Bribery and corruption is, unfortunately, a feature of corporate and public life in many countries across the world. Governments and businesses are working together to tackle the issue and as part of this process the Bribery Act 2010 has been passed. This includes offences where an organisation fails to prevent persons associated with the organisation from committing bribery on its behalf and where the organisation is guilty of giving or receiving bribes including bribery of a foreign public official.The Legislation
The Bribery Act came into force on 1 July 2011. The act makes it an offence for a UK citizen or resident to pay or receive a bribe, either directly or indirectly. The act provides for transactions that take place in the UK and abroad, and both in the public and private sectors.
Companies and partnerships can also commit an offence where a bribe has been paid on their behalf by an associate. Associates include employees, agents and other persons providing services on behalf of the business entity. However, it is a defence for the business if it has adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery.
The act creates three main offences:
- bribing a person to induce or reward them to perform a relevant function
- improperly requesting, accepting or receiving a bribe as a reward for performing a relevant function
- improperly using a bribe to influence a foreign official to gain a business advantage.
The relevant function referred to can be an activity associated with the private or public sector provided that the function should be carried out in either good faith, impartially or that the person performing it is in a position of trust. Improper performance of a relevant function would be a failure to perform it in line with the relevant expectation. The test for whether performance was improper is what a reasonable person in the UK would expect.
While acknowledging that the scope for bribery and corruption in a company such as TLB Medicals is limited and/or mitigated by other procedures, the Directors fully appreciate the importance of suitable controls to prevent any possibility of bribery and corruption within its operation or by any person associated with the Company. They also want to actively promote a culture based on a commitment to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in which bribery & corruption is not permitted or condoned in any manner.
The purpose of this policy is to set out the company’s approach to upholding these principles.Scope of the Policy
This policy applies to all Directors and employees of TLB Limited including contract and temporary personnel. We will also encourage the application of this policy amongst our business partners including instructing Solicitors, Medical Experts and other contractors and suppliers.Managerial Responsibilities
The Directors have appointed Mohammad Ishfaq as Anti-Bribery Officer (ABO) responsible for overseeing our policy on anti-bribery and corruption and ensuring it is upheld both in word and spirit.
This responsibility includes:
- an annual review of the policy;
- an annual risk assessment of issues relating to the policy;
- overseeing training and communications relating to the topic.
- Ensuring the principles and objectives of Medco are upheld
Only this person has authority to make amendments to the policy. However, ultimately the Directors remain accountable overall for the policy’s implementation.Third Party Due Diligence
The scope of the Bribery Act 2010 requires us to identify third party business relationships which may give opportunity for that third party to use bribery while acting on our behalf. The need for due diligence checks is proportionate to the nature of the businesses work and operations and the nature of our work raises few situations in which a third party would have need or opportunity to act in such a way.Gifts & Hospitality
Gifts and hospitality are commonly used in business circles to build relationships and market services or products. Hospitality often takes the form of entertainment, meals or tickets to events. If the provider of the hospitality does not attend, then it should be regarded as a gift. Businesses often pay expenses for a potential client to business related conferences or events.
While this is all normal practice, it is recognised that gifts and hospitality can be used to influence and corrupt third parties and on occasion to manoeuvre employees into a position of obligation.
TLB Medicals wants to prevent the giving or receiving of gifts, hospitality or paying of expenses if it might influence or be perceived to influence a business decision. In order to do so, we maintain a record of gifts, hospitality and expenses given or received. All instances of a gift, hospitality or entertainment given or received are to be logged in the gift register, no matter how small the gift. This allows us to monitor both the level and the number of instances to assess whether the nature of the relationship is appropriate.Authorisation
Modest gifts such as a bottle of wine, a bunch of flowers, a box of chocolates are acceptable without authorisation but must still be recorded in the Gift Register.
No gifts shall be given or accepted without the written approval of Mohammad Ishfaq.
Not more than one gift (from or to the same person or organisation) may be received or given in any period of one year without the written permission of Mohammad Ishfaq.
You are permitted to attend hospitality events at which representatives from other Companies are in attendance. You are not however permitted (without the written permission of Mohammad Ishfaq to attend such functions if they are taking place abroad, or if they involve overnight accommodation which is being paid for by the host.
If you are invited for a meal by a client or other contact at the expense of the client or other contact you are permitted to accept such an invitation provided the overall cost (for you) of the meal does not exceed £75. If the cost exceeds this amount the written permission of Mohammad Ishfaq will be required.
The acceptance or giving of gifts or hospitality not otherwise provided for in this policy will require the written permission of Mohammad Ishfaq.Risk Assessment
As part of managerial responsibilities a risk assessment will be conducted to assess the extent and nature that the company is liable to the risk of bribery or corruption in its activities. This assessment will record the type of risk and the means by which the Companies can prevent or mitigate its exposure to such risk. This will be a living document and will be periodically reviewed and assessed as the needs of the business develop.Communication & Training
It is important that all personnel are fully aware of this policy and have ready access to it for reference sake. For this reason we will ensure that:
- The policy will be made available on the central server;
- Any authorised amendments to the policy will be notified to all staff via e-mail and the central document duly updated
- New personnel are made aware of the policy during the course of their induction to the company.
- Specific training on the subject will be provided if it is felt to be appropriate
Everyone at every level and in every role or capacity within the company has a personal responsibility to uphold the principles of this policy. Aside from the risk of criminal liability, personnel should be aware that any breach of procedure in relation to the letter or spirit of this policy may be interpreted as a matter of gross misconduct and subject to disciplinary proceedings.
No member of staff should hesitate to contact the ABO if they have any questions about the Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy, its implementation or implications.
All personnel are actively encouraged to contact the ABO if they have any suspicions about another member of staff and actions in relation to bribery and corruption by that other person. Similarly in relation to any 3rd party with whom the company has dealings. Such reports will be dealt with on a strictly confidential basis.