Bribery and Anti-Fraud Policy

Visual Management Systems Ltd Bribery and Anti-Fraud Policy

Clause               

Policy statement                                                     

What is bribery?.                                                   

Gifts and hospitality.                                              

What is not acceptable?.                                     

Facilitation payments and kickbacks.                     

Donations.                                                               

Your  responsibilities.                                             

What happens if you do not follow this policy.      

Record-keeping.                                                     

How to raise a concern.                                          

What to do if a bribe is offered or a corrupt approach is made to you.

Protection.                                                             

Training and communication.                               

Who is responsible for the policy?.                      

Monitoring and review..                                       

Schedule.                                                              

Policy statement

It is the policy of Visual Management Systems Ltd. to conduct all its business in an honest and ethical manner. The Company takes a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and fraud in general on the Company and is committed to acting professionally, fairly and with integrity in all its business dealings and relationships wherever it operates and will implement and enforce effective systems to counter bribery. The reputation of Visual Management Systems Ltd. for lawful responsible business is of paramount importance and is one of its most prized assets. This policy is intended to provide a coherent and consistent framework to enable all connected with the Company to understand what is needed and then do everything necessary to act properly, and for those outside the Company to be able to appreciate how seriously the Company takes its responsibilities to operate in a fully legal and compliant fashion.

  • To address these risks the Company has set up due diligence procedures to review its relations with existing agents and to use these same procedures to vet any new such agents.
  1. third party means any individual or organisation you come into contact with during the course of your work, and includes actual and potential clients, customers, suppliers, distributors, business contacts, agents, advisers, neighbours, community organisations and government and public bodies, including their advisors, representatives and officials, politicians and political parties.

Who is covered by the policy?

This policy applies to all individuals working anywhere within the Company, including managers, officers, directors, employees (whether permanent, fixed-term or temporary), consultants, contractors, trainees, seconded staff, homeworkers, casual workers and agency staff, volunteers, interns, agents, sponsors, or any other person associated with the Company, or any of its subsidiary or associated companies or their employees, wherever located (collectively referred to in this Policy as "Company associates").

What is bribery?

A bribe is an inducement or reward offered, promised or provided in order to gain any commercial, contractual, regulatory or personal advantage.

Examples: Offering a bribe

You offer a potential client tickets to a major sporting event, but only if they agree to do business with the Company.

This would be an offence as you are making the offer to gain a commercial and

contractual advantage. Visual Management systems Ltd may also be found to have committed an offence because the offer has been made to obtain business for the Company. 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 VMS to ensure VMS continues 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 business to pay an additional payment to a foreign official to speed up an administrative process, such as clearing goods 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 CRH. The Company may also be found to have committed an offence.

Gifts and hospitality

  • t does not include cash or a cash equivalent (such as gift certificates or vouchers); please note this does not apply to any voucher scheme which operates at company to company level, such as the Heras Passport scheme.
  1. £100. Details of how to do this is on the Company's intranet. See also paragraph 10.2 for more details.

What is not acceptable?

It is not acceptable for you (or someone on your behalf) to:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. accept payment from a third party that you know or suspect is offered with the expectation that it will gain a business advantage for them;
  4. 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 the Company in return;
  5. threaten or retaliate against another worker who has refused to commit a bribery offence or who has raised concerns under this policy; or
  6. engage in any activity that might lead to a breach of this policy.

Facilitation payments and kickbacks

Visual Management Systems Ltd does not make, and will not accept, facilitation payments or kickbacks of any kind. 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 do occur in some other jurisdictions where the Company may sell its products. This permission does not include the use of a recognised fast track procedure which is open to all on payment of a fee.

If you are asked to make a payment on the Company's 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 an invoice and 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 Company associates must avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, that a facilitation payment or kickback will be made or accepted by the Company.

Donations

Visual Management Systems Ltd does not make contributions to political parties. The Company only makes charitable donations that are legal and ethical under local laws and practices. No donation may be offered or made without the prior approval of your line manager, who may in turn need to seek the approval of the Company Managing Director.

Your  responsibilities

  1. You must ensure that you read, understand and comply with this policy.
  2. The prevention, detection and reporting of bribery and other forms of corruption are the responsibility of all those working for Visual Management Systems Ltd or who are under the companies control. You should be aware that you may incur criminal liability if you breach this policy. All Company associates are required to avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, a breach of this policy.
  3. You must notify your line manager as soon as possible if you believe or suspect that a conflict with or a breach of 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 CRH, or indicates to you that a gift or payment is required to secure their business. Further danger signals that may indicate bribery or corruption are set out in the Schedule to this Policy.

What happens if you do not follow this policy

Any employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for gross misconduct. Visual Management Systems Ltd reserves the right to terminate its contractual relationship with other Company associates if they breach this policy.

