What is ISO 37001 and how can a company benefit from it?

International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) was formed in 1946 amongst 65 upstanding representatives from different countries. Respective members gathered to collaborate and pave a path for the future of standardisation. From that day on ISO members achieved a significant milestone in regards to international standardisation and have focused their efforts to promotion of standardisation.

In respect to ISO 37001, it is worth noting that it was published in 2016 and is the international standard for anti-bribery management systems. Furthermore, ISO 37001 was developed by ISO technical committee ISO/TC 309. The standard was based upon existing guidance from the International Chamber of Commerce, Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, Transparency International, and along with other prominent organizations. The standard also incorporated guidance issued by chief international regulators such as the US Department of Justice, US Securities and Exchange Commission, and UK Ministry of Justice. The standard exists to assist and strengthen control over the business and collaborating across enterprise to mitigate potential risks. Obtaining this certificate would enhance ethical business in relation to international companies and serve as proof of credibility.

An established organization must institute a compliance policy sustained by proper management systems to promote it in fulfilling its legal duties and further enhance commitment to integrity. An anti-bribery policy is an essential element of a compliance policy. The anti-bribery policy and supporting management system underpins an organization to avoid or mitigate the costs, risks and damage of involvement in bribery, to promote confidence in business relations and to avoid economic and reputational harm.

The standard lays out guidance in reducing risks as well as preventing bribery in light of fostering a business of high principle. Here at EKVITA, we have a dedicated team covering Compliance Function, in order to enforce appropriate procedures that go hand in hand with guidelines established by the Standard.

Reasons to get certified

ISO 37001 is designed to assist companies in respect to their existing order. Within the scope of the standing structure the standard addresses review, establishment of existing organisation and further mitigation of risks.

Corruption occurs in almost all aspects of business, that being said the collusive damage poses risks on the entire company and may result in economic and reputational harms. Hence, we advise a preemptive approach rather than facing harsh consequences. ISO 37001 offers minimum requirements and providing guidance for executing an effective anti-bribery management system. In that respect, EKVITA sets compliance to a high standard and acknowledges the benefits of acquiring ISO 37001:

Take appropriate action against bribery for high principled business.
Recognize and manage bribery by establishing risk-based anti-bribery management systems.
Improve structural efficiency and efficacy in managing risks associated with bribery.
Increase awareness of bribery’s negative impacts.
Assists the ability to detect fraud.
Improve company’s reputation and image by guaranteeing legal compliance.
Establish a benchmark of noble practice within anti-bribery management systems.
Demonstrate organisation’s commitment to anti-bribery practices.
Ensure confidence and credibility to potential partners.

A well-managed organization is expected to have a compliance policy supported by appropriate management systems to assist it in complying with its legal duties and commitment to integrity. An anti-bribery policy is a component of an overall compliance policy. The anti-bribery policy and supporting management system helps an organization to avoid or mitigate the costs, risks and damage of involvement in bribery, to promote trust and confidence in business dealings and to enhance its reputation.

EKVITA as ABMS consultant

EKVITA is the first – and so far, the only – consulting company in CIS region to get ISO 37001 certification. EKVITA is also Accredited Audit Partner of an international certifying agency enabling us to prepare organizations of all size for ISO 37001 certification process.

EKVITA acts as external compliance function (department) for a number of international companies operating in Azerbaijan, mostly in the oil and gas sector. EKVITA helps organisations develop effective internal controls, trains their personnel, prepares necessary policies and procedures, conducts due diligence of their suppliers and other business partners, assists through their client audits and so on.

Should you have any questions related to ISO 37001 in Azerbaijan, please feel free to contact EKVITA consultants.

Biography of co-authors:

Esmira Pirgasimova received her bachelor degree in Law from Odlar Yurdu University in 2000 and her Master Degree in Business Administration from Azerbaijan State Economic University in 2006. She is a compliance officer at EKVITA since 2019.

Narmin Hoomani received her bachelor degree from City University of London in International Politics in 2015 and her Master of Laws in International Business Law in 2018. She is currently a dedicated member of Compliance Function at EKVITA since 2020.


04 JUN, 2020