IPA ANTI-BRIBERY POLICY
The UK Ministry of Justice has formulated six principles which it requires all trading and commercial organisations to follow, and our Regulator, the Charity Commission, has confirmed that our compliance with this is mandatory. The IPA has adopted this policy, based on the six principles:
Principle 1 – Proportionate procedures. The IPA will devise and implement robust procedures which are proportionate to the level of risk and to the size and complexity of the organisation. This policy is intended to meet this requirement. It is IPA policy that:
•all offers or receipt of bribes by staff, committee members and contractors are expressly forbidden. Staff who ignore this prohibition will be considered guilty of gross misconduct and be liable to instant dismissal; committee members will be referred to the IPA Ethics Committee; contractors may be prohibited for competing in future for IPA work;
•facilitation payments made to public or private officials are expressly prohibited under the legislation, and they are not permitted by the IPA;
•the giving or receipt of all hospitality which aims to secure improper economic or commercial advantage is unacceptable;
•all significant hospitality given or received (which is not expressly prohibited) will be entered into a centrally held hospitality register;
•all staff, committee members (including Trustees) and contractors must report every instance of actual or suspected bribery by the IPA and its contractors to the Executive Director or the Secretary General/Vice President as soon as possible.
Principle 2 – Top-level commitment. The Board of Trustees and the senior managers are committed to preventing bribery by anyone associated with the IPA. Bribery is incompatible with the fundamental IPA values of integrity, transparency and accountability.
Principle 3 – Risk assessment. We must undertake a periodic, informed and documented risk assessment; this task is delegated to the Budget & Finance Committee in the first instance, who should subsequently incorporate annual reporting on it into their annual report to the Board.
Principle 4 – Due diligence. Whenever we enter into a partnership or commercial arrangement we should apply due diligence, taking a proportionate and risk-based approach, to mitigate identified bribery risks. Wherever possible we will procure services through an open, competitive tendering process, and we will always strive to have at least two competing suppliers to ensure that a proper distance is kept and an effective audit trail can be followed when any contract award is reviewed. The Board is responsible for awarding contracts of a high value (unless it has delegated the responsibility to a specific committee).
Principle 5 – Communication (including training). We will communicate this policy to all our staff and to all committee members, and include it in the induction process for all new arrivals, to ensure that everyone is clear about our policy. This policy will also be kept on our website where it will be permanently accessible to everyone.
Principle 6 – Monitoring and review. We will monitor our performance each year as part of our annual report, and the Budget & Finance Committee will be given particular responsibility for ensuring robust monitoring and review of our performance, and for making any recommendations to the Board that it sees fit.
Bona fide hospitality and promotion is recognised as an established and important part of doing business and the Act does not criminalise it. As long as the expenditure serves a legitimate business interest and is not disproportionate, it will not fall foul of the Act. Only where a gift or expenditure is lavish or extraordinary in the circumstances will it be illegal. Ordinary hospitality (eg, coffee and biscuits, or a modest lunch) are acceptable, but significant hospitality (eg, at a lavish or expensive venue) should be registered with the Executive Director. It is also permitted to accept small gifts of nugatory value (eg, an ordinary pen, a wall calendar, a memory stick, a mug, etc) but significant gifts or those which are out of the ordinary are the property of the IPA and must be handed over and registered.
Facilitation payments (typically small payments which seek to secure the provision of a service to which the payee is rightfully entitled in any event) are prohibited under the Act, however the problems that commercial organisations face in some parts of the world are recognised. Provided that any payments are small or self reported in the interests of preventing corruption, it is unlikely that the UK Serious Fraud Office will feel it is in the public interest to prosecute.
Duress. The IPA operates in some areas that are more at risk of bribery occurring. Concern had been expressed that trustees and managers in the UK could be guilty of an offence if bribes were paid by staff working overseas. While the Act does make the charity responsible for bribes paid by their staff, the guidance states that where payments are made because of duress it is unlikely that the charity will face prosecution. However, this is only likely to apply in extreme circumstances (such as where there is a risk of loss of life, limb or liberty).
Adopted by the IPA Board of Representatives at their meeting in Toronto, July 2012