Bribery is a serious issue of our times, costing lives and eroding economies all over the world. On a positive note, a new ISO standard presently in development to combat bribery has just been given a strong vote of confidence, taking it to the final stage before publication.
According to the World Bank, around US$ one trillion in bribes are paid each year, damaging economies and contributing to poverty worldwide. Much has been done by way of legislation and international agreements to tackle the problem, yet it still remains a significant concern.
Little wonder, then, that the draft version of a new ISO standard in development, which aims to help organisations fight bribery, has received an overwhelming 91% vote of confidence from the ISO members involved in its creation.
ISO 37001: Anti-Bribery Management Systems is designed to help organisations implement effective measures to prevent and address bribery, and also instil a culture of honesty, transparency and integrity. While the document cannot guarantee that bribery will not occur, it does provide the tools and systems necessary for greatly reducing the risk and helping organisations deal with this issue effectively if it should arise.
Implementing ISO 37001 will also provide reassurance among investors and other stakeholders that a given organisation has an effective system in place to manage the risk of bribery.
Neill Stansbury, chairman of the ISO Project Committee developing the standard, said the strong result of the vote affords that Project Committee even greater confidence in the standard’s ultimate potential.
“Bribery can be prevented if organisations in the public and private sectors implement effective controls with genuine intent,” explained Stansbury. “The overwhelmingly positive vote on the draft version of ISO 37001 gives us further confidence that it will be an effective tool in assisting today’s organisations of all kinds to take effective measures in terms of combating bribery in its myriad forms.”
*The draft version of ISO 37001 can be purchased through the ISO Store
**The final version of ISO 37001 is expected to be published later this year