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ABMS FAQ (Version 2.0)

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Generally speaking, as “the abuse of entrusted power for private gain”. Corruption can be classified as grand, petty and political, depending on the amounts of money lost and the sector where it occurs. Transparency International

Corruption is the act of giving or receiving of any gratification or reward in the form of cash or in-kind of high value for performing a task in relation to his/her job description. Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)
Offering, promising, giving, accepting or soliciting of an undue advantage of any value (which could be financial or non-financial), directly or indirectly, and irrespective of location(s), in violation of applicable law, as an inducement or reward for a person acting or refraining from acting in relation to the performance of that person’s duties.
ISO 37001:2016 Anti-Bribery Management System (Clause 3.1) “Corrupt solicitation, acceptance, or transfer of value in exchange for official action”. In other words, bribery refers to the offering, giving, soliciting, or receiving of any item of value as a means of influencing the actions of an individual holding a public or legal duty.

Active Bribery :
Where an employee of the company or an individual, offers, promises or gives an advantage;

Passive Bribery :
Where an employee of the company or an individual, requests, agrees to receive or accepts an advantage.
Corruption is a crime in Malaysia and many other countries around the world. The crime of corruption is punishable under Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009 (MACC Act 2009) (Act 694).
Under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009 (MACC Act 2009; Act 694)
  • imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years; and
  • a fine of not less than five times the sum or value of the gratification, which is the subject matter of the offence, where such gratification is capable of being valued or is of a pecuniary nature, or ten thousand ringgit, whichever is the higher.
Under the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009 (MACC Act 2009) (Act 694) Amendment Act 2018; “any organization which commits an offence under Section 17a, shall on conviction be liable for a fine of not less than ten times the sum or value of the gratification which is the subject matter of the offence, where such gratification is capable of being valued or is of a pecuniary nature, or one million ringgit, whichever is the higher, or imprisonment for a term not exceeding twenty years or both”. Other statutes and codes provide a patchwork of overlapping provisions that prohibit bribery in the private and public sectors. Those statutes and codes include the:
  • Penal Code;
  • Customs Act 1967;
  • Election Offences Act 1954;
  • Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorism Financing Act 2001;
  • Societies Act 1966;
  • Trade Unions Act 1959;
  • Youth Societies and Youth Development Act 2007;
  • Financial Services Act 2013 and Islamic Financial Services Act 2013; and
  • Companies Act 2016.
There is a burden placed upon commercial organisations for involvement in corrupt practices. At the time of the offence being committed the law states that that the following persons i.e.;
  • who is its director, controller, officer or partner; or who is concerned in the management of its affairs, is deemed to have committed the offence and as such is punishable by the Act. In other words, irrespective of the person within the organisation, committing the offence.
Section 3 of MACC Act 2009 listed some of the forms of gratification and it can be in the form of:
  • money, donation, gift, loan, fee, reward, valuable security, property or interest in property being property of any description whether movable or immovable, finance benefit, or any other similar advantage;
  • any office, dignity, employment, contract of employment or services and agreement of employment or render services in any capacity;
  • any payment, release, discharge or liquidation of any loan, obligation or other liability, whether in whole or in part;
  • any valuable consideration of any kind, any discount, commission, rebate, bonus, deduction or percentage;
  • any forbearance to demand any money or money’s worth or valuable thing;
  • any other service or favour of any description;
  • any offer, undertaking or promise, whether conditional or unconditional, of any gratification.Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)
  • The National Anti-Corruption Plan (NACP) is an anti-corruption policy in Malaysia that reflects the people’s expectations for a greater corrupt-free nation that promotes transparency, accountability and integrity culture in every Malaysian;
  • This integrated anti-corruption plan, is the first of its kind to be formulated in the country, is in line with Article 5 of the United Nation Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) to which Malaysia is a member party to the convention;
  • The NACP was guided by the “National Anti-Corruption Strategies: A Practical Guide for Development and Implementation” by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and received support from the relevant stakeholders in particularly the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the National Audit Department. Furthermore, a collaborative effort with myForesight®, Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) had produced a thorough and valuable future anti-corruption scenario planning until the year 2030.
The NACP was launched by our prime minister Tun Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on January 29, 2019.
The NACP is geared towards improving transparency and embedding integrity and accountability and accountability principles in all related systems and procedures governing both the public and the corporate sectors in Malaysia. The plan also aims at eliminating abuse of power, putting a stop to political interference, ending cronyism and nepotism as well as eliminating embezzlement and mismanagement.
Yes, if you belong to the following types of organisations;
  • Government agency
  • State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs)
  • Company Limited by Guarantee (CLBG)
  • Private sector companies that bid for Government contracts
