulations Around the World” Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 we are proud to announce the launch of this playbook. ABAC Laws and Regulations Around the World Playbook goes into each of the laws and regulations and discusses the importance, mechanisms and action points to each.

4. Ensure gifts and hospitality meet key criteria:

When deciding whether to accept gifts/hospitality, the context is important, and you need to consider whether: it is a regular occurrence? or the timing of the offer raises any potential issues of propriety? Guidelines on gifts and hospitality help companies to combat corruption and these elements need to be included in any policy on gifts and hospitality:

  1. Scope of application
  2. Defining a gift or invitation
  3. Acceptance and refusal conditions

5. Conduct due diligence on all third parties

Our parent brand CRI® Group’s own exclusive, expert-developed 3PRM™ services, can help you proactively mitigate risks from third-party affiliations, protecting your organisation from liability, brand damage, and harm to the business. Whether your organisation has a large, well-established third-party program, is in the early stages of development, or is anywhere in between, the 3PRM™ solution can improve the health of your program and future-proof your entire business in many forms.

6. Watch out for bribery and corruption red flags:

In business, one of the many schemes that can cause serious legal and financial consequences is collusion. While some business leaders might wonder what separates collusion from other types of fraud, and how to identify it, there is a key factor: secrecy.

7. Add precautions for foreign public officials:

8. Avoid facilitation payments:

Small bribes, commonly termed ‘facilitation payments’, are typically demanded in everyday transactions, for example at border crossings. There is growing international recognition that facilitation payments are not easily separated from other forms of bribe and increasingly, companies are following a zero-tolerance policy throughout their global operations, with no exemptions for facilitation payments

9. Report bribery and corruption concerns promptly:

A “red flag” is a fact, event, set of circumstances, or other information that may indicate a potential legal compliance concern for illegal or unethical business conduct, particularly concerning corrupt practices and non-compliance with anti-corruption laws. These “red flag” examples should always trigger concern and appropriate review by any organisationThe Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and UK Bribery Act 2010 threaten severe penalties. But the UN still estimates that $1 trillion is paid in bribes each year, and a further $2 trillion is lost through corruption. 

10. Make anti-bribery training meaningful:

ISO 37001 training – Anti-bribery Management Systems (ABMS). At ABAC®, we understand how vital ISO 37001 ABMS training is for your career, team and organisation – a company’s employees are its best protection against corruption. Statistics show that most corruption is detected internally. Give yourself and your employees the tools they need to prevent bribery and mitigate related risks.

Achieving ISO 37001 ABMS training in Introductory, Internal Auditor, or Lead Auditor courses is a proactive way of demonstrating your organisation’s commitment to ethical sustainability. Your employees will be able to recognise any form of corruption and report it. Our trainers are the best in the business. They’re passionate about sharing their knowledge with you or your employees. ABAC® trusted experts have years of hands-on and interaction experience – they bring the subject matter to life with relevant and contemporary examples.

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