ABAC spotlight

ABAC Centre of Excellence: Uniquely Positioned to Help Prevent Bribery and Corruption

The International Monetary Fund estimates that $2 trillion in bribes is paid annually in both developing and developed countries.

A Transparency International survey found that 27 percent of business people reported that they had lost business due to bribery by their competitors.

Today, major violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) call for fines 10-15 times larger than just 10 years ago, according to The Economist.

These are just a few of the reasons why CRI Group founded theAnti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption ABAC® Centre of Excellence to assist business organizations worldwide in certification for anti-corruption, risk management and compliance.

Through ABAC, CRI Group’s experts help educate, equip and support the world’s leading business organizations with the latest in best-practice due diligence processes and procedures.

“As the world’s governing bodies gravitate to more stringent standards and efforts to prevent corruption, bribery and other unethical business practices, we stand ready to help companies meet and exceed those standards,” said Zafar Anjum, Group Chief Executive Officer of CRI Group.

Business leaders don’t need to look far to see how bribery and corruption, and being caught out of compliance, can have devastating implications. Last year, Sweden’s Telia Company AB was rung up for nearly $1 billion (U.S.) for FCPA violations. For Telia, criminal penalties combined with SEC fines totaled a staggering $965 million for bribery and corruption violations dating back to 2007 involving its telecom business in Uzbekistan.

Telia isn’t alone. Rolls Royce was punished to the tune of an $800 million (U.S.) global settlement last year that included a deferred prosecution with the UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO), the U.S. Justice Department and Brazilian authorities. The company was found to have engaged in systemic bribery spanning 13 years and 22 countries.

Telia and Rolls Royce are egregious cases, but there are plenty of others on a smaller scale around the world – and any business owner would agree that just a fraction of those amounts in fines and settlements could be devastating to their organisation. In today’s climate of enforcement, it is simply not worth the risk to be out of compliance and lacking the necessary anti-bribery and anti-corruption controls.

That’s where the ABAC Centre of Excellence comes in: offering a complete suite of world-class services and solutions designed to help organizations mitigate the internal and external risks associated with operating in multi-jurisdiction and multi-cultural environments.

A cornerstone of ABAC is CRI Certification, which offers ISO/IEC 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System training and certification. Developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), this standard helps establish that an organization has implemented reasonable and proportionate measures designed to prevent bribery.

Through ABAC, CRI Group was recently granted accreditation by the Dubai Accreditation Department (DAC) as an ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System Certification and Conformity Assessment Body – the first accreditation of its kind awarded to a certification body specializing in global anti-bribery and anti-corruption, risk and compliance standards. Organisations like Dubai-based Apex Shipping Services LLC have already completed the training and certification and are positioned as ethical leaders in anti-bribery, anti-corruption and compliance.

The sooner organisations are certified to prevent bribery and corruption, the sooner they can build stronger and more beneficial relationships. And they will be better protected, with trained staff and effective controls in place to safeguard business and investments from fraud.