Earlier this year we reported on the draft version of ISO 37001, which closely resembles the final published version.

ISO 37001 aims to assist organisations with the introduction, maintenance and enforcement of an efficient ‘anti-bribery management system’ (‘ABMS’). The standard is intended to transcend the boundaries of industry, jurisdiction and company size to provide requirements and guidance which are universally applicable to all commercial organisations.

The publication of this international standard falls against a backdrop of increasing political and legal focus on eliminating bribery. Recent legislative changes go beyond the introduction of the UK Bribery Act in 2010 to include the anticipated transposition of the European Union CSR-Directive (Directive 2014/95/EU) by December 2016. Under that, certain large undertakings and groups will be required to provide a non-financial statement of “activity relating to anti-corruption and bribery matters, including due diligence processes implemented and the outcome of those policies.”

The value of ISO 37001 is that it will facilitate the implementation of good anti-bribery procedures at a time when organisations are increasingly being held accountable for the actions of not only themselves, but also those persons and organisations with which they associate when doing business.

Moving forward, as highlighted in our earlier article, if you do not already have adequate anti-bribery procedures in place, now is the time to start implementing them. Organisations can adhere to ISO 37001 and seek certification from an independent certification body to verify ‘ISO 37001 compliance’. Despite not offering conclusive proof, compliance will help to demonstrate ‘adequate procedures’ for the purposes of the UK Bribery Act and could assist against a finding of ‘willful blindness’ under the US FCPA 1977.