It depends on the nature of your business. The following is cited from the NACP document issued by the Prime Minister of Malaysia. NACP Document- STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 2.1 Redesigning of Public Services towards Good Governance: to introduce Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS) - MS ISO 37001 certification in all Government agencies – timeframe -within 2years (January 2019 – December 2020) NACP Document- STRATEGIC OBJECTIVE 6.2 Greater Corporate Entities Resilience against the Threat of Corruption; to propose Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS) MS ISO 37001 certification as a requirement for » State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) » Company Limited by Guarantee (CLBG) and » Private sector in order to bid for Government contracts
ISO 37001 is an Anti-Bribery Management System (ABMS) standard for organizations. It specifies various anti-bribery policies and procedures which an organization should implement to assist it prevent bribery and identify and deal with any bribery which does occur. It was first published and accepted as an international standard on October 15, 2016. The ISO 37001 project ultimately developed because of the UK Bribery Act and the British BS 10500 standard. The introduction of the UK Bribery Act 2010 (UKBA) in the United Kingdom raised the question of how to prove compliance with the requirements of the UKBA."
Even though the nature of an organization differs from one another, this standard, addresses management objectives for the prevention of bribery in these contexts:
  • Bribery in the public, private and non-for-profit sectors
  • Bribery by the organization;
  • Bribery by the organization’s personnel acting on organization’s behalf or for its benefit;
  • Bribery by the organization’s business associates acting on the organization’s behalf or for its benefit;
  • Bribery of the organization;
  • Bribery of the organization’s personnel in relation to the organization’s activities
  • Bribery of the organization’s businesses associates in relation to the organization’s activities
  • Direct and indirect bribery
  • Prevent, detect and address bribery risks
  • Increase international recognition
  • Prevent conflict of interest
  • Cost reduction
  • Promotes an Anti-bribery culture
  • Enhances the integrity and ethical values of the organization and its personnel
As the standard takes a Process Approach, it DOES NOT burden an organization with heavy bureaucracy. The anti-bribery measures are implemented in a manner which is reasonable and proportionate to a number of relevant factors, such as the size and structure of the organization, the locations and sectors in which it operates, the nature, scale and complexity of its activities, and the bribery risk it faces.
  • Implementation of The Management System: The ABMS must be developed taking into consideration the context of the organisation. You might require the guidance of a consultant. Before being certified, a management system must be in operation for some time; 
  • Internal Audit and Review by The Anti-Bribery Compliance Function, Top Management, And Governing Body: Before a management system can be certified, it must have had at least one internal audit report, one management review and one review by anti-bribery compliance function; 
  • Selection of The Certification Body (Registrar): Each organization can select the certification body (registrar) of its choice; 
  • Pre-Assessment Audit (Optional): An organization can choose to perform a pre-audit to identify any possible gap between its current management system and the requirements of the standard; 
  • Stage 1 Audit: A conformity review of the design of the management system. Therefore, the main objective is to verify that the management system is designed to meet the requirements of the standard(s) and the objectives of the organization. It is recommended that at least some portion of the Stage 1 audit should be performed on-site at the organization’s premises. (Performed by certification body); 
  • Stage 2 Audits (On-Site Visit): The Stage 2 audit objective is to evaluate whether the declared management system conforms to all requirements of the standard that is being implemented in the organization and can support the organization in achieving its objectives. Stage 2 takes place at the site(s) of the organization’s site(s) where the management system is implemented. (Performed by certification body); 
  • Follow-Up Audit (Optional): If the auditee has non-conformities that require an additional audit before being certified, the auditor will perform a follow-up visit to validate only the action plans linked to the non- conformities (usually one day). (Performed by certification body); 
  • Confirmation of Registration: If the organization is compliant with the conditions of the standard, the Registrar confirms the registration and publishes the certificate. Certificates are typically valid for a period of three (3) years subject to successful surveillance audits;
  • Continual Improvement and Surveillance Audits: Once an organization is registered, surveillance activities are conducted by the Certification Body to ensure that the management system still complies with the standard. The surveillance activities must include on-site visits (at least 1 per year) that allow verifying the conformity of the certified client’s management system and can also include: investigations following a complaint, review of a website, a written request for follow-up, etc. Every 3rd year there will be a re-certification audit.
  • Ethical Factors - From an international and national perspective, bribery is now widely regarded as unethical and unacceptable.
  • Legal Risk – The organisation and its personnel risk being persecuted by local and international laws. This could include criminal and civil laws.
  • Safety and Quality Risk - From an organization’s perspective, bribery can adversely impact on its safety and quality management.
  • Financial Risk - Involvement in bribery can result in severe financial risk to the organization. It raises the cost of doing business and reduce profitability.
  • Reputational Risk - Involvement in bribery can result in reputational risk for an organization and its employees.
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