Fighting economic evil on International Anti-Corruption Day

ISO joins the battle with new standards in development.

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Corruption undermines every area of society, including national security, economic growth, human rights, employment and the environment. As money is deflected away from where it is needed most, spending on essential sectors such as education and health tends to suffer, leading to poorer living conditions. Yet, much can be done and, on this International Anti-Corruption Day, celebrated on 9 December each year, ISO is pleased to announce that work is underway on standards to help.

Having systems in place that ensure good governance is a powerful way of reducing corruption everywhere. Organizations of all kinds and sizes can benefit from such systems and reduce the risk of corruption by demonstrating accountability and responsibility.

The future ISO 37000, Guidance for the governance of organizations, provides a framework to guide governing bodies and groups on how to meet their responsibilities. In doing so, it helps them improve performance across a wide range of areas and promote good organizational culture.

A key element of good governance is having a safe and confidential way for employees to report concerns related to wrongdoing. The upcoming ISO 37002, Whistleblowing management systems – Guidelines, provides guidelines for implementing, managing, evaluating, maintaining and improving a robust and effective management system for whistleblowing. It is non-sector-specific and can be used by organizations of all sizes, including SMEs, as well as those with international operations.

At the same time, an organization which can demonstrate that it complies with all relevant laws, regulatory requirements, industry codes and voluntary standards reassures stakeholders that it has put in place measures to prevent or reduce the risk of corruption. Soon to be published, ISO 37301, Compliance management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, outlines everything an organization needs to know to do just that.

These new standards will complement the existing ISO 37001, Anti-bribery management systems – Requirements with guidance for use, which helps organizations combat bribery both in their own operations and throughout their value chains. Further guidance for this standard, in the form of a new handbook titled ISO 37001:2016 – Anti-bribery management systems – A practical guide, is due to be published early 2021.

Howard Shaw, Chair of the technical committee that is developing these new standards, said the publication of ISO 37001 in 2016 was a major step towards providing internationally agreed guidance for managing and reducing bribery.

“Together, these new International Standards for governance, compliance and whistleblowing will significantly contribute to the war against corruption across the world.”

All these and more were developed by ISO’s expert committee on governance, ISO/TC 309, Governance of organizations, whose secretariat is held by BSI, ISO’s member for the UK.

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