TÜV Rheinland Blog - Insights from Asia and Africa

Combating bribery needs a proactive approach over a reactive one

Posted by TUV Rheinland on Dec 16, 2019 2:32:44 PM
TUV Rheinland


All across time, bribery has proven to be one of the most destructive, complex, and ever-evolving problem faced by organisations of varying scales. As with any organization looking to be successful and maintain its reputation, a firm commitment to exemplary business ethics is crucial.

ISO 37001 defines bribery as:

Offering, promising, giving, accepting or soliciting of an undue advantage of any value, directly or indirectly, and irrespective of location(s), in violation of applicable law, as an inducement or reward for a person acting or refraining from acting in relation to the performance of that person’s duties.

Getting certified would prove your responsible approach in ensuring ethical business practices and procedures that permeate throughout your organization – this leads to trust being gained throughout your value chain and strengthens your brand in the market.

The desired by-product of certification is an avoidance of unnecessary cost, risk, and damage of involvement in bribery.

We got in touch with Ms Dian Soeminta, S.01 Local Field Manager; and Ms Rahmawati Noor (HSE/Compliance local officer/Auditor ISO 37001) to provide some insights on what they envision the challenges and future-proof tactics for anti-bribery can be.

Key challenges

If bribery has become too deeply embedded in an organisation’s culture, it can eventually destroy it by manner of unavoidable chaos – some view bribery as an illness that slowly and invisibly erodes justice and humanity.

In providing an ISO 37001 certification, we help you demonstrate your dedication by implementing and maintaining a compliant and effective anti-bribery management system in support of overarching principled business practices.

Depending on how deeply embedded bribery is in a company’s culture, it may take time to drastically overhaul an organisation’s effective measures to combat bribery. But the work is worthwhile – the ISO 37001:2016 international standard can be applied to distinguish and protect a wide range of organisations of all sizes, in both public and private sectors around the world.

Opportunities and future-proof plans

  • Opportunities for business
  • Gain government, stakeholders, shareholder, and customer trust and confidence
  • Gain company reliability from customers
  • Gain necessary measures designed to prevent, detect and address bribery
  • Reduce bribery risk in your company value chain

  • Action plan needed to future-proof the organizations
  • Provide training awareness, and internal audit for customers

When weighing up the action plan and the potential benefits and opportunities that lie in wait for any organization looking to be at their ethical best, the pros far outstrip the cons.

How companies can mitigate the risks of change in ISO 37001 certification

The first challenge in mitigating potential risks of change is in identifying the bribery risks the organization might reasonably anticipate, given the determined factors in 4.1 ISO 37001. Once they analyze, assess, and prioritise the identified bribery risks, they will need to evaluate the suitability and effectiveness of their own existing controls in order to mitigate said bribery risks.

In a nutshell: The organization should establish, document, implement, maintain, continually review and, where necessary, improve an anti-bribery management system -- including the processes needed and their interactions, in accordance with the requirements of certification.

Should companies view ISO 37001 as a necessity or a luxury? What are its long-term benefits?

Most companies are now warming up to the idea of ISO 37001 as a necessity for their organisations – they are beginning to realise that in the digital age, trust is becoming crucial to their survival and reputation.

This standard provides guidance in establishing, implementing, maintaining, reviewing, and improving an anti-bribery management system. Without a good system in place, credibility can be easily questioned, trust is negligible, and an organization cannot be taken seriously. In time to come, a great system in place will help diminish unethical practices, and action can be taken swiftly to prevent loss of trust.

With TÜV Rheinland’s global reputation and experienced experts available in informing on the latest standards in quality management, organisations can come away looking more reputable as they undertake a proactive approach to anti-bribery.

Speak to one of our experts today and get your organisation started on the path to ISO 37001 certification:

Contact us now

Topics: AA19_S01_37001, Expert Interview