1 Anti-bribery approach


1.1 History

History, consequences, evolution, briberies

Other anti-bribery proverbs and quotes


Those who fulfill some function towards the city must fulfill it without receiving any gift. Plato

Corruption has been known since antiquity.

Corruption is a broader term for misconduct in the workplace. There are many types of corruption in business, and bribery is a form of it.

Bribery is a global scourge, as evidenced by the 2016 European Parliament study which confirms that the annual cost of corruption represents nearly 5% of world GDP (gross domestic product).

The consequences of bribery are always harmful. Some examples:

According to Transparency International, the list of the ten most corrupt heads of state is led by Mohamed Suharto, who allegedly embezzled between 15 and 35 billion dollars.

The Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) published in 2021 by Transparency International covers 180 countries and territories. According to this study, the most corrupt country is Somalia (180th place). The least corrupt is New Zealand. France is ranked 22nd.

FCPA (Foreign Corrupt Practices Act) is passed in 1977. It is a US federal law with enormous extraterritorial power to fight against the corruption of foreign officials wanting to gain a commercial advantage.

The forty recommendations of the FATF (Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering) date from 1989.

French law n° 93-122 of January 29, 1993 relates to the prevention of corruption and the transparency of economic life and public procedures.

The World Bank's anti-corruption plan (Fighting the Cancer of Corruption) dates back to 1996.

The ICC (International Chamber of Commerce) Rules of Conduct for Combating Extortion and Bribery were published in 1997 and have since been revised.

The first edition of the SA8000 standard (Social Responsibility) was published in 1997.

The Twenty Guiding Principles for the Fight against Corruption (Resolution (97) 24) were drawn up by GRECO (Group of States against Corruption) in 1997.

The OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) Convention against Bribery of Foreign Public Officials was signed in 1997.

Two GRECO conventions appeared in 1999:

The Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions of OECD Member Countries came into force in 1999.

The Recommendation on codes of conduct for public officials (Recommendation No. R (2000) 10) of GRECO dates from 2000.

The Recommendation on common rules against corruption in the financing of political parties and electoral campaigns (Recommendation Rec(2003)4) of GRECO was published in 2003.

GRECO's Additional Protocol to the Criminal Law Convention on Corruption (ETS 191) appeared in 2003.

The Global Compact, a voluntary framework for corporate social responsibility, included a 10th principle against corruption (“Companies are encouraged to act against corruption in all its forms, including extortion and bribery. “), UN, 2004, cf. § 7.3.

In 2004 the UN adopted the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

The anti-corruption principles of the PACI (Partnership Against Corruption Initiative) date from 2004.

Law no. 2007-1598 on the fight against corruption was adopted in 2007.

The ISO 26000 standard (Guidance on social responsibility) was published in 2010.

The adoption in 2011 of the British standard BS 10500 Anti-bribery management system served as the basis for the creation and publication of the standard ISO 37001 (Anti-bribery management systems — Requirements with guidance for use) in 2016.

The law of December 9, 2016 known as "Sapin 2", relating to transparency, the fight against corruption and the modernization of economic life obliges companies with more than 500 employees and a turnover of more than 100 million euros to fight corruption.

The Opinion on the recommendations of the French Anti-Corruption Agency to prevent and detect acts of corruption, influence peddling, misappropriation, illegal taking of interests, embezzlement of public funds and favoritism is published in the Official Journal, 01/12/2021.

Attention  A company operating internationally is often exposed to the laws of several countries.

Bribery can take various forms. Some examples of bribery risk situations:

The causes of bribery are many and varied:

Some myths related to bribery:

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1.2 Benefits

Benefit examples, factors 


The value of the company derives from its performance, and its profits are the consequence of our long-term vision. Bernard Arnault

The ISO 37001 standard (Anti-bribery management systems – Requirements with guidance for use) is generic as it can be applied to the management system of any company, without limitations on size, activity or type. It is a voluntary international standard which allows certification by accredited bodies.

The purpose of the third-party audit (by a certification body) is to verify whether the requirements of the ISO 37001 standard are met. It is in no way to seek the existence or not of bribery.

The standard helps to effectively prevent, detect and deal with any risk of bribery.
An anti-bribery management system (ABMS) in place supports the daily fight against statements (apologies) of this kind:

Expected benefits of implementing an ISO 37001 ABMS:

True story 

Airbus, one of the world leaders in aeronautics, has implemented ISO 37001 to strengthen its culture of ethics in order to prevent the risks of corruption and fraud. The implementation of an anti-bribery management system (ABMS) has made it possible to raise employee awareness of the risks of corruption and to put in place effective prevention measures.

Airbus has recorded a significant improvement in its brand image, demonstrating its commitment to transparency and integrity towards its customers and partners.

