What is a conflict of interest? Merriam-Webster defines the terminology of conflicts of interest as a conflict between the private interests and the official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust. For example, the latest case is where one of the Indonesian government’s presidential expert staffs who also served as a CEO of a startup company was involved in a government-owned project tender.
Conflict of interest and corruption
Conflicts of interest do not always lead to corruption, but every corruption case must be preceded by a conflict of interest. Former KPK Deputy Chairman Laode Syarif, as quoted by Detik (4/20), said that all cases handled by the KPK has an element of conflict of interest. The Senior Investigator of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) of Austria Paul Catchick, CFE said that all corrupt actions contained an element of conflict of interest and could be undetected for years. In conclusion, conflicts of interest are the gates of corruption, including bribery.
If the company can prevent conflicts of interest from becoming corruption, the company can reduce the risk of corruption in its body. One method companies can take to prevent conflicts of interest is to implement an Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS). In Indonesia, ISO 37001: ABMS is a standard of corporate liability related to PERMA No. 13 of 2016 concerning procedures for handling criminal cases by corporations.
How ISO 37001 prevents conflicts of interest
By genuinely applying ISO 37001, a company can minimize potential conflicts of interest as well as corporate liability. As we know, conflicts of interest are often involved in the process of employee recruitment, purchasing, and acquisition.
Therefore, in ISO 37001 there is clause 7.2 which requires companies to conduct background screening of prospective employees or employees who will be responsible in a department that is exposed to high risk of bribery. Additionally, clause 8.2 requires companies to conduct due diligence on potential third-party partners or businesses to be acquired.
In addition to implementing ISO 37001, it is also important for companies to raise employee awareness about conflicts of interest by providing regular education and training.
Integrity Indonesia is ready to assist your company in managing the Anti-Bribery Management System in accordance to your company’s capacity while also supporting your company in its application. Don’t put your company at risk for corruption, contact us today for more detailed information about the Anti-Bribery Management System.