When is a gift not a gift? When it’s a bribe.
For many, corporate hospitality oils the wheels of commerce. But where do you draw the line?
Bribes, incentives and inducements are not just a matter of used banknotes stuffed in brown envelopes. Expenses, corporate settlement of personal bills, gifts and hospitality can all be used to influence business partners, clients and contractors.
Can you afford unlimited fines?
Under the Bribery Act 2010, a maximum of ten years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine may be imposed for offering, promising, giving, requesting, agreeing, receiving or accepting bribes.
With such strict penalties, it’s astonishing that so few companies have few or no measures in place to ensure that they are not liable for prosecution. The Ministry of Justice’s quick start guide to the Bribery Act makes it clear that “There is a full defence if you can show you had adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery”.
Such procedures can be found in ISO 37001, the international standard for ABMSs.
How to implement an ABMS
ISO 37001: An Introduction to Anti-Bribery Management Systems explains how to implement an ABMS that meets the requirements of ISO 37001, from the initial gap analysis to due diligence management, and covers the following:
An introduction to ISO 37001.
An ABMS explained.
Management processes within an ABMS.
Implementing an ABMS.
Risk assessment in due diligence.
Whistleblowing and bribery investigations.
Internal auditing and corrective action.
Certification to ISO 37001.
The book provides helpful guidance on the importance of clearly defining policies; logging gifts and hospitality in auditable records; ensuring a consistent approach across the organisation; controls for contractors; facilitation payments; and charitable and political donations.
Meet the stringent requirements of the Bribery Act
Not only will an ISO 37001-compliant ABMS help your organisation prove its probity by meeting the stringent requirements of the Bribery Act but it can also be adapted to most legal or compliance systems.
An ethical approach to business is not just a legal obligation but a way to protect your reputation.