Bribery & Corruption Policy

 

Abbey Pynford Group

Scope

This policy applies to all employees and representatives of the Abbey Pynford Group, whether permanent, fixed term, casual, agency, consultancy or any other third party workers, as well as Clients and Suppliers

When working for Abbey Pynford Companies, you are agreeing, and obliged to:

  • Uphold this policy
  • Ensure you understand the requirements, standards, and associated compliance processes of this policy
  • Always follow this policy

 Purpose

It is Company policy to conduct business in an honest way, and without the use of corrupt practices or acts of bribery to obtain an unfair advantage.

The Company is committed to ensuring adherence to the highest legal and ethical standards. The business expects its employees and representatives to demonstrate honesty, integrity and fairness in all business dealings and to exercise appropriate standards of professional conduct in all their activities.  The business expects the same from its Clients, business partners and suppliers.

Bribery is a criminal offence and corrupt acts expose the Company and its employees to the risk of prosecution, fines and imprisonment, as well as endangering the Company’s reputation.

The Company attaches the utmost importance to this policy and will apply a “zero tolerance” approach to any breach of this policy, which will be regarded as a serious matter by the Company and will result in disciplinary action.

Bribery is the offer, promise, giving, demanding or acceptance of an advantage as an inducement for an action which is illegal, unethical or a breach of trust. Bribes can take on many different shapes and forms, but typically they involve corrupt intent. There will usually be a benefit to both parties. A bribe could be:

The direct or indirect promise, offering, or authorisation, of anything of value.

  • The offer or receipt of any kickback, loan, fee, reward or other advantage.
  • The giving of aid, donations or voting designed to exert improper influence.

Corruption is the misuse of public office or power for private gain; or misuse of private power in relation to business outside the realm of government. Bribery and corrupt behaviour can be committed by:

An employee, officer or director.

  • Any person acting on behalf of the Company (third-party representatives).
  • Individuals and organisations where they authorise someone else to carry out these acts.

For the purposes of this policy, whether the payee or recipient of the act of bribery or corruption works in the public or private sector is irrelevant.

Bribery and corruption may involve sales initiatives, such as tendering and contracting; or, it may simply involve the handling of administrative tasks such as licences, customs, taxes or import/export matters. It does not matter whether the act of bribery is committed before or after the tendering of a contract or the completion of administrative tasks.

Bribery and corruption risks typically fall within the following categories:

A.Use of Third-Party Representatives

The definition of a third-party is broad, and could include agents, distributors, consultants and joint venture partners.

Third-parties who pose significant risks and act on the Company’s behalf must operate at all times in accordance with this policy.

The Company is ultimately responsible for ensuring that third-parties who pose significant risks are compliant with this policy as well as any local laws. Ignorance or “turning a blind eye” is not an excuse.  Line Managers should consult in the first instance with their Director, who will make available guidelines, principles and methodologies for the evaluation and vetting of third-parties.

B.Gifts, Entertainment and Hospitality

Gifts, entertainment and hospitality include the receipt or offer of gifts, meals or tokens of appreciation and gratitude, or invitations to events, functions, or other social gatherings, in connection with matters related to our business. These activities are acceptable provided they fall within reasonable bounds of value and occurrence. However, Senior Management must always be made aware of an employee’s acceptance of any of the above.

Policy

If it is difficult to answer one of the following questions, there may be a risk involved which could potentially damage the Company’s reputation and business. The action could also be unlawful.   The following should therefore be considered:

 What is the intent – is it to build a relationship or is it something else?

  • How would this look if these details were on the front page of a newspaper?
  • What if the situation were to be reversed – would there be a double standard?

 Although no two situations are the same, the following guidance should be considered:

 Circumstances which are never permissible include examples that involve:

 A ‘quid pro quo’ (offered for something in return)

  • Gifts in the form of cash/or cash equivalent vouchers
  • Entertainment of a sexual or similarly inappropriate nature

 Possible circumstances that are usually acceptable include:

 Modest/occasional meals with someone with whom we do business

  • Occasional attendance at ordinary sports, theatre and other cultural events
  • Gifts of nominal value, such as pens, or small promotional items
  •  

If an example does not fall under the above categories, seek guidance from your Line Manager.

The Company will establish, maintain and monitor a gifts, entertainment and hospitality register, which will be made available via the HR Department. Any form of gifts, entertainment or hospitality – given, received or offered – which meet or exceed a total of £250 in any one financial year will need prior approval by your Line Manager and must be declared to the HR Department and will be appropriately recorded in the register.  In the event that an impermissible form of gift, entertainment or hospitality has been accepted, you must appropriately record the transaction within the register and contact your Line Manager immediately.

If a company is found guilty of corporate bribery, it is punishable by an unlimited fine. A bribery conviction can have wider implications for both individuals (e.g. director disqualification), and business (e.g. blacklisting from public procurement exercises).  It could also lead to imprisonment.

The current penalties for a bribery offence are as follows:

  • As a summary offence(i.e. in a Magistrates Court); imprisonment for up to 12 months and a fine of up to £5,000.
  • As an indictable offence (i.e. in the Crown Court); imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
  • Where an organisation fails to prevent bribery; unlimited fine.
  • A convicted person and/or organisation could also be subject to a confiscation order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002,
  • A convicted director could also be disqualified under the Company Directors Disqualification Act 1986.

Each area of Management must take the necessary steps to prevent bribery and corruption.  Managers should consult with the HR Department, who will make available guidelines, principles and methodologies for the identification, mitigation and monitoring of these risks.

As individuals who work on behalf of the Company, we all have a responsibility to help detect, prevent and report instances not only of bribery, but also of any other suspicious activity or wrongdoing. The Company is absolutely committed to ensuring that everyone has a safe, reliable, and confidential way of reporting any suspicious activity. We want each and every one to know how they can “speak up”.

If you have a concern regarding a suspected instance of bribery or corruption, please take the matter up with either your Line Manager, HR Manager or a Director. In the event that an incident of bribery, corruption, or wrongdoing is reported, we will act as soon as possible to evaluate the situation. The Company has clearly defined procedures for dealing with issues and these will be followed in any investigation of this kind. If you have any questions about these procedures, please contact your Line Manager, HR Manager or a Director.

The company reserves the right to review and amend this policy at any time in order to take into account changes in legislation and bestpractice.