The Bribery Act 2010 (“the Act”) is effective from 1st July 2011. The Act repeals and consolidates previous corruption legislation. In addition to the established criminal offences of giving and receiving a bribe, this Act places specific responsibility on organisations to have in place adequate procedures to prevent bribery. Should bribery occur, as well as the offences on the part of the individuals concerned, organisations will also be liable for the corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery unless they can demonstrate that adequate preventative measures were in place. Bribery occurs where there is intent to give someone a financial or other advantage to encourage that person to perform their functions or activities improperly or to reward that person for having already done so. It is an inducement for an action which is illegal, unethical or a breach of trust, and can take the form of gifts, loans, fees, rewards or other privileges.
The Act applies to firm’s who do business in the UK (whether incorporated in the UK or not), doing business anywhere in the world. An offence under Sections 1, 2 and 6 of the Act apply to acts committed overseas (where the act or omission would have been an offence if done or made in the UK) and the person has a “close connection” with the UK. Those with a close connection are defined to include British citizens, individuals ordinarily resident in any part of the UK and bodies incorporated under UK law. It will be a defence (under section 7 (2)) for a commercial organisation to prove that it had in place adequate procedures designed to prevent persons associated with it undertaking offences under the Act. All directors and employees are required to comply with this Anti-bribery Policy.
The Act’s statutory offences are as follows:
Offences of bribing another person “The active offence” (Section 1)
It is an offence to offer, promise or give a financial or other advantage (“bribe”) to another person where it is intended to induce the improper performance of a relevant function or activity or to reward for such an improper performance. Maximum penalty: 10 years and or unlimited fine.
Offences relating to being bribed “The passive offence” (Section 2)
it is an offence for a person to request, agree to receive or accept a bribe. it does not matter whether the recipient of the bribe receives it directly or through a third party. maximum penalty 10 years imprisonment and or unlimited fine. />p>
Bribery of foreign public officials (Section 6)
It is an offence to bribe a foreign public official (“FPO”), where it is intended to influence the FPO in the performance of his or her official functions in order to obtain or retain business or an advantage. Maximum penalty: 10 years imprisonment and or unlimited fine.
Failure of commercial organisations to prevent bribery (Section 7)
It is an offence for a commercial organisation (including a body corporate, partnerships conducting business in the UK) to fail to prevent bribery by persons performing services on its behalf (“associate persons”). Such an offence will arise where a person associated with the organisation bribes another person intending to obtain or retain business for the organisation or to obtain or retain an advantage in the conduct of business for the organisation. Persons "associated" with the organisation could include employees, agents, contractors and joint-venture arrangements and subsidiaries. However, a subsidiary will only be an associated person if the bribe obtained is intended to benefit the Parent directly. Penalty: unlimited fine.
Offences under sections 1, 2, and 6 by bodies corporate (Section 14)
A senior officer of a commercial organisation will be personally liable if the offence under section 1,2 and 6 has been committed with his/her consent or connivance which in the absence of a technical definition shall be taken to mean participation, involvement, responsibility or collusion. Maximum penalty: 10 years imprisonment and or unlimited fine.
The Ministry of Justice has issued Guidance that sets out the six principles intended to assist a firm in ensuring that the adequate procedures are proportionate to the nature, scale and complexity of a firm and to assist a firm in complying
Top level commitment TEQHOU LTD is committed to deterring, preventing and detecting bribery in the following ways:
There is a zero tolerance policy towards bribery and such acts would be regarded as gross misconduct or breach of contract. Staff may also face legal action by the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) if they act in breach of this Policy (see penalties under the offences outlined above).
The giving or receiving of improper inducements, of any value, is strictly prohibited.
Facilitation payments must not be made or charged.
The nature of each of TEQHOU LTD’s sponsorship relationships is fully documented in an approved marketing plan. TEQHOU LTD does not make financial contributions to favour particular political parties. Charitable donations are rare and are approved at formal meetings of the executive directors.
The executive directors have taken reasonable steps to ensure that all staff are aware of this Policy in respect of corruption and that it works along-side existing policies which, in sum, is considered to be the anti-corruption framework of TEQHOU LTD.