Record-keeping

  1. The Company keeps financial records and has appropriate internal controls in place which will evidence the business reason for making any payments to third parties.
  2. You must declare and keep a written record of all hospitality or gifts accepted or offered, which will be subject to managerial review. There is a form available on the Company's intranet for so doing.
  3. You must ensure all expenses claims relating to hospitality, gifts or expenses incurred to third parties are submitted in accordance with the Company's expenses policy and specifically record the reason for the expenditure.
  4. 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 can go unrecorded to facilitate or conceal improper payments.

How to raise a concern

Please raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of fraud, bribery or corruption at the earliest possible stage. If you are unsure whether a particular act constitutes bribery or corruption, or if you have any other queries, these should be raised with your line manager or if you feel you are not able to do this, through one of the routes set out in the Visual Management Systems Ltd. Whistleblowing Policy.

What to do if a bribe is offered or a corrupt approach is made to you

It is important that you use one of the routes of communication referred to in paragraph 11 as soon as possible if you are offered a bribe by a third party, are asked to make one or suspect that this may happen in the future.

Protection

Employees and company associates who refuse to accept or offer a bribe, or those who raise concerns or report another's wrongdoing, may sometimes be concerned about possible repercussions. Visual Management Systems Ltd aims 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.

Visual Management Systems Ltd.iscommittedtoensuringnoonesuffersanydetrimentaltreatment 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 the Company Secretary immediately. If the matter is not remedied, and you are an employee, you should raise it formally using the Company's Grievance Procedure, which is available at all work places and is on the Company intranet.

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 how to implement and adhere to this policy.

CRH's zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption must be communicated to all suppliers, contractors and business partners at the outset of a business relationship with them and as appropriate thereafter.

Who is responsible for the policy?

The board of directors of Visual Management Systems Ltd has overall responsibility for ensuring this policy is understood and carried out by all employees and Company associates as part of its general duty to ensure the Company complies with its legal and ethical obligations and that all those under the Company's control comply with it.

The Company Secretary has primary day to day responsibility for implementing this policy and for monitoring its use and effectiveness and dealing with any queries on its interpretation. Management at all levels are responsible for ensuring that those reporting to them are made aware of and understand this policy and are given adequate training on this policy.

Monitoring and review

The Company Secretary will monitor the effectiveness and review the implementation of this policy, regularly considering its suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. Any improvements identified will be made as soon as possible. Internal control systems and procedures will be subject to regular audits to provide assurance that they are effective in countering bribery and corruption.

All employees and Company associates are responsible for the success of this policy and should ensure they use it to disclose any suspected danger or wrongdoing.

Employees and Company associates 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 Company Secretary.

This policy does not form part of any employee's contract of employment and it may be amended at any time.

Schedule

Potential Danger Signs

The following is a list of possible danger signs that may arise during the course of your work and which may raise concerns under various anti-bribery and anti­ corruption laws. The list is not intended to be exhaustive and is for illustrative purposes only.

If you encounter any of these danger signs while working for Visual Management Systems Ltd., you must report them promptly to your line manager or using the procedure set out in the Whistleblowing Policy:

  1. you become aware that a third party engages in, or has been accused of engaging in, improper business practices;
  2. you learn that a third party has a reputation for paying bribes, or requiring that bribes are paid to them, or has a reputation for having a "special relationship" with foreign government officials;
  3. a third party insists on receiving a commission or fee payment before committing to sign up to a contract with us, or carrying out a government function or process for us;
  4. a third party requests payment in cash and/or refuses to sign a formal commission or fee  agreement, or to provide an invoice or receipt for a payment made;
  5. a third party requests that payment is made to a country or geographic location different from where the third party resides or conducts business;
  6. a third party requests an unexpected additional fee or commission to "facilitate" a service;
  7. a third party demands lavish entertainment or gifts before commencing or continuing contractual negotiations or provision of services;
  8. a third party requests that a payment is made to  "overlook""  potential legal violations;
  9. a third party requests that you provide employment or some other advantage to a friend or relative;
  10. you receive an invoice from a third party that appears to be non-standard or customised or is from a different third party from the one you are dealing with;
  11. a third party insists on the use of side letters or refuses to put terms agreed in writing;
  12. you notice that we have been invoiced for a commission or fee payment that appears large given the service stated to have been provided;
  13. you are asked to give hospitality at which you are asked not to attend;
  14. you are offered hospitality at which the giver is not going to attend;
  15. you are asked to give hospitality to persons not directly associated with the organisation with which you are doing business (eg family members);
  16. a third party requests or requires the use of an agent1 intermediary1 consultant, distributor or supplier that is not typically used by or known to us;
  17. you are offered an unusually generous gift or offered lavish hospitality by a third party; or
  18. a relation of yours is offered by a third party payment1 gifts or employment in return for your granting favourable treatment to that third party.