The new anti-bribery standard by the International Organisation for Standardization (ISO) is regarded as an effective tool in combating the $1 trillion paid each year in bribes around the world.
The ISO 37001 was explained in Nicosia by Neill Stansbury, co-founder and Director of the Global Infrastructure Anti-Corruption Centre and Chairman of the ISO project committee that developed the standard.
ISO 37001 “helps an organisation to identify and address bribery risks in a timely manner, making it more reliable by increasing its ability to detect fraud, improve its financial performance by refusing to bribe, not paying fines and implementing effective mechanisms to monitor transactions,” said Minister of Justice Ionas Nicolaou.
The Ministry, he noted, supports the implementation of such an anti-bribery management system and has deemed it necessary for the standard to be adopted by the public and the private sector.
He said, the Ministry has included the standard in its action plan, which is preparing for the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy recently adopted by the Cabinet.
“In this context, and with my instructions, the procedures for the implementation of the anti-bribery management system will begin at a first stage in the Police,” the Minister said.
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Athina Panayiotou, Director General of the Cyprus Organisation for Standardisation, noted that the World Bank estimates that about $1 trillion is paid each year in bribes around the world.
The international standard ISO 37001 is an effective tool against corruption, that is plaguing many societies worldwide, not just Cyprus, she said.
“We strongly believe and support that this standard can be a valuable tool for managing and preventing bribery,” Panayiotou said.
Cyprus is among the 22 countries that observe and monitor the progress of the standard.
Stansbury said it can help an organisation to implement an effective anti-bribery management system and it requires organisations to implement various anti-bribery measures on a reasonable and proportionate basis according to the type and size of the organisation and the nature and extent of bribery risks faced.
It is applicable to small, medium and large organisations, in the public, private and voluntary sectors, he explained.
“ISO 37001 cannot provide absolute assurance that no bribery will take place in relation to an organisation. But it can help establish that the organisation has implemented reasonable and proportionate measures designed to prevent bribery,” Stansbury noted.