There have been a number of recent cases of bribery in relation to tenders and contracts in several countries. Organisations operating in high corruption risk countries, including those from the UK, are keen to have a rigorous framework and independent verification scheme in place to help them demonstrate their commitment to good governance and business ethics.

BS 10500 – Specification for an anti-bribery management system responds to a growing requirement and interest in an anti-bribery standard. Interest in the UK has increased in particular as a result of the UK Bribery Act 2010 which came into force in July 2011 and introduces a new offence of “failure of a commercial organization to prevent bribery”.

Compliance with the new British Standard, BS 10500, will help companies prove to both internal and external stakeholders that appropriate procedures are in place to prevent bribery.

“Responsible organizations are increasingly seeing bribery prevention as on a par with safety and quality control,” said Shirley Bailey-Wood, Director of Publishing at BSI. “They want a means to demonstrate that they have an adequate system to prevent bribery taking place. A significant amount of guidance already exists on anti-bribery however as yet there is no system of measuring to an agreed benchmark that an organization’s anti-bribery practices are adequate. This is what BS 10500 will provide.”

The specification is appropriate for use by the private, public and voluntary sectors. It is of particular interest to those organisations involved in defence, oil and gas, mining, engineering and construction. BS 10500 has received a powerful declaration of support from the Anti-Corruption Standing Committee of the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO), a non-governmental international organization that brings together national engineering organizations from over 90 nations and represents some 15 million engineers from around the world.

“Paying bribes undermines good governance and sustainable economic development, and distorts competition,” said Neill Stansbury, Chairman of BSI’s Anti-Bribery Committee.

“For businesses, the costs of bribery are very high in terms of money wasted, funds misappropriated, projects not properly or safely carried out, and reputational damage. The Committee welcomes the BS 10500 initiative and believes that the standard will be a very useful tool in helping organizations demonstrate that they have implemented effective anti-bribery controls”.

The requirements of BS 10500 – Specification for an anti-bribery management system – have been designed for use alongside existing management systems such as ISO 9001 (quality management) and BS OHSAS 18001 (occupational health and safety management).