About ISO 37001
The World Bank estimates that over USD 1 trillion is paid in bribes each year, with disastrous impacts such as eroding political stability, increasing the cost of business and contributing to poverty. On a global level, it is a significant barrier to international trade, while within an organization it has a highly negative impact on employee morale. Many governments have taken measures to address bribery through national laws as well as international agreements such as the United Nations Convention against Corruption, but more can be done. Institutional change and an anti-bribery culture within organizations can contribute significantly to the fight against bribery and complement national and international measures.
What is an anti-bribery management system?
An anti-bribery management system is designed to instill an anti-bribery culture within an organization and implement appropriate controls, which will in turn increase the chance of detecting bribery and reduce its incidence in the first place. ISO 37001, gives the requirements and guidance for establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving an anti-bribery management system. The system can be independent of, or integrated into, an overall management system.
It covers bribery in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors, including bribery by and against an organization or its staff, and bribes paid or received through or by a third party. The bribery can take place anywhere, be of any value and can involve financial or non-financial advantages or benefits.
What benefits will it bring to my organization or business?
ISO 37001 is designed to help your organization implement an anti-bribery management system or enhance the controls you currently have. It requires implementing a series of measures such as adopting an anti-bribery policy, appointing someone to oversee compliance with that policy, vetting and training employees, undertaking risk assessments on projects and business associates, implementing financial and commercial controls, and instituting reporting and investigation procedures.
Implementing an anti-bribery management system requires leadership and input from top management, and the policy and program must be communicated to all staff and external parties such as contractors, suppliers and joint venture partners.
In this way, it helps to reduce the risk of bribery occurring and can demonstrate to your management, employees, owners, funders, customers and other business associates that you have put in place internationally recognized good-practice anti-bribery controls. It can also provide evidence in the event of a criminal investigation that you have taken reasonable steps to prevent bribery.
Who may apply ISO 37001?
The requirements of ISO 37001 are generic and are intended to be applicable to all organizations (or parts of an organization), regardless of type, size and nature of activity, and whether in the public, private or not-for-profit sectors. This includes state-owned enterprises, large organizations, SMEs and non-governmental organizations.
How does ISO 37001 fit in with my organization’s other efforts to combat bribery?
The measures required by ISO 37001 are designed to be integrated into existing management processes and controls. ISO 37001 is based on the ISO High-Level Structure (HLS) for management system standards. This means it can be easily integrated into other existing management systems (such as quality, environmental and safety).
What about certification?
Third parties can certify an organization’s compliance with the standard in the same way they do for other ISO standards such as ISO 9001. While it cannot guarantee that there will be no bribery in relation to your organization, certification or compliance with this standard can help you implement robust and proportionate measures that can substantially reduce the risk of bribery and address bribery where it does occur.
ISO (International Organization for Standardization) is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 163 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market-relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges. ISO has published more than 21,300 International Standards and related documents covering almost every industry, from technology to food safety, to agriculture and healthcare.