ISO 37001/SANS 1734 Anti bribery Management System
“The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything” – Albert Einstein
Bribery is a significant business risk in many countries and sectors. In many cases it has been tolerated as a “necessary” part of doing business. However, increasing awareness of the damage caused by bribery to countries, organizations and individuals has resulted in calls both at international and national level for effective action to be taken to prevent bribery. Several international conventions have been passed which require signatory countries to criminalize bribery and to take effective steps to prevent and deal with it. Of particular international significance are the United Nations Convention against Corruption and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Convention on the Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions. South Africa has to an extent introduced and strengthened anti-bribery legislation which makes it an offence for organizations and individuals to pay or receive bribes.
ISO 37001:2016 specifies requirements and provides guidance for establishing, implementing, maintaining, reviewing and improving an anti-bribery management system. The international community having recognized the cost of bribery and corruption to global markets, development and society have developed the British Standard BS 10500:2011 Anti-bribery Management System which establishes specific requirements and provides guidance for implementing, maintaining, reviewing and improving anti-bribery management systems. South Africa has adopted this BS Standard into SANS 1734, a national standard anti-bribery management system (ABMS) SANS 1734. The standard is designed to be used as either a standalone system or it can be integrated into a pre-existing overall management system, for example ISO 9001 (Quality Management System). ISO 37001/SANS 1734 Anti-Bribery Management Standard is intended to help organizations to implement an effective anti-bribery management system in the fight against bribery and promote an ethical business culture. The, Anti-bribery management system, specifies a series of measures to help organizations detect, prevent and address bribery. These include adopting an anti-bribery policy, appointment of an accountable person to oversee anti-bribery compliance, awareness training, risk assessments and due diligence on projects and business associates, implementing financial and commercial controls, and instituting reporting and investigation procedures.
This standard is applicable to small, medium and large organizations in the public, private and voluntary sectors. The bribery risk facing an organization varies according to factors such as the size of the organization, the countries and sectors in which the organization operates, and the nature, scale and complexity of the organization’s operations. Therefore, this standard specifies the implementation by the organization of risk-based policies, procedures and controls. Compliance with this standard cannot provide assurance that no bribery has occurred or will take place in relation to the organization. However, the standard can help establish that the organization has implemented reasonable and proportionate measures designed to prevent bribery.
Given the level of bribery and corruption in our country there exists a material risk to advances made in our constitutional democracy. Our lack of economic development with high levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality have threatened social cohesion. These issues impact on South Africa’s economic development and its social advancement with an increased risk in being downgraded to junk status by international credit rating agencies, the impact of which could push SA over the edge. ISO 37001/SANS 1734 is therefore not just another standard but represents a game changing opportunity to provide stakeholders with a shield of protection when pressurized to conform to a system of patronage and bribery.
The Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS) follows the ISO methodology of the process approach for system management and continual improvement. The ABMS framework and structure has been developed for managing all Anti-Bribery related processes in a defined management system. The ABMS is intended to improve the organizational Anti-Bribery performance for all activities and operations under the control of such an organization. The course seeks to provide organizations with the necessary knowledge to establish, implement, measure and monitor an Anti-Bribery Management System that is relevant to your business operations. The benefits of implementing an ABMS include the following:
- Avoids costs related to corruption.
- Promotes stakeholder and public trust and confidence.
- Avoids reputational damage.
- Helps detect and address bribery toward better ethical business culture.
- Prevents, detects, and addresses bribery risk in an organization or institution
- Implementing the measures of the standard reduces the risk of malpractice.
Anti-bribery and anti-corruption legislation has led to the development of organizational anti-bribery systems with well-defined components including governance structures, risk assessments (including third-party due diligence), policies and procedures, training, monitoring, auditing, enforcement, sanctions, reviews and updates. Auditors in organizations with formal anti-bribery management systems have the opportunity to assess the effectiveness of each component in deterring and detecting bribery and corruption. At the end of this course, the learner will be able to:
- Understand the key terms and definitions used in the applicable international standards.
- Describe the principles on which auditing is based.
- Understand how to plan and conduct an audit on the ABMS.
- Understand the competence requirements for ABMS internal auditors.
- Understand how to establish and manage an audit programme, establishing the audit programme objectives, and coordinating auditing activities.
This course looks at the national and international laws applicable to an organizational anti-bribery management system which includes amongst others:
- The UN Convention against Corruption (UNAC)
- The AU Convention on Preventing and Combating Corruption
- The OECD Anti-Bribery Convention
- The SADC Protocol Against Corruption
- Prevention and Combating of Corrupt activities Act 20014 (“PRECCA”)
- Financial Intelligence Centre Act (2001) (FICA)
- The Public Finance Management Act (1991) (PFMA)
- The King IV
Business Ethics in the Workplace
Business ethics (also corporate ethics) is a form of applied ethics or professional ethics that examines ethical principles and moral or ethical problems that arise in a business environment. It applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of individuals and entire organizations. Business ethics refers to contemporary organizational standards, principles, sets of values and norms that govern the actions and behaviour of an individual in the business organization. Employees need to understand business ethics in order to meet the standards set by the organization’s policies and codes of conduct. Ethical conduct in the workplace is a vital basis for the long-term success of any organization. Ethical behaviour promotes a strong public image for the organization and clients prefer conducting business with an organization they can trust. Ethical conduct enhances compliance with laws and regulations since what is legal is only the minimum of what is ethical.