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Anti-Bribery, Have You Done Enough?

April 27, 2019


I was at a networking meeting in Dubai for construction companies last week and the sponsor’s representative from DLS Piper, was giving the 5-minute speech when she said something that made me listen more intently. They had commissioned a report into the construction industry across the GCC called ‘Time for Change’, and one of the findings was the growing requirement for Anti-bribery management within the industry.


I blogged about ISO 37001 Anti-bribery Management System (ABMS) many months ago, as some of the international businesses within the UAE now require suppliers and contractors to have some sort of ABMS in place. So, I thought I’d revisit it and briefly explain the benefits of this globally recognised management system.


Currently, certification for businesses is not mandatory, but there is growing pressure, which is evident in the ‘Time for Change’ report, for it to become so. ISO accreditation is regarded by many businesses as attaining a globally recognised standard of leading practices for management systems and processes. ISO 37001 ABMS is intended to be used by businesses and organisation large and small. For businesses that already have an ABMS in place, it adds processes to ensure that it is maintained and continuously reviewed and updated.


The ABMS allows each business to decide upon the approach to their own system, dependent upon the depth, breadth and overall thoroughness of the certification process it undertakes. When the external auditor assesses the business for certification, it will be the substance of the ABMS, and not the form of the management system that will determine accreditation.


The ISO guides the business to assess its compliance with local and international regulatory requirements, develop risk assessments and areas of corruption risk, which could include government touch points and risk profiles. These could be further broken down into local or international geographical areas and hot spots, where the business operates. It will help develop internal controls and processes to support the system.


Some of the benefits of ISO 37001 ABMS

  • Promote trust and confidence with potential partners

  • Opening your business to external scrutiny of the effectiveness of your ABMS policies and processes

  • Demonstrating compliance to relevant legislation

  • Ensuring that suppliers, sub-contractors and agents are committed to anti-bribery best practices

  • Avoid reputational damage

  • Implement the necessary measures designed to prevent, detect and address bribery

  • Avoid cost

For SMEs who want to, or maybe need to, implement an ABMS then ISO 37001 is extremely useful, easy to use and an affordable reference.


It will open up opportunities to work with larger organisations who require their suppliers or contractors to have an ABMS in place. Having ISO 37001 certification indicates to those organisations that you have a robust, globally recognised ABMS in place.


It will also help in tendering for contracts as more and more tenders are requiring proof of an appropriate, effective ABMS can make a difference between 2 competing bidders.



To find out more about ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Management System:


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