For any business, trust and transparency are imperative to its credibility and reputation. And there is nothing that rocks a company more than a bribery scandal. Bribery is one of the most destructive and complex problems for businesses. It remains widespread despite the efforts to combat it.
The World Bank estimates over USD 1 trillion is paid in bribes every single year contributing to political instability, increasing costs of business and poverty. It also has a significantly negative impact on the morale of employees.
Even though there have been steps taken to tackle bribery such as international laws and agreements, more needs to be done. By becoming ISO 37001, certified businesses have been making a concerted effort to bring in institutional change.
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What is an anti-bribery management system?
An anti-bribery management system is designed to instil an anti-bribery culture within companies as well as implement appropriate controls. The requirements and guidance ensure companies are able to detect, prevent and address bribery within their organisation. This leads to an increase in the ability to detect bribery as well as prevent it from happening altogether. The standard covers public, private and non-profit organisations.
The ISO 37001 requirements are designed to be easily integrated into existing management process and controls. It can also be integrated into existing management systems such as quality management.
The anti-bribery standard requires companies to implement a series of measures like adopting an anti-bribery policy, appointing someone to oversee that the organisation complies with the policy, vetting and training employees, conducting risk assessments, implementing financial and commercial controls, as well as implementing reporting and investigation procedures.
By adhering to the requirements of ISO 37001, organisations can prove that they have taken appropriate steps towards preventing bribery, in the event of a criminal investigation.
This is because many organisations ensure that they adhere to anti-bribery standards as a kind of ‘insurance policy’ for regulatory investigations. This has, therefore, resulted in a growing number of companies seeking to become certified. This thus puts pressure on other organisations to do the same.
DQS South Africa is your local business solutions partner, offering solutions that work for your sector. We form part of an international network dedicated to ensuring compliance and business conformity. For any questions about our services or to contact us, please visit dqs.co.za.