Responding to COVID-19: insight, support and guidance

Trust and duty


Trust and duty are two guiding principles that underpin the work carried out by public sector counter fraud professionals in the UK. Whilst some may perceive the concepts of trust and duty as altruistic, when it comes to the public purse they play a significant role in its protection.

However, trust and duty can be easily eroded by bribery and corruption, and it is vital for the public sector to adopt and implement robust anti-corruption initiatives in order to mitigate risk and retain the publics’ confidence.

New anti-bribery standard

ISO, the International Organization for Standardization, has published an international standard to aid the prevention and detection of bribery in organisations, with support from the British Standards Institution (BSI).

The ISO 37001, Anti-bribery Management System, sets out a new anti-bribery standard to help address growing global concern over bribery in public and private sector organisations.

It takes into account experience of the regulatory regime in action over the past few years, building on and replacing BS 10500 Anti-bribery Management System.

Features of the new standard

The ISO 37001 Anti-bribery Management System:

  • assists organisations with turning the legal requirements of the Bribery Act into practical measures
  • provides guidance on how to put the right controls in place
  • sets out the requirements for an organisation looking to set up a management system to prevent and detect bribery
  • sets out how to confront bribery should it arise
  • covers the many forms of bribery including bribery of individual personnel; bribery of the organisation by another party; bribery by the organisation itself; and indirect bribery from a third party.

Bribery continues to be a hot topic at home and abroad. The CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre welcomes the new standard. Like rust, bribery slowly eats away at the foundations of an organisation so it is essential to put in place measures to prevent corruption, mitigate risk, and boost confidence in the public sector.

Whilst the UK typically scores highly in the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index, it’s important that we continue to improve and bolster our anti-corruption measures within the public sector to remain ahead of the game.

Adopting an anti-bribery management system, as part of a comprehensive approach to mitigating risk, can both improve public sector transparency and accountability, and protect trust and duty.

How CIPFA can help

In the 2014 UK Anti-Corruption Plan, the CIPFA Counter Fraud Centre is tasked with the provision of tools and services to protect the public sector and to improve anti-corruption defences.

In 2015 we launched an interactive anti-bribery and corruption e-learning package to help equip counter fraud practitioners with the skills and knowledge required to block and prevent workplace bribery.

People in the UK, and UK citizens working abroad for public, private and not-for-profit enterprises, need to be alert to risks and to the development of relationships which could lead to a bribe being hinted at, offered or even accepted. The e-learning makes navigating the murky waters of bribery a lot easier as it brings clarity to what is often perceived as a complex area of regulation.

A close examination of the UK Bribery Act 2010 also features as part of our Accredited Counter Fraud Specialist  and Technician qualifications

For advice on your own anti-bribery and corruption arrangements, please contact the CIPFA team on 020 7543 5600.