Home News BS ISO 37001 standard addresses growing global concern over bribery in organisations

BS ISO 37001 standard addresses growing global concern over bribery in organisations

by Brian Sims

BSI, the business standards company, has launched BS ISO 37001: Anti-Bribery Management Systems, a new standard specifically designed to aid the prevention and detection of bribery in today’s organisations.

BS ISO 37001 assists companies with turning the legal requirements of the 2010 UK Bribery Act into practical measures by providing detailed and informative guidance on how to put the right controls in place. The standard sets out the requirements for an organisation or business looking to set up a management system to prevent and detect bribery within and how to confront bribery should such an occurrence arise.

Managing the risks posed by bribery is high on the agenda of today’s organisations. BS ISO 37001 covers the many forms of bribery which can damage a company, including bribery of individual personnel, bribery of the organisation by another party, bribery by the organisation itself and indirect bribery emanating from a third party.

The standard provides a system that organisations can use to avoid funds being misappropriated, and safeguards against projects being undermined and not carried out with due diligence.

Critically, BS ISO 37001 sets out how organisations can maintain an effective anti-bribery system once it’s in place, and how they might review and improve these safeguards periodically.

Relevance is far-reaching

The relevance of the standard for different areas of the workplace is far-reaching. BS ISO 37001 will benefit senior leadership within an organisation responsible for compliance, legal and governance issues, as well as those employees who work in the sphere of risk and financial management.

Human Resources managers and corporate secretaries are also cited as key beneficiaries of the security afforded by the new standard.

Anne Hayes, head of market development for governance and resilience at BSI, said: “In a 24-hour news cycle, any association with bribery can be fatal for the reputation of an organisation. It’s critical for public and private sector organisations alike to be seen to have a strong system of leadership in place to weed out corruption, root and branch. BS ISO 37001 is a tangible way for organisations of all sizes to demonstrate to their employees, suppliers and the public at large that they’re managed with integrity and have the necessary safeguards in place to tackle bribery.”

Should an organisation fall foul of a bribery scandal by a rogue employee, BS ISO 37001 can be used to demonstrate to clients and contractors that the organisation is committed to a comprehensive anti-bribery policy.

Alignment with ISO 9001 and ISO 14001

The new standard follows Annex SL, and has been designed to align with other management systems including ISO 9001 (Quality Management Systems), ISO 14001 (Environmental Management Systems) and ISO 26000 (Sustainability Management Systems).

Experts from over 40 countries were involved in designing this standard. BS 10500, the forerunner to BS ISO 37001, received coveted support in 2011 from the prestigious Anti-Corruption Standing Committee of the World Federation of Engineering Organisations, an umbrella group which represents over 15 million engineers from more than 90 different nations.

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