• Governance I Risk I Compliance Management

Saudi Arabia focused on anti-bribery anti-corruption

December 18, 2020

Corruption and bribery affect any organisation, large or small, and might happen in any country across the world. The recent International Anti-Corruption Day 2020 reminded global and local businesses of the importance of anti-bribery and anti-corruption measures in different sectors and highlighted that “corruption thrives in times of crisis and the ongoing global pandemic has not been an exception either. During the COVID-19 health crisis, fighting corruption can mean the difference between life and death; adequate food or hunger; having a roof over one’s head or becoming homeless”. That’s why this year’s theme “Recover with Integrity” reminds that an inclusive COVID-19 recovery can only be achieved with integrity and accountability.

Saying NO to corruption is not enough, organisations agree

At ABAC®, we believe that saying NO to corruption is not enough. To help businesses take actions now, on this International Anti-Corruption Day and beyond, we draw attention to how organisations’ different departments can take the action now and contribute towards businesses’ fight against bribery and corruption risks. ABAC® has worked with businesses in every level of their journey of preventing bribery and corruption, but recently we noticed that organisations starting to recognise more of the importance of preventing these risks and are committed to ethical and transparent culture inside and outside their organisations. Recently ABAC® certified Ma’aden (Saudi Arabian Mining Company) for successfully attaining the ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System certification, which makes Ma’aden the first company in Saudi Arabia successfully attaining anti-bribery anti-corruption measures based on the ISO 37001 ABMS.

Kanwal Zafar, Managing Director at ABAC®, said: “We are honoured to know that more organisations contribute to our mission of promoting transparency in global business relations – we have noticed the growth in organisations aiming to ensure the highest level of compliance in detecting and preventing bribery, and recognising the benefits of ISO 37001 certification for such purpose. Ma’aden was proactive and eager to begin this process, as they know stopping corruption begins with putting the proper controls in place.”

Anti-bribery anti-corruption Saudi Arabia’s focus

Saudi Arabia is implementing anti-bribery anti-corruption measures to curb bribery and corruption in the country. The Transparency International identified that Saudi Arabia got 7 places up and now ranks 51/198 in the CPI 2019 (Corruption Perception Index).

As recently announced by Gulf News, a far-reaching campaign against corruption has begun across Saudi Arabia. An official source in the Saudi Anti-Corruption Commission said interrogations began in 120 cases. Arab News also wrote that Saudi Arabia’s anti-corruption authorities arrested 226 and seized SR1.2bn: “A Saudi municipal director of quality management who, along with his brothers, accepted SR23 million ($6.13 million) in bribes was among the latest batch of corruption cases handled by authorities in the Kingdom. The siblings who received the illegal payoffs helped to facilitate SR170 million worth of projects to a number of businessmen, according to the country’s Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha). The case was among 158 recently dealt with by the authority. As well as making 226 arrests, Nazaha seized SR1.2 billion, which was returned to the state treasury, and uncovered the largest case of corruption to date in the Ministry of Defense.” Learn the most prominent cases dealt in Saudi Arabia.

Accredited anti-bribery anti-corruption solutions

ISO has developed a standard – ISO 37001:2016 ABMS – to help organisations promote an ethical business culture. “Designed to help your organisation implement an anti-bribery management system (ABMS), and/or enhance the controls you currently have. It helps to reduce the risk of bribery [and corruption] occurring and can demonstrate to your stakeholders that you have put in place internationally recognised good-practice anti-bribery [and anti-corruption] controls”.

This standard mirrors numerous steps contained in international, global and local anti-bribery anti-corruption regulations. ISO 37001 ABMS Standard is flexible and can be adapted to manage many types of bribery in addition to suiting any type of business locally or worldwide. ISO 37001 certifies that your organisation has implemented reasonable and proportionate measures to prevent bribery. These measures involve top-level leadership, training, bribery risk assessment, due diligence adequacy, financial and commercial controls, reporting, audit, and investigation.

Our ABAC Certification services are accredited by the Emirates International Accreditation Center (EIAC) and the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS) for administering ISO 37001 ABMS Certification. Protect your organisation from bribery and corruption risks – demonstrate anti-bribery anti-corruption in Saudi Arabia, and across the globe.


Tell us how are you fighting against bribery and corruption!

To help business curb bribery and corruption more effectively, we are conducting this survey to understand how and what actions professionals take to fight bribery in their organisations and operating regions. Participate in our survey today to stand out against bribery corruption.

By completing this survey, all respondents will be eligible to enter a prize draw of the Gap assessment or ISO 37001 Introductory course.



At ABAC®, we understand how important ISO 37001 training is for your career, team and organisation – a company’s own 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 training in Introductory, Internal Auditor and/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 and/or your employees. ABAC® trusted experts have years of hands-on and business experience – they bring the subject matter to life with relevant and contemporary examples.


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 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 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.