The ISO 37001 standard on "Anti-bribery Management Systems" was published on October 15, 2016. This new management standard enjoys international recognition and will allow standardizing and simplifying anti-bribery compliance audits while, at the same time, companies and government agencies will be able to certify said processes by independent professionals.

For 4 years, experts from 37 countries participated in the development of a standard that enables organizations to have effective rules and procedures to prevent, detect and address bribery.

The result of this work is the ISO 37001 regarding "Anti-Bribery Management Systems" (the "Standard") published on October 15, 2016 by the International Standard Organization (ISO).

The Standard may be used by any kind of organization, regardless of their activity and size, in any country in the world, both in the private and public sectors.

Among other benefits, it is expected that the adoption of the Standard enables companies to simplify their anti-corruption due diligence processes, speeding up businesses and the work of compliance officers. In this connection, those contracting with a company that is ISO 37001 certified will know the minimum standards that such company applies to its anti-bribery management system.

Additionally, the adoption of the Standard ISO 37001 and its certification by independent professionals may be an important element to consider that a company has an adequate compliance program under the terms set forth in the recent bill regarding corporate criminal liability for certain corruption cases presented to Congress on October 20, 2016.

Among other aspects, the Standard provides processes considered adequate in  different aspects such as leadership and commitment from  senior management, staff training, investigation of bribery cases, due diligence with respect to partners in business, contracting processes, continuous improvement, controls and internal audits, assessment of  anti-bribery risks and the effectiveness of the existing controls to mitigate such risks, and the role of the person in charge of supervising the anti-bribery system.

Companies may implement the necessary internal rules and procedures to comply with the requisites of the Standard independently or with professional advice from specialized consultants. Afterwards, companies may request the evaluation from an independent organization in order to, if all requirements are met, be granted the certification ISO 37001.

The official Spanish version of the Standard is being reviewed by experts of Spanish-speaking countries. Marval, O'Farrell & Mairal is actively collaborating with the Instituto Argentino de Normalización y Certificación ("IRAM") with the intention that the Standard may be officially distributed in Spanish, facilitating its local adoption.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.