Standards Bureau helps in fight against corruption

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Dr Axel Kravatzky –

The TT Bureau of Standards (TTBS) is calling on all organisations to build a “good foundation of governance” to fight corruption.

The TTBS said this in light of International Anti-Corruption Day which is recognised annually on December 9.

In a release on Friday, it said through the International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) 37000:2021, organisations and their governing bodies are given the principles and practices needed to help them perform effectively while remaining ethical and responsible.

These standards were developed by the ISO technical committee, whose secretariat is held by the British Standards Institution (BSI). as the national standards body and a member of the ISO, the TTBS partnered with the BSI to help develop this standard and see its publication as a voluntary standard last year.

TTBS said Dr Axel Kravatzky, managing partner of the TT-based Syntegra-ESG and vice chair of ISO Governance of Organisation and working group co-convenor; NMC’s vice-chair Deborah Souza-Okpofabri of UWI’s, St Augustine campus; and Andrea Primus, managing director, FHH Integrated Management Solutions Ltd. This team helped with the development of the ISO 37000.

To help organisations in this fight, the TTBS has adopted four governance-related standards – governance of organisations, anti-bribery management systems, whistleblowing-management systems and compliance-management systems.

TTBS said these national standards will provide critical guidance to improve governance practices and the technical management to build management systems. These practices and systems will address whistleblowing, anti-bribery and corruption in a systematic way.

TTBS said, “The use of these standards will also aid in enhanced trust, transparency, accountability and overall risk management in organisations across different sectors and industries.”

It also said its national mirror committee is made up of the private and public sectors, the financial sector, non-profit organisations, academia, small and medium enterprises and family-owned businesses.

Kravatzky said, “The remit of many governing bodies is ever-expanding and increasingly complex. ISO 37000, however, will help them to navigate and fulfil this through an integrated governance framework and system which empowers all governing groups and organisation actors. The foundation for long-term success of organisations is built upon principles of good governance, as this ensures that organisations contribute to the protection and restoration of social, economic and natural environmental systems.”

Adding to that was Rodney Ramnath, TTBS’ acting executive director, who said, “Governing bodies should ensure that their organisations remain viable and perform over time without compromising the needs of future generations, as we strive to fulfil the UN Sustainable Development Goals as well as Vision 2030. It is through the building and maintenance of trust, good governance contributes to improved business performance as well as to sustainable social and environmental welfare.”

The TTBS said, “Corruption is a major impediment to development, peace and security. From education to the environment, from business to sports, from gender equality to access to justice, and more – corruption undermines all areas of society’s development. The ISO 37000 series of standards provide a clear roadmap for organisations to strategically achieve their purpose and value and improve overall accountability at all levels.”