Risk assessment & proportionality
A periodic risk assessment will be carried out to ensure that TEQHOU LTD’s procedures are proportionate to the bribery risks the firm or its associated persons face, and to the nature, scale and complexity of the business. TEQHOU LTD’s risk has been assessed as generally low because it does not operate in a risky business sector and is a relatively small firm. Most of TEQHOU LTD’s third party associated persons are UK suppliers of standard goods or services to TEQHOU LTD which are considered to represent a very low to zero risk. Many of these are Financial Conduct Authority (“FCA”) regulated firms. Also, the jurisdiction is mainly UK only. Some third parties are given capital for onward investment including in offshore markets. TEQHOU LTD’s procedures have been determined with these risks in mind, including the actions we are taking for particular third parties. These risks are reconsidered on an informal basis at the time for new lines of business and new business relationships.
Due diligence is carried out to help prevent associated persons from bribing on behalf of the TEQHOU LTD. This includes due diligence on directors, employees, agents and other third parties as determined by our risk assessment. New business relationships (1) are assessed and approved by at least two directors prior to the commencement of the engagement of services, and follow a proper tender process.
Communication & training
TEQHOU LTD has a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and this is communicated to all third parties that provide a service to TEQHOU LTD at the outset of the business relationship. To enhance awareness and help deter bribery TEQHOU LTD has the following arrangements in place:
All directors and employees of TEQHOU LTD, together with third parties operating in overseas markets (and possibly others as determined from time to time from our risk assessment and contract approval process) receive training or training material on TEQHOU LTD’s Anti-bribery Policy and procedures.
TEQHOU LTD obtains a written acknowledgement from these persons of the need to comply with this Policy. This takes the form of either an electronic / written record at the end of mandatory training sessions, or part of an annual declaration of adherence within the performance review process, or an email or letter of confirmation to the Head of Assurance.
Any subsequent revised revisions will be circulated to all staff.
When contracts are renewed an anti-bribery clause is to be added.
Other third parties where there is a lower risk of bribery will receive notification of the Anti-bribery Policy with a request to comply.
Future associated persons will be treated similarly at the time of appointment.
As a deterrent to others, TEQHOU LTD’s Anti-bribery Policy is published on its website.
Monitoring & review
TEQHOU LTD will monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of its bribery prevention procedures as part of the compliance monitoring programme.
A formal update and review of the risk assessment is carried out every 2-3 years in conjunction with the existing fraud risk assessment process.
Changes to business partners and lines of business are considered in relation to bribery risks, as they occur.
Gifts and hospitality below £150 given or received by employees (including executive directors) must be notified to the Managing Director and anything over £150 must be notified and approved by the Managing Director. All gifts and hospitality given or received are reported to the Managing Director immediately. Each notification must be accompanied by a statement that they do not constitute any form of inducement to encourage improper conduct and do not create a conflict of interest.
(1 For the purpose of this policy a business relationship refers to contractual relationships with third parties providing professional services that support the core business activities of asset management and fund administration and does not include ancillary services such as general office supplies.) Business meals are exempt from the notification requirement. Cash of any value cannot be given or accepted. There is a dual control approval process for all company payments which ensures they are for valid purposes.
Raising a concern
Should members of staff (or any associated persons) be approached with a bribe or wish to report any concerns or allegations they should report the matter confidentially to the Managing Director. The following is a list of possible “red flags” which must be reported promptly if encountered (not limited to):
The third party has a reputation of engaging in improper business practices;
The third party insists on receiving a commission or fee payment before committing to sign up to contact;
The third party requests payment in cash or refuses to sign up a formal commission or fee agreement;
The third party requests that payment is made to a country or geographic location different from where the third party resides or conducts business;
The third party requests an unexpected additional fee to facilitate a service; and
Staff are offered an unusually generous gift or offered lavish hospitality by the third party.
Responsibilities of the MLRO
In relation to reports of bribes or suspicion reports made by a member of staff, the MLRO shall be responsible for analysing the basis of these reports. Where a decision has been made not to contact the SFO, a record should be kept internally. The SFO encourages self-reporting by firms
If you have been a victim of fraud, please call Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
TEQHOU LTD also considers the obligation to report any suspicions to the National Crime Agency (“NCA”). The benefit gained by virtue of a payment of a bribe will be tainted by the act of illegality through which it was obtained and is likely to constitute criminal property under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”), the main UK anti-money laundering legislation. Under POCA, criminal property is property that represents a benefit from criminal conduct. A person who did not commit an underlying offence can still commit a money laundering offence where he/she holds property that represents a benefit under that offence. Therefore, it does not matter who engaged in the criminal conduct; where criminal property is generated a money laundering offence will be committed.