New anti-bribery standard unveiled

11 November 2016

A new ISO standard has been introduced to combat bribery – a crime the World Bank estimates results in backhanders totalling more than $1tn a year.

The ISO 37001 anti-bribery management standard aims to help organisations fight bribery and promote an ethical business culture.

The standard specifies a series of measures to help organisations prevent, detect and address bribery.

These include adopting an anti-bribery policy, appointing a person to oversee anti-bribery compliance, training, risk assessments and due diligence on projects and business associates.

Measures also include implementing financial and commercial controls and instituting reporting and investigation procedures.

ISO said the standard could help organisations implement an anti-bribery management system or enhance the controls already in place as well as help to reduce the risk of bribery occurring.

Use of the standard could also demonstrate to stakeholders that internationally recognised anti-bribery controls are in place, ISO said.

The bulk of international bribes are paid by large companies, usually with the knowledge of senior management, according to the OECD.

Typical bribes are generally paid to win contracts from state-owned or state-run companies in advanced economies, rather than in the developing world. Most bribe payers and takers are from wealthy countries, said the OECD.

In one of the most high-profile recent cases of bribery, Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer agreed to pay fines of around $206m to the US and Brazilian authorities.

This was in connection with bribery of government officials in the Dominican Republic, Saudi Arabia and Mozambique and falsely recorded payments in India.

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