Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS) and BS10500
The UK's recent passage into statute of its Anti-Bribery Act 2011 will challenge most organisations to put in place what might be considered appropriate mechanisms to guard against the risk of a member of staff bribing a third party. This new law is designed to do much more than deal with large scale, multi-million dollar bribes - it is also designed to eliminate much lower level bribery and it affects corporate hospitality, gift-giving and 'facilitation payments.' While large enterprises may be able to afford extensive legal advice to put appropriate safeguards in place, this cost is likely to be beyond the reach of many smaller organisations, in the public, private and third sectors.
For these organisations, the guidance provided by a documented British Standard, and the opportunity to put in place a Anti-Bribery Management System that follows the established principles and structure of ISO9001 and many other related management systems, will significantly simplify the process of compliance.
BS10500 contains everything necessary to transform the Bribery Act's legislation into practical policies, processes and procedures. It helps organisations put in place the correct anti-bribery practices and ensure, with PDCA, that they are being implemented adaquately.
The scope of implementing a BS10500 ABMS requires organisations to consider:
- Size of an organisation
- Countries and sectors that it operates within
- Nature, scale and complexity of business activities and operations
- Existing business and potential business
- Applicable statutory, regulatory, contractual or professional obligations
Appropriate mechanisms have been divised to guard the organisation and it's members of staff from accepting bribes, or gifts, as well as proposing a bribe. Such an offence does not have to be pre-meditiated and the person responsible may be clueless to the nature of their act of kindness. This is why it is important to create and maintain the practice of staff awareness and their vulnerabilities.
The Bribery Act 2010 included a new section to the policy, Section 7: Failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery. This means that all commercial organisations are liable to prosecution if a person associated with it bribes another person intending to obtain or retain business, or, to gain an advantage in the conduct of business for that organisation. Notwithstanding the prosecution of organisations that accept the bribe.
Organisations are expected to have, in place, the correct procedures enabling them to appropriately deal with and respond to the offer of a bribe, and, policies to adhere to in order to insure a bribe is not offered.