1.1 It is our policy to conduct all our business in an honest and ethical manner. We take a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and we are committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships wherever we operate and in implementing and enforcing effective systems to counter bribery. 1.2 We will uphold all laws relevant to countering bribery and corruption. However, we remain bound by the laws of the UK, including the Bribery Act 2010, in respect of our conduct both at home and abroad. 1.3 The purpose of this policy is to: (a) set out our responsibilities and of those working for us, in observing and upholding our position on bribery and corruption; and (b) to provide information and guidance to those working for us on how to recognise and deal with bribery and corruption issues. 1.3 Bribery and corruption are punishable for individuals by up to ten years’ imprisonment and if we are found to have taken part in corruption we could face an unlimited fine, be excluded from tendering for public contracts and face damage to our reputation. We therefore take our legal responsibilities very seriously and we have conducted a risk assessment to identify any key areas which may potentially pose a risk to our organisation. 1.4 In this policy, third party means any individual or organisation you meet during your work for us.
Who is covered by the policy?
2. This policy applies to all individuals working at all levels including trustees, senior managers, directors, employees (whether permanent, fixed-term or temporary), casual workers and volunteers, or any other person associated with us, wherever located (collectively referred to as workers in this policy).
What is bribery?
3. A bribe is an inducement or reward offered, promised or provided to gain any commercial, contractual, regulatory or personal advantage.
Gifts and hospitality
This policy does not prohibit normal and appropriate hospitality (given and received) to or from third parties. 4.2 The giving or receipt of gifts is not prohibited, if the following requirements are met:
- it is not made with the intention of influencing a third party to obtain or retain business or a business advantage, or to reward the provision or retention of business or a business advantage, or in explicit or implicit exchange for favours or benefits;
- it complies with local law;
- it is given in our name, not in your name;
- it is appropriate in the circumstances. For example, in the UK it is customary for small gifts to be given at Christmas time;
- taking into account the reason for the gift, it is of an appropriate type and value and given at an appropriate time; and
- it is given openly, not secretly.
4.3 We appreciate that the practice of giving business gifts varies between countries and what may be normal and acceptable in one country may not be in another. The test to be applied is whether in all the circumstances the gift or hospitality is reasonable and justifiable. The intention behind the gift should always be considered.
What is not acceptable?
5. It is not acceptable for you (or someone on your behalf) to:
- give, promise to give, or offer, a payment, gift or hospitality with the expectation or hope that a business advantage will be received, or to reward a business advantage already given;
- give, promise to give, or offer, a payment, gift or hospitality to a government official, agent or representative to “facilitate” or expedite a routine procedure;
- accept payment from a third party that you know or suspect is offered with the expectation that it will obtain a business advantage for them;
- accept a gift or hospitality from a third party if you know or suspect that it is offered or provided with an expectation that a business advantage will be provided by us in return;
- threaten or retaliate against another worker who has refused to commit a bribery offence or who has raised concerns under this policy; or
- engage in any activity that might lead to a breach of this policy.
Facilitation payments and kickbacks
6.1 We do not make, and will not accept, facilitation payments or “kickbacks” of any kind. Facilitation payments are typically small, unofficial payments made to secure or expedite a routine government action by a government official. They are not commonly paid in the UK, but are common in some other countries. 6.2 If you are asked to make a payment on our behalf, you should always be mindful of what the payment is for and whether the amount requested is proportionate to the goods or services provided. You should always ask for a receipt which details the reason for the payment. 6.3 Kickbacks are typically payments made in return for a business favour or advantage. All workers must avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, that a facilitation payment or kickback will be made or accepted by us.
7. We do not make contributions to political parties. We only make charitable donations that are legal and ethical under local laws and practices. No donation must be offered or made without prior approval.
8.1 You must ensure that you read, understand and comply with this policy. 8.2 The prevention, detection and reporting of bribery and other forms of corruption are the responsibility of all those working for us or under our control. All workers are required to avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, a breach of this policy. 8.3 Any employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, which may result in dismissal. We reserve our right to terminate our contractual relationship with other workers and organisations if they breach this policy.
9.1 We must keep financial records and have appropriate internal controls in place which will evidence the business reason for making payments to third parties. 9.2 You must declare and keep a written record of all hospitality or gifts accepted or offered. You must also ensure that all expenses claims relating to hospitality, gifts or expenses incurred to third parties are submitted in accordance with such regulations.
How to raise a concern
10.1 You are encouraged to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of malpractice at the earliest possible stage. If you are unsure whether an act constitutes bribery or corruption, or if you have any other queries, these should be raised using our Grievance Procedure, to a trustee or the projects director. You should raise a concern as soon as possible if you believe or suspect that a conflict with this policy has occurred, or may occur in the future.
What to do if you are a victim of bribery or corruption
11. It is important that you tell the charity as soon as possible if you are offered a bribe by a third party, are asked to make one, suspect that this may happen in the future, or believe that you are a victim of another form of unlawful activity.
12. Workers who refuse to accept or offer a bribe, or those who raise concerns or report another’s wrongdoing, are sometimes worried about possible repercussions. We aim to encourage openness and will support anyone who raises genuine concerns in good faith under this policy, even if they turn out to be mistaken. 12.2 We are committed to ensuring no one suffers any detrimental treatment because of refusing to take part in bribery or corruption, or because of reporting in good faith their suspicion that an actual or potential bribery or other corruption offence has taken place, or may take place in the future. Detrimental treatment includes dismissal, disciplinary action, threats or other unfavourable treatment connected with raising a concern. If you believe that you have suffered any such treatment and you are either an employee, or a person external to the charity, you should raise it formally, using our Grievance Procedure, to a trustee or the projects director.
13. Our zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption must be communicated to all suppliers, contractors and business partners at the outset of our business relationship with them and as appropriate thereafter.
Who is responsible for the policy?
14.1 The charity has overall responsibility for ensuring this policy complies with our legal and ethical obligations, and that all those under our control comply with it. 14.2 The charity has primary and day-to-day responsibility for implementing this policy, and for monitoring its use and effectiveness and dealing with any queries on its interpretation. Management at all levels are responsible for ensuring those reporting to them are made aware of and understand this policy. 14.3 The charity will monitor the effectiveness and review the implementation of this policy, regularly considering its suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. Any improvements identified will be made as soon as possible. Internal control systems and financial procedures will be subject to regular audits to promote best practice in countering bribery and corruption.
14.4 All workers are responsible for the success of this policy and should ensure they use it to disclose any suspected danger or wrongdoing.
We will review this global policy statement every two years to reflect new legal and regulatory developments and ensure good practice.
This review: 10 Feb 2023
Next review: Feb 2025