The International Standards Organisation has released a new ISO standard for Anti-Bribery Procedures. ISO 37001 was released on 14 October 2016. The ISO state that this is the first international anti-bribery management standard.
While this is true, organisations that have already implemented adequate procedures under the UK Bribery Act 2010 (or FCPA in the US) are unlikely to find that these standards provide any new insight on the processes required to take an holistic view to managing bribery risk. It does however provide a useful benchmarking tool against agreed standards. An organisation can apply to be credited with the ISO37001 standard in the same way as they can for any other ISO.
Achieving accreditation with ISO37001 does not provide any assurance that the particular organisation is free from bribery but it does demonstrate a genuine commitment by the organisation to tackle bribery throughout its organisation and supply chain.
Such accreditation may therefore make them a more trusted business partner but that should not diminish the need to undertake effective due diligence when entering new markets or contracting with new suppliers. There is also an important role for Internal Audit or Compliance teams to verify that the procedures are being effectively and consistently applied across an organisation and its supply chain.
It remains to be seen whether organisations make ISO37001 accreditation a mandatory pre-contract requirement in future tendering processes and we would welcome any feedback on instances where this appears to be the case.
Our resources and tools cover all aspects of the new standard. The ISO states that these management standards for anti-bribery can be widened to encompass the management of all financial crime risks such as fraud,money laundering, and cybercrime. We would certainly advocate this approach and our website offers members a solution to make this task simpler.