News

Bribery and corruption: Your organization cannot afford it
Date: 18 Jul 2017 By: CRI Group

Bribery, corruption and related fraud schemes can cause immediate and lasting harm to an organization, and they can strike anywhere. A case in Oregon is a prototypical example of how an organization can be victimized if it doesn’t have proper controls in place.

A state energy department manager and a private consultant are among the individuals accused in a bribery and kickback scandal that has landed them in criminal court. According to an article from the Oregonian, prosecutors allege that an energy agency manager helped broker the sale of state energy tax credits, with lucrative commissions for his co-conspirator. While the energy manager is charged with 78 counts, the political consultant has already pleaded guilty in exchange for a five-year sentence and $1.3 million in restitution.

Along with bribery, forgery of documents is alleged, as the article notes:

Shain was a well-known consultant on renewable energy and conservation projects around the state. He was indicted last August on charges of forging documents to improperly obtain nearly $12 million in tax credits for solar arrays built at Oregon State University and the Oregon Institute of Technology.

State and federal law enforcement agencies launched criminal investigations of the solar project after The Oregonian/OregonLive published a Feb. 27, 2015, report raising questions about the authenticity of the documents and Shain's involvement in gaining the tax credits.

A new standard

Unfortunately, cases such as this are still all too common. And some of them can be massive, as we saw in the Petrobras scandal that broke in 2014. The oil conglomerate is still dealing with the fallout, and recently agreed to a staggering $445 million settlement with shareholders in a lawsuit over corruption-based lawsuits, according to a recent Reuters report. The bribery and corruption scandal dominated headlines, and landed several former Petrobras executives and Brazilian politicians in jail.

And all of it could be avoided with the right controls in place. In fact, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) issued the ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System standard to help companies worldwide increase and measure their efforts against bribery and corruption.

ISO 37001:2016 certifies that your organization has implemented reasonable and proportionate measures to prevent bribery. These measures involve top-level leadership, training, bribery risk assessment, due diligence adequacy, financial and commercial controls, reporting, audit and investigation.

How to become certified

CRI Group is registered as a foremost ISO37001:2016 Certification Body with the Dubai Accreditation Center (DAC) Government of Dubai, UAE, and has formally launched its ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management Systems certification program. The program is offered under CRI Group’s ABAC® Centre of Excellence, an independent certification body established for Anti-Bribery Management System, Compliance Management System and Risk Management System certification.

ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Certification will help your company, organization or department to reduce risk of bribery and corruption by establishing, implementing, maintaining and improving your management system, which shall:

• Give your company the tools it needs to prevent bribery and mitigate related risks

• Help your company create new and better business partnerships with entities that recognize your certified status, including supply chain manufacturing, joint ventures, pending acquisitions and co-marketing alliances

• Potentially reduce corporate insurance premiums

• Provide your customers, stakeholders, employees and partners with confidence in your business operations and ethics

• Provide a competitive edge over non-certified organizations in your industry or niche

• Provide acceptable evidence to prosecutors or courts that the organization has taken reason- able steps to prevent bribery and corruption

Bribery and corruption won’t wait – so take steps now to better protect your organization. Contact CRI Group today to begin your ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System certification process. The program will be tailored to your organization’s needs and requirements.