The Company is committed to the highest standards of ethical conduct and integrity in its business activities in the UK and overseas. This policy outlines the Company’s position on preventing and prohibiting bribery, in accordance with the Bribery Act 2010. The Company will not tolerate any form of bribery by, or of, its employees, agents or consultants or any person or body acting on its behalf. Senior management is committed to implementing effective measures to prevent, monitor and eliminate bribery.
2. Scope of this Policy
This policy applies to all employees and officers of the Company, and to temporary workers, consultants, contractors, agents and subsidiaries acting for, or on behalf of, the Company (“associated persons”) within the UK and overseas. Every employee and associated person acting for, or on behalf of, the Company is responsible for maintaining the highest standards of business conduct. Any breach of this policy is likely to constitute a serious disciplinary, contractual and criminal matter for the individual concerned and may cause serious damage to the reputation and standing of the Company.
3. The Bribery Act 2010 – General
The Company is committed to complying with the Bribery Act 2010 in its business activities in the UK and overseas. Under the Bribery Act 2010, a bribe is a financial or other type of advantage that is offered or requested with the:
- intention of inducing or rewarding improper performance of a function or activity; or
- knowledge or belief that accepting such a reward would constitute the improper performance of such a function or activity.
A relevant function or activity includes public, state or business activities or any activity performed in the course of a person’s employment, or on behalf of another company or individual, where the person performing that activity is expected to perform it in good faith, impartially, or in accordance with a position of trust.
A criminal offence will be committed under the Bribery Act 2010 if:
- an employee or associated person acting for, or on behalf of, the Company offers, promises, gives, requests, receives or agrees to receive bribes; or
- an employee or associated person acting for, or on behalf of, the Company offers, promises or gives a bribe to a foreign public official with the intention of influencing that official in the performance of his/her duties (where local law does not permit or require such influence); and
- the Company does not have the defense that it has adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery by its employees or associated persons.
All employees and associated persons are required to comply with this policy, in accordance with the Bribery Act 2010.
4. What is prohibited?
The Company prohibits employees or associated persons from offering, promising, giving, soliciting or accepting any bribe. The bribe might be cash, a gift or other inducement to, or from, any person or company, whether a public or government official, official of a state-controlled industry, political party or a private person or company, regardless of whether the employee or associated person is situated in the UK or overseas. The bribe might be made to ensure that a person or company improperly performs duties or functions (for example, by not acting impartially or in good faith or in accordance with their position of trust) to gain any commercial, contractual or regulatory advantage for the Company in either obtaining or maintaining Company business, or to gain any personal advantage, financial or otherwise, for the individual or anyone connected with the individual.
This prohibition also applies to indirect contributions, payments or gifts made in any manner as an inducement or reward for improper performance, for example through consultants, contractors or sub-contractors, agents or sub-agents, sponsors or sub-sponsors, joint-venture partners, advisers, customers, suppliers or other third parties.
5. Facilitation Payments
The Company prohibits its employees or associated persons from making or accepting any facilitation payments. These are payments made to government officials for carrying out or speeding up routine procedures. They are more common overseas. Facilitation payments are distinct from an official, publicly available fast-track process. Facilitation payments, or offers of such payments, will constitute a criminal offence by both the individual concerned and the Company under the Bribery Act 2010, even where such payments are made or requested overseas. Employees and associated persons are required to act with greater vigilance when dealing with government procedures overseas.
6. Corporate Entertainment, Gifts, Hospitality and Promotional Expenditure – Principle
The Company permits corporate entertainment, gifts, hospitality and promotional expenditure that is undertaken:
- to improve the image and reputation of the Company; or
- to present the Company’s products effectively;
provided that it is:
- arranged in good faith, and
- not offered, promised or accepted to secure an advantage for the Company or any of its employees or associated persons or to influence the impartiality of the recipient.
The Company will authorize only reasonable, appropriate and proportionate entertainment and promotional expenditure.
7. Charitable and Political Donations
The Company considers that charitable giving can form part of its wider commitment and responsibility to the community. The Company may also support fundraising events involving employees.
8. What practices are permitted?
This policy does not prohibit:
- Normal and appropriate hospitality and entertainment with clients (please see the Company’s expenses procedure); and
- The use of any recognized fast-track process that is publicly available on payment of a fee.
Any such practices must be proportionate, reasonable and made in good faith. Clear records must be kept.
9. Reporting Suspected Bribery
The Company depends on its employees and associated persons to ensure that the highest standards of ethical conduct are maintained in all its business dealings. Employees and associated persons are requested to assist the Company and to remain vigilant in preventing, detecting and reporting bribery.
Employees and associated persons are encouraged to report any concerns that they may have to a Company Director as soon as possible. Issues that should be reported include:
- any suspected or actual attempts at bribery;
- concerns that other employees or associated persons may be being bribed; or
- concerns that other employees or associated persons may be bribing third parties, such as clients or government officials.
This Policy is also available in PDF format for download.
Form HF-336; Issue 1; Date 16-Oct-2019; C/Note 22131
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