Odournet UK corruption management policies
Odournet corruption management policies
1. Conflict of interest policy – see separate policy (Conflict of Interest (COI) policy.
2. Anti-corruption & bribery – outlined below.
The Bribery Act 2010 came into force on 1st July 2011 in the UK.
It is our policy to conduct all of our business in an honest, fair, professional and ethical manner. We take a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption. We are committed to acting with integrity in all our business dealings and relationships.
Odournet UK Ltd (Odournet) also expects any third parties we do business with, whether customers, suppliers or agents, to have a similarly robust approach to bribery and corruption.
Odournet will uphold all laws relevant to countering bribery and corruption. We remain bound by the laws of the UK, including the Bribery Act 2010, in respect of our conduct both at home and abroad.
Bribery and corruption are punishable for individuals by up to ten years’ imprisonment and a fine. 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.
Who is covered by this policy?
This policy applies to all of Odournet’s staff, working at all levels including managers, directors and employees (whether permanent, fixed-term or temporary).
What is bribery?
For the purpose of this policy, a bribe is an inducement or reward offered, promised or provided in order to gain any commercial, contractual, regulatory or personal advantage.
Examples of bribery:
Offering a bribe
You offer a potential client tickets to a major sporting event, but only if they agree to do business with us.
This would be an offence as you are making the offer to gain a commercial and contractual advantage. Odournet may also be found to have committed an offence because the offer has been made to obtain business for Odournet. It may also be an offence for the potential client to accept your offer.
Receiving a bribe
A supplier gives your nephew a job, but makes it clear that in return they expect you to use your influence within Odournet to ensure we continue to do business with them.
It is an offence for a supplier to make such an offer. It would be an offence for you to accept the offer as you would be doing so to gain a personal advantage.
Bribing a foreign official
You arrange for the organisation to pay an additional payment to a foreign official to speed up an administrative process, such as clearing items through customs.
The offence of bribing a foreign public official has been committed as soon as the offer is made. This is because it is made to gain a business advantage for Odournet. Odournet may also be found to have committed an offence.
Odournet UK employees must not engage in any form of bribery, either directly or through any third party (such as an agent or distributor). Employees must not bribe a foreign public official anywhere in the world.
Gifts and hospitality
This policy does not prohibit normal and appropriate hospitality (given and received) to or from third parties and the giving or receipt of gifts. Normal and appropriate hospitality would include where the hospitality or gift:
a. 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;
b. complies with local law;
c. is given in our name, not in your name;
d. does not include cash or a cash equivalent (such as gift certificates or vouchers);
e. is appropriate in the circumstances. For example, in the UK it is customary for small gifts to be given at Christmas time;
f. taking into account the reason for the gift, is of an appropriate type and value and given at an appropriate time;
g. is given openly, not secretly; and
h. is not offered to, or accepted from, government officials or representatives, or politicians or political parties, without the prior approval of the managing director.
What is not acceptable?
It is not acceptable for you (or someone on your behalf) to:
a. 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;
b. 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;
c. 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;
d. 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;
e. threaten or retaliate against another worker who has refused to commit a bribery offence or who has raised concerns under this policy; or
f. engage in any activity that might lead to a breach of this policy.
Any gifts offered are automatically the property of Odournet and should be reported to your line manager. Any gifts will be distributed appropriately. In every circumstance where a gift is offered, the advice of your Line Manager should be sought.
If we become aware that any of our clients have offered unlawful payments or other inducements to our employees, we shall report this to the client in question. We will consider seriously any reports of Odournet representatives acting in an unacceptable manner with respect to unlawful payments and inducements.
Odournet do not make or accept facilitation payments. 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 jurisdictions.
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. If you have any suspicions, concerns or queries regarding a payment, you should raise these with your line manager.
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.
Odournet does not make charitable donations or contributions to political parties.
You must ensure that you read, understand and comply with this policy.
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.
You must notify your line manager as soon as possible if you believe or suspect that a conflict with this policy has occurred, or may occur in the future. For example, if a client or potential client offers you something to gain a business advantage with us, or indicates to you that a gift or payment is required to secure their business.
Any employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for gross misconduct.
We must keep financial records and have appropriate internal controls in place which will evidence the business reason for making payments to third parties.
You must declare and keep a written record of all hospitality or gifts accepted or offered, which will be subject to managerial review.
You must ensure all expenses claims relating to hospitality, gifts or expenses incurred to third parties are submitted in accordance with our expenses policies and specifically record the reason for the expenditure.
All accounts, invoices, memoranda and other documents and records relating to dealings with third parties, such as clients, suppliers and business contacts, should be prepared and maintained with strict accuracy and completeness. No accounts must be kept ‘off book’ to facilitate or conceal improper payments.
How to raise a concern
You are encouraged to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of malpractice at the earliest possible stage. If you are unsure whether a particular act constitutes bribery or corruption, or if you have any other queries or concerns, these should be raised with your line manager.
What to do if you are a victim of bribery or corruption
It is important that you tell your line manager 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.
Employees 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.
We are committed to ensuring no one suffers any detrimental treatment as a result 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, you should inform your line manager immediately. If the matter is not remedied, and you are an employee, you should raise it formally using the company’s Grievance Procedure.
Training and communication
Training on this policy forms part of the induction process for all new employees. All existing employees will receive relevant training on this policy. Management and senior staff at all levels are responsible for ensuring those reporting to them are made aware of and understand this policy.
Where necessary, our zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption must be communicated to all suppliers, contractors and business partners.
Monitoring & review
All staff are responsible for the success of this policy and should ensure they use it to disclose any suspected danger or wrongdoing.
Staff are invited to comment on this policy and suggest ways in which it might be improved. Comments, suggestions and queries should be addressed to the quality manager.
This policy will be reviewed on an annual basis.
Date of last review: 24/09/2019
Reviewed by: Nick Jones
Date of next review: 24/09/2020