Bribery is a key issue in both local markets and global business activities. The desire to expand business operations and maximise commercial profits not only requires the identification and management of operational risks but also identification and mitigation of bribery risks. It is important to note that expansion of business tends to involve bureaucratic processes thus exposing an organisation to bribery risks in a bid to either fasten bureaucratic processes or even in lobbying for favourable operating business climate. Of note, bribes may not always be monetary and may be in kind often in the form of favours such as trips, meals among other inducements that may influence favourable decisions. In fact, the global legislation on corruption recognises trading in influence as a form of corruption (Norton Rose Fulbright, 2017). While strategic management is geared towards the maximisation of profits, it is important for organisations to involve themselves in ethical and transparent dealings. Often, management and business personnel participate in corruption and bribery activities in order to facilitate their entry and continued presence in the market. The essay places great emphasis on benefits of ISO 37001 anti-bribery management system (ABMS) certification by characteristically portraying companies and organisations as entities that have an obligation to internally comply with the international anti-bribery standards in order to promote their brand and obey laws thus strategically increasing their competitiveness and overall profitability. Therefore, this excerpt of the original article which was published on CRI Group discusses and synthesises existing literature on ISO 37001:2016 anti-bribery management system certification to argue that the ISO 37001 ABMS certification is beneficial to businesses.
ISO 37001 ABMS benefits
In particular, the essay reviews four broad benefits of anti-bribery management. First, the article postulates that adoption and compliance with the ISO 37001 anti-bribery management system certification allows an organisation to engage in ethical business conduct by implementing a viable anti-bribery management program. The ISO anti-bribery management system acts as an instructive and exhaustive guide in the identification of bribery risks and the formulation of viable bribery risk management practices (Center for Responsible Enterprise And Trade, 2014). Secondly, the article reviews the extent to which the anti-bribery management system enhances confidence among the management, employees, among other stakeholders that an organisation actively pursuing internationally recognised and accepted processes to prevent bribery and corruption. Third, the article proceeds to discuss the accruing benefit associated with the protection of an organisation’s assets and the interests of various stakeholders from the effects of corruption. If found culpable, the management may be subject to imprisonment while the organisation may receive sanctions of fines or orders of winding up. As such, it is highly desirable to avoid bribery and corruption. Lastly, the due diligence and internal investigation procedures recommended by the ISO 37001 anti-bribery management system allows an organisation to adduce evidence to show that it has taken reasonable steps to prevent bribery and corruption.
Implementing a viable anti-bribery management program utilising widely accepted controls and systems
The ISO anti-bribery management system is a cornerstone of a strategic approach to bribery risk identification and subsequent mitigation of bribery risks. For instance, knowledge of risk is a necessary factor for the effective management process of such risks. Additionally, using the tested principles and practices of the ISO anti-bribery management system allows an organisation to tailor the recommendations in the ISO anti-bribery management system to its contextual business environment. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss how the viability of the anti-bribery management program is of benefit to an organisation.
One key feature of the ISO 37001: 2016 anti-bribery management program is the integration of best practices in whistle-blowing procedures (Valerio, 2017). Usually, employees are the first people who are aware of bribery and corruption practices within an organisation. By integrating whistle-blowing protection in its internal anti-bribery practices, an organisation implements a viable anti-bribery management program that encourages employees to come forward with knowledge on ongoing corruption (Gordon & Miyake, 2001). It is important to note that information obtained through whistle-blowing is not always factual thus the need to conduct due diligence and verification.
Notably, the ISO 37001 has had the impact of making companies adhere to the International Anti-Bribery Management System Standard. As an international standard of high repute, ISO 37001 has brought tremendous changes to market dealings and firm operations. Organisations have a guideline of rules and code of ethics to follow to mitigate the risk of being involved in corruption charges. Terms of engagement when dealing have been laid down and each organisation and other market players know what is legal and acceptable. Furthermore, the ISO 3700 contains pre-existing policies and guidelines which are familiar to some organisations. It only added a few regulations to existing policies. These include reporting, monitoring and correction measures targeting the offenders (Cottrell, 2016). This has made it easier for organisations to comply with them as they have been engaging them in the past. Companies have to comply with the new regulations before engaging in any kind of business. Fighting corruption in organisations and in business transactions has been made easier and achievable. Specifically tailored rules of engagement for different organisations ensure that they are able to stop or even prevent cases of bribery when or before they occur.
ISO 37001 ABMS FAQ -
”Usually, employees are the first people who are aware of bribery and corruption practices within an organisation. By integrating whistle-blowing protection in its internal anti-bribery practices, an organisation implements a viable anti-bribery management program that encourages employees to come forward with knowledge on ongoing corruption
Stakeholder assurance that the organisation is actively pursuing internationally recognised and accepted processes to prevent bribery and corruption
The international nature of the ISO anti-bribery management system allows organisations to align their internal policies on corruption with the domestic laws of the country the organisation is operating in. It is important to note that state-nations are increasingly domesticating the global legal framework on anti-corruption and actively prosecuting offenders. Therefore, the international ISO anti-bribery management system is of high importance to a company as it formulates its internal policies on anti-bribery and anti-corruption in accordance with international and domestic legislation on anti-corruption in both the public and private sector.