Some essential factors for the success of the implementation of the ABMS:

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1.3 Steps steps

Preparation, implementation, Deming PDCA cycle



A well-prepared approach is half successful

The approach to implementing an anti-bribery management system involves several steps. An example of preparation is shown in figure 1-1.

Figure 1-1. ABMS preparation

Step 1 involves identifying the needs and expectations (requirements) of stakeholders:

The involvement of top management at its highest level is truly indispensable. The advice of a consultant is often solicited. Determining the current status of the anti-bribery management system (whole or partial) would be welcome at this stage. An external certification body is chosen.

One of the key questions that comes up quickly (step 2) is the need for this decision. If this is not really necessary or if the estimated costs of the certification approach exceed the available resources, it is better to reject this idea immediately.

The ISO 9000 family of standards will stop you making promises you can't fulfil and help you keep those you can. David Hoyle

The internalization of the spirit of the principles and requirementsexplicit or implicit need or expectation (see also ISO 9000, 3.1.2) of an ISO standard significantly improves the overall performance of your business, especially when it is not considered as a constraint.

The third step shall determine whether this approach receives the approval of the staff. A communication campaign is launched in-house on the objectives of an anti-bribery management system (ABMS). The staff is aware and understands that, without their participation, the project cannot succeed.

Have confidence: success will come with the involvement and effort of all!

The vision (what we want to be), the mission (why we exist) and the business plan of the company are determined. The following step (4) includes the establishment of an outline of the anti-bribery policy and objectives. If you do not have a copy of the ISO 37001 standard, now is the time to get it (see sub-clause 2.1 of the present course).

Planning is the last step (5) of the project preparation for obtaining ISO 37001 certification. A reasonable period is between 5 to 8 months (each company is unique and specific). The financial resources and staff are confirmed by top management. Top management commitment is formalized in a document communicated to all staff. A person is appointed as project leader for obtaining ISO 37001 certification.

The establishment and implementation of an ISO 37001 anti-bribery management system are shown in figure 1-2.

Figure 1-4. ABMS implementation

Step 1 aims to identify and determine the processes, interactions, owners, responsibilities and drafts of certain documented information. The first versions of process sheets, job descriptions and work instructions are written with the participation of the maximum number of available persons.

The necessary resources to achieve the anti-bribery objectives are determined in step 2. Planning tasks, responsibilities and time frames are established. Training of internal auditors is taken into account.

Step 3 allows you to set and implement methods for measuring the effectiveness and efficiency of each processactivities which transform inputs into outputs (see also ISO 9000, 3.4.1) (indicators). Internal audits help to evaluate the degree of implementation of the systemset of interacting processes (see also ISO 9000, 3.2.1).

Nonconformities of all kinds are listed in step 4. A first draft for dealing with waste is established. Corrective actions are implemented and documented.

A first encounter with the tools and application areas of continual improvement is made in step 5. Risks are determined, actions are planned and improvement opportunities are found. An approach to preventing nonconformities and eliminating causes is established. The internal and external communication is established and formalized.

To conduct the pre-audit of the ABMS (step 6), documented information is checked and approved by the appropriate people. A management review allows evaluation of compliance with applicable requirementsexplicit or implicit need or expectation (see also ISO 9000, 3.1.2). The anti-bribery policy and objectives are finalized. An anti-bribery manager from another company or a consultant can provide valuable feedback, suggestions and recommendations.

When the systemset of interacting processes (see also ISO 9000, 3.2.1) is accurately implemented and followed, the certification of the ABMS is a breeze, a formality (step 7).

An example of a certification project plan with 26 steps is shown in annex 01record

An appropriate method for evaluating the performance of your anti-bribery management system is the RADAR logic model of excellence EFQM (European Foundation for Quality Management) with its nine criteria and overall score of 1000 points.

The Deming cycle (figure 1-3) is applied to control any processactivities which transform inputs into outputs (see also ISO 9000, 3.4.1). The PDCA cycles (Plan, Do, Check, Act) are a universal base for continual improvementpermanent process allowing the improvement of the global performance of the organization (see also ISO 9000, 3.2.13 and ISO 14 001, 3.2).

Figure 1-5. Deming cycle

  • Plan – plan, identify anti-bribery obligations, define context, issues and processes, demonstrate leadership, identify and evaluate risks, establish anti-bribery policy and objectives, action plan (clauses 4, 5, 6 and 7)
  • Do – realize, implement and control processes, demonstrate leadership, controls, gifts, raising concerns, dealing (clauses 5, 7 and 8)
  • Check – compare, verify, evaluate, inspect, analyze data, conduct audits and management reviews and demonstrate leadership (clauses 5 and 9)
  • Act – adapt, demonstrate leadership, treat nonconformities, react with corrective actions and find new improvements (new PDCA cycle), (clauses 5 and 10)

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