Bribery, corruption and the ISO 37001 standard


An issue that has always been present in all countries and that affects governments and citizens both politically and economically is corruption. An act classified as the abuse of power that has been granted for the benefit of some person. Corruption can be classified in 3 ways:

Large-scale corruption: this focuses on acts committed by high-level government officials, involving the functions of the State.
Acts of petty corruption: this refers to the frequent abuse of citizens by middle and low ranking officials.
Petty corruption: takes into account the distortion of policies, rules, institutions, among others, which are in charge of those responsible and abuse of resources and funding.

Among the most common acts of corruption are: misuse of information, tax evasion, extortion, embezzlement, nepotism, and the most frequent of all, bribery.


Bribery can be encompassed in the actions of offering or receiving something (can be monetary or not) directly or indirectly, as a reward or possible incentive to perform or not perform acts that affect an organization and violate the applicable law.

This criminal act can be carried out by public officials or among other individuals.


The following are the most frequent causes that lead to corruption and give way to acts of bribery.

Lack of education, values and morals.
It has reached a point where societies take corruption as part of their culture.
Poor enforcement and monitoring of legislation.
Economic inequality, the more poverty there is, the more corruption takes place.
The functioning of public institutions and companies are not performing adequately.

Among the serious consequences that can develop due to corruption and acts of bribery are the following:

Sustainable development and economic growth are stalled.
Human rights are violated.
It affects the reputation of countries.
There is no healthy commercial competition.
Established democracy is not followed.
It jeopardizes political and business stability.
Increases social inequality.

ISO 37001


Several actions or plans have been taken to reduce bribery, for example: in Australia they have created an Independent Commission against Corruption, and in Peru they have an Anti-Corruption Threshold Program. Although it is utopian to think of eradicating corruption from one day to the next with the actions that are established against, we can begin to contribute with the part that corresponds to us.

In 2016, the International Standard ISO 37001 was published, which is for anti-bribery management systems, which aims to implement and follow up on specific guidelines to prevent acts of bribery, if they were to occur, to detect and combat them.

The scope of application of this standard indicates that the certification of anti-bribery management systems can be carried out within the public, private and non-profit sectors.

ISO 37001 also helps your organization to comply with applicable anti-bribery laws and commitments that are established as part of your organization. And, although this standard only focuses on bribery and its treatment, it will help you fight corruption in our country at the corporate and government level.

The benefits of becoming certified under the anti-bribery standard are shown below:

Provides trust and confidence to your employees, partners, customers or stakeholders.
Inform your stakeholders about the consequences of bribery.
Raise awareness in your community about the importance of combating bribery.
It gives a start and follow up on transparency.
Anti-corruption practices are enhanced and creates a corruption-free culture.
Opens up new business opportunities.
It avoids fines.
Avoid legal problems.

As you can see, there are excellent benefits that you can obtain with the certification of your organization under the ISO 37001 standard. In QAlliance we are prepared to accompany you on this path and achieve the certification of your anti-bribery management system. Contact us so we can give you a personalized service.