Last week Singapore announced that it has adopted the ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Systems Management Standard to help companies there implement and manage anti-bribery best practices.
Singapore’s adoption of ISO 37001 comes shortly after Peru, which formally adopted the Standard on April 4, becoming the first Latin American country to do so.
SPRING Singapore, an agency under the Ministry of Trade and Industry, is working with Singapore’s Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) to launch the Standard.
In a joint statement, SPRING Singapore and the CPIB said ISO 37001 “is based on internationally recognized good practices [and] provides guidelines to help Singapore companies strengthen their anti-bribery compliance systems and processes [to] ensure compliance with anti-bribery laws.”
SPRING Singapore and the Singapore Accreditation council expect to have an accreditation mechanism ready for certification bodies by the end of the year.
Choy Sauw Kook, assistant chief of Quality and Excellence at SPRING Singapore said, “To encourage local enterprises to adopt the standard, SPRING will be working with public and private stakeholders to provide assistance in terms of training, consultancy, certification and funding.”
Wong Hong Kuan, director of the CPIB, said “Corruption will always be a work in progress because of the innate human nature of greed and temptation, and the CPIB remains vigilant to keep Singapore corruption-free.”
In 2016, the CPIB said it received 808 corruption complaints, down from 877 the year before. The vast majority of people prosecuted last year for bribery in Singapore were private sector employees.
The adoption of the ISO 37001 Standard by Singapore and Peru mark an important milestone, as governments around the world begin adopting the Standard.
As the global nature of anti-bribery enforcement continues to gain momentum, companies must look to an international approach to their anti-bribery and compliance programs. Singapore and Peru are leading the way in what is expected to be a continuing stream of government adoptions of the ISO 37001 Anti-Bribery Systems Management Standard.
Kristy Grant-Hart the CEO of Spark Compliance Consulting and author of the book “How to be a Wildly Effective Compliance Officer.” She is an adjunct professor at Delaware School of Law, Widener University, teaching Global Compliance and Ethics. She can be found at www.ComplianceKristy.com, @KristyGrantHart and emailed here.
Do you have a list of countries who adopted the standard? I am wondering whether Canada did.
These initial ISO 37001 adoptions by the Singaporean and Peruvian governments underscore a critical point for global companies: to participate in certain markets, ISO 37001 certification may become mandatory, not optional. As the understanding of the standard's "cost savings and reduced risk through a common language" value increases (following reviewer accreditations and organizational certifications later this year), more governments are likely to follow Singapore's and Peru's lead. Multilateral banks may follow suit.
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