On 13th April, ENSafrica, said to be South Africa’s largest law firm, published an article about its 4th bi-annual anti-bribery and corruption survey completed by respondents across Africa (with the majority in South Africa).  A key feature of this survey was to assess whether organisations were familiar with the new ISO 37001 anti-bribery management standard (ABMS).  The International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) released ISO 37001 ABMS in October 2016.  It is designed to support organisations in their fight against bribery and to promote an ethical business culture by establishing, implementing and maintaining an anti-bribery compliance programme.  Whilst 91% of respondents believed that adopting the new global ABMS would improve their compliance programmes, and 36% of respondents confirmed that they would be seeking ISO certification for their ABMS (and 31% had already started implementing the ABMS, or would be doing so in future), only 5% of respondents indicated that their ABMS had already been ISO certified.  Furthermore, 68% of respondents had not implemented any process in respect of ISO 37001.

The article explains that, like relevant US and UK guidance and the World Bank Global Integrity Compliance Program Guidelines, the ABMS addresses tone at the top, due diligence, training, gifts and hospitality, books and records, and risk assessments. It speaks in terms of compliance programmes that are “reasonable”, “appropriate” and “proportionate”.  It says that, although the standard closely resembles existing ABC compliance guidance in some respects, for the first time it sets out an internationally agreed-upon set of procedures.

For ISO 37001, see –

Author: raytodd2017

Chartered Legal Executive and former senior manager with Isle of Man Customs and Excise, where I was (amongst other things) Sanctions Officer (for UN/EU sanctions), Export Licensing Officer and Manager of the Legal-Library & Collectorate Support Section

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