The assurance that an organisation is operating within international standards and processes helps cultivate social legitimacy in the operation of a company which directly serves to boost investor confidence and attract investors. Also, some consumers base their purchase decisions on the ethical operations of accompany. As such, the ISO standard serves as a pull factor for new consumers. Bribery is a very serious issue with adverse macroeconomic and microeconomic effects (Valerio, 2017). In particular, it not only distorts markets and competition but also erodes the profitability of private firms and individual enterprises throughout an economy. The ISO 37001:2016 anti-bribery management system provides measures that help organisations to prevent, detect, eradicate and address bribery. This is done by adopting the anti-bribery policies, hiring personnel to oversee the anti-bribery compliance risk management and diligence on projects and business associates, implementing commercial and financial controls and also reporting and investigation procedures. ISO 37001:2016 can only be used in any organisation regardless of its size, type whether public or private or non-profit organisations.
The ISO 37001:2016 anti-bribery management system allows organisations to incorporate international standards of preventing bribery in their routine day to day operations. Put differently, it helps the organisation to improve performance by orienting the organisational culture towards transparency and eradication of bribery. Such an organisational culture allows the design of goals, objectives and mission that promote due diligence, and monitoring and evaluation in a bid to identify and mitigate bribery risks (Valerio, 2017). Identification and resolution of bribery risks increase an organisation’s capacity to deliver consistent and improved satisfactory services to consumers within the law and without engaging in bribery and corruption. In addition, the anti-bribery management system improves the way the organisation protects its people from fraud and ensures that there is a favourable working environment. Therefore, the ISO 37001:2016 anti-bribery management system enhances transparency in organisational culture thus promoting the optimisation of resources.
Investors are another important entity. When investors are investing in any organisation or market such as the stock market, they need to be protected from scrupulous businesses. The system allows them to have genuine business deals that are free from bribery. Since in many markets, for example, the stock market many players like to use shortcuts in the name of bribes as demonstrated by insider trading of stocks and options in the markets. The integration of anti-bribery management system in routine operations allows organisations to use international standards to detect and mitigate probable apparent forms of bribery. Thus, ISO 37001 ensures that there are sanity and fairness in the market.
The ISO 37001:2016 anti-bribery management system also levels the market by eradicating unfair commercial practices of bribery that stand to distort a section of the market to the whole market. Of note, bribery and trading in influence is a common practice among multinational corporations operating in developing nations. Often, bribes affect markets by distorting markets to the extent that the bribing organisations operate outside the law where they flout systems such as tendering and supply chains thus landing lucrative business deals with minimal attention being paid to merit. As such, a commitment of businesses to the ISO 37001:2016 anti-bribery management system boosts investor confidence thus facilitating investment and healthy competition. It is important to note that bribery can also be used in recruitment. By embedding ISO 37001:2016 anti-bribery management system in its recruitment practices, an organisation benefits by hiring the best-fit talent. As such, the organisation boasts of job and talent match which is necessary for employee confidence and job satisfaction which translates to increased employee productivity.
An invaluable element of Third-Party Risk Management Strategy
Consider ISO 37001:2016 ABMS as one of the invaluable tools of your Third-Party Risk Management Strategy. Combined with due diligence, background screening, business intelligence and compliance solutions, ISO 37001 certification and training can lift your risk management process and help your business mitigate risks from third-party affiliations, protecting your organisation from liability, brand damage and harm to the business.
Provided with CRI Group, a global leader in risk management, due diligence and background screening solutions, 3PRM™ program is flexible and responsive to the various risk domains that are most important to your business. With a network of trained professionals positioned across five continents, CRI Group’s 3PRM™ services utilise one of the largest multi-national fraud investigation teams the industry has to offer.
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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 Systems, ISO 19600 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 Management, Employee Background Screening, Business Intelligence, Due Diligence, Compliance 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.
On 11th March, together with CRI Group, ABAC® presents the anti-corruption webinar, focused on helping businesses to stay protected from the global pandemic of corruption. This FREE “Protecting your company form the global pandemic of corruption” webinar will provide you with the knowledge to identify how to protect your organisation from global corruption and to critically assess the applicability of several recent legislative guidelines to the proactive mitigation of corruption and bribery in corporate administration across the world. Based on recent Airbus and Rolls-Royce cases of multinational, multi-party bribery, the webinar will dive into the consequences of systemic inadequacy, confirming a paradigm shift in corporate oversight and network risk management.
Complete our FREE Highest Ethical Business Assessment (HEBA) and evaluate your current Corporate Compliance Program. Find out if your organisation’s compliance program is in the line with worldwide Compliance, Business Ethics, Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Frameworks. Let ABAC® experts prepare a complimentary gap analysis of your compliance program to evaluate if it meets “adequate procedures” requirements under UK Bribery Act, DOJ’s Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs Guidance and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission.
The HEBA survey is designed to evaluate your compliance with the adequate procedures to prevent bribery and corruption across the organisation. This survey is monitored and evaluated by qualified ABAC® professionals with Business Ethics, Legal and Compliance background. The questions are open-ended to encourage a qualitative analysis of your Compliance Program and to facilitate the gap analysis process.
The survey takes around 10 minutes to complete. TAKE THE SURVEY HERE!