The climate of COVID-19 pandemic has caused many disruptions to day to day business activities across the globe. Earlier we discussed the supply chain issues which create vulnerabilities for anti-bribery and anti-corruption compliance.
In this article, we would like to review the reasons why should you need your suppliers, contractors, and other (third-party) partners to be ISO 37001 certified not only during this pandemic but all-year-round.
We at the ABAC Center of Excellence believe that businesses that are being run free of corruption accomplish their vision and mission sooner and easier. They bring good to the world more effectively than others. When a business has a clearly set vision and a detailed plan on how to reach it, all it takes to accomplish it is to stick to the plan. However, since companies have to cooperate with other companies in their regular work, they don’t have a choice but rely on someone else’s ethics and principles of doing business. But we all know that business partners are not always reliable. Starting cooperation with one requires conducting thorough due diligence of their work before doing any serious business with them.
The risks could be enormous when your potential partners are involved in criminal activities. Unfortunately, white-collar crimes are not eradicated from the business world, especially when it comes to corrupt activities. Many acts of corruption are often in some kind of gray area – maybe they are legal, maybe not, but certainly are not ethical. In such circumstances, some businessmen don’t hesitate to reach for methods that don’t comply with your legal and ethical standards. If you are cooperating with such partners, you know that risks for your companies are huge. Not only because unknowingly you could be involved in corrupt practices and be investigated by law enforcement authorities, but also because they ruin your reputation and make other potential partners avoid working with you. You are aware that a mistake in choosing business partners can be very costly for your business. Sometimes these risks are easy to mitigate, but some of them could bring your company on the edge of shutting down.
This is where the ISO 37001 standard helps. If you get certified, that would mean implementing numerous anti-bribery standards that will protect your business from bribery. By requiring your partners to be certified as you are, you show your preference to cooperate with partners who tackle bribery as well. That speaks of your values as a company. It will let the world know that your anti-bribery values don’t serve just to take space on the Values section on your company’s website, but you are dedicated to putting them in practice as well.
What is required of ISO 37001 certified companies?
Certifying with ISO 37001 means that a third-party such as ABAC Center of Excellence has checked out on the company and confirmed that your partners have implemented the following anti-bribery standards:
- Annual and continuous risk-assessment
- Anti-bribery policies and procedures, including those for hospitality, gift-giving, and donations
- Anti-bribery training for employees
- Procedures for reporting and investigating cases of bribery in the company
- A compliance team to oversee implementation of anti-bribery measures
- Policies and procedures for mitigating the risk of bribery
- Safe channels for reporting bribery by whistleblowers
- The proper due diligence of third parties
- Continuous corrections of anti-bribery policies and procedures
- The commitment of top management to tackle bribery in their own company
- Risk-rating system for third parties
What does this mean for you when you cooperate with others?
Requiring your partners to be ISO 37001 certified will bring the following benefits for you:
It will protect you from potential bribery practices. Although implementing the ISO 37001 standard doesn’t necessarily mean that no one will ever try to ask or offer bribes, the mere implementing of the standards will make that very difficult to occur. If both you and your partners are certified, it’s unlikely that corrupt practices related to bribes will happen in your cooperation.
It will be easier to onboard new partners. Starting cooperation with a new company for which you don’t know how reliable it actually is will require doing a thorough due diligence analysis. If both of you are ISO 37001 certified by a third party, at least for the anti-bribery part, you’ll be sure from the start that the other party operates by the same standards as you.
You’ll have peace of mind when cooperating with your partners. You’ll know that someone knowledgeable of anti-bribery standards has confirmed that your new partner is ethical and doesn’t pose a threat to your company.
If you haven’t certified your company with the ISO 37001 Anti-bribery Management Systems standards yet, but you want to show your potential partners that you are serious about running a bribery-free business, GET A FREE QUOTE or CONTACT US to discuss your anti-bribery, risk and compliance needs.
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 Systems, ISO 37301 Compliance Management Systems and ISO 31000 Risk Management Systems.