Nowadays corruption is no longer a local problem, it has become a transnational phenomenon, which affects the society and economy of all countries, and poses a threat of criminal charge and fines to organizations; and the damage that bribery can do to enterprises’ image is often underestimated.
Forms of corruptive relationships usually include:
- bribery, illegal income (extortion, “payoffs”);
- theft and privatization of public resources and funds;
- misappropriation (forgery, fraud, falsification, embezzlement; appropriation of money, property under false pretenses), improper use of state funds, squandering;
- nepotism, favoritism;
- promotion of personal interests, conspiracy (granting of preferences to individuals, conflict of interests);
- acceptance of gifts to speed up problem solution;
- protection and patronage (perjury);
- abuse of authority (intimidation or torture);
- manipulations with regulation (falsification, making decisions in favor of one group or an individual), etc.
Just over the recent years in different regions of the world there have been adopted many declarations and conventions aimed at countering corruption as a global phenomenon. The adopted conventions establish international legal standards, binding on countries, ratifying these conventions:
- The UN Convention Against Corruption (The Russian Federation signed the Convention on December, 9 2003);
- Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (for the Russian Federation this document took effect since February, 1 2007);
- United Nations Declaration against Corruption and Bribery in International Commercial Transactions;
- Resolution of the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers “On twenty guiding principles for the fight against corruption”;
Implementation of anti-corruption conventions into the legislations of member-states is an essential component of countering corruption, as with its help one of the main goals, for which these conventions have been adopted, is being achieved: development of a relevant regulatory and legal framework, addressed to natural and legal persons, in national legislation of a member-state. Legal persons’ actions are exactly the source of corruption.
Risks posed to organizations by corruption can be controlled by means of anti-bribery management system. Currently there are several standards in respect of control of anti-corruption arrangements, e.g.:
- Australian standard AS 8001;
- BSI standard (Great Britain) BS 10500.
Currently International Organization for Standardization ISO is developing an international standard ISO 37001 “Anti-bribery management system”, which assists organizations in prevention of bribery and determination of response in case of its identification. ISO 37001 standard can be applied by any organization regardless of its size and nature of activity, forms of corruption it faces and in any country, as it contributes to the organization’s conformity to international best practices and relevant normative legal acts in respect of countering corruption in all the countries where the organization operates.
Set of arrangements, described in anti-bribery management system standards, including ISO 37001, covers:
- development of anti-bribery policy,
- appointment of person responsible for control over anti-bribery management system implementation,
- analysis of corruption risks,
- training in respect of anti-bribery activity,
- measures which allow drawing attention to the cases of bribery and corruption,
- procedures for investigation of bribery cases and disciplinary liability,
- inspection of partners and projects,
- internal audits,
- analysis and improvement of anti-corruption arrangements management system.
It is expected that ISO 37001 standard will be published at the end of 2016.
Benefits from implementation of the standards
- inclusion of the best international anti-corruption experience into the standard, application of the same approaches to prevention and detection of bribery by organizations regardless of the country where they operate;
- demonstration to investors, top-management, owners, project clients, employees, customers and other interested parties that an organization has taken anti-bribery steps required from the organization and its mediators or in respect of the organization;
- confidence in the efficiency of the organization’s controls (including financial control, control over purchasing activity, control over the organization’s assets), providing for timely identification and minimization of risks related to non-conformity to statutory and regulatory requirements in respect of bribery;
- conformity to the requirements of foreign legislation (FCPA, UKBA);
- upgrade of the level of project and business partners evaluation;
- investigation and assessment of potential or already-existing cases of corruption;
- upgrade of the level of business transparency;
- reduction of risks related to breach of legislation and imposition of penal sanctions;
- upgrade of corporate culture and business ethics.
This standard contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals: