Bribery punishes innocents and poisons whole communities. It especially cheats young people of a fair chance at a better life. We support broad adoption of ISO 37001 “Anti-bribery management systems,” a new global business standard to combat bribery and to help bring economic benefits now and for future generations.

What is ISO 37001?

ISO 37001 is a new business standard — an anti-bribery management systems tool to help build international business and reduce the chance of adverse US FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) issues with the US Department of Justice (DOJ).

In late 2016, after years of work by over 60 countries, with the US in a lead role, ISO 37001 is an anti-bribery management systems standard adopted in late 2016 by the respected International Organization for Standardization ("ISO").

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Why ISO 37001? ISO 37001 Important Benefits

Doing international business can be like navigating a gator-infested swamp. FCPA pitfalls – real or imagined – can lurk anywhere in the business cycle. Potential liability can result from the actions of agents, business partners, family, or well-meaning friends. ISO 37001 offers tools to help protect against FCPA hazards while providing competitive advantages to help grow markets and revenues.

  • ISO 37001 adoption by the private sector (internally and through the supply chain) and the public sector (in procurement) will reduce bribery risk and lower costs.
  • For many, a voluntary "front end" (ounce of prevention) ISO 37001 review beats a mandatory ten pounds of cure — a "back end" scrutiny if the DOJ initiates an investigation under the FCPA.
  • ISO 37001 certification can provide an effective way for companies to monitor and verify the anti-bribery activities of their suppliers.
  • ISO 37001 includes a number of internal business management processes that can lead to compliance stream-lining and cost-cutting.
  • In a bid process, being ISO 37001 compliant is competitive advantage over those who are not.

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Who is adopting / implementing ISO 37001?

A range of ISO 37001 adoption models are possible — from full certification by an accredited certifying body, to a compliance audit by an independent third party without certification, to self-certification, or simply to the internal use of the ISO 37001 standard to help shape business practices.

In the United States, professional firms are in the process of becoming accredited by leading accreditation entities to certify organizations of all types, including small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), large companies, governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and other organizations. US-based certifying bodies are expected to be accredited this summer. Certain European countries' accreditation entities are already accrediting ISO 37001 certifying bodies.

Through gap assessments that identify missing or non-conforming ISO 37001 components, many companies have already begun compliance audits, either using internal audit or outside professionals, to prepare for ISO 37001 certification.

Notable governments and governmental agencies that have begun implementing ISO 37001 include Indonesia, Peru, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates; the City of Montreal, Canada, and the City of Shenzhen, China.

In the private sector, Legg Mason has become ISO 37001 certified. Microsoft and Walmart are taking steps to implement ISO 37001.

See the ISO 37001 adoption list

How do we get started with ISO 37001?

Next steps are easy. Let's get to work.

Beyond the moral imperative of fighting bribery and corruption, there are substantial benefits that will accrue to companies and government institutions that embrace ISO 37001 management systems, with increasing levels of resource commitment paying dividends in increasing benefits, as illustrated in this graphic.

  • For companies, getting started can be as easy as a simple in-house executive level discussion, hosted by a legal/risk management officer, to understand what ISO 37001 is, and how it operates. That discussion could include areas of cost-savings and competitive advantages from adopting, over time, an ISO 37001 management system and becoming less of a US FCPA/bribery risk.
  • For both national and local governments, the task of embracing ISO 37001 as an operational standard could be delegated to a senior management and budget official. Persons in this role might best understand the benefits of greater transparency, efficiency, and positive positioning to global financial institutions and private businesses looking to invest in-country.

Compare the costs and benefits of implementing ISO 37001

The Initiative (i3)

Bribery is a particularly pernicious form of corruption. It disproportionately impacts the young, often robbing them of a fair chance at a better life.

i3 is a non-profit education and communications effort focused on ISO 37001, primarily through Our mission is to promote broad and rapid global adoption of ISO 37001 to sniff out and combat bribery — with economic benefits both now and for future generations. Our tasks:

  • Raise awareness: ISO 37001 is very new. Its existence and benefits are largely unrecognized. The sooner the benefits are recognized -- the sooner this beneficial snowball gets rolling.
  • Get Over the "First Impression" barrier: Simplify the understanding of and engagement with the ISO 37001 standard. Focus on those underserved groups that will particularly benefit from the standard's benefits: SMEs and the governments of emerging market economies.
  • Partner with others to share ISO 37001 expertise: Create, collect and collaborate on web-based tools, seminars, programs and other communications products.
  • Provide current ISO 37001 information: Serve as the "go to" source for significant ISO 37001 developments, e.g. entities achieving ISO 37001 certification, the scope of the certification, the certifying body, and entities announcing ISO 37001-related requirements for suppliers and/or bid participants.

I3 is a project of the New Generation Foundation, which is a tax exempt organization to which contributions are tax deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

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