Policies

Information about our Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy

1.              ZERO TOLERANCE OF BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION

1.1.         The Canada - United Kingdom Chamber of Commerce (“the Chamber”) has a zero tolerance of bribery and corruption.  The Chamber’s purpose is to act as the foremost non-governmental authority on all aspects of two-way trade and investment between Canada and the United Kingdom. It is committed to carrying out its role fairly, honestly, openly and with integrity.

1.2.         The anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy extends to all of the Chamber’s dealings and operations in all the jurisdictions within which it operates (mainly Canada and the United Kingdom).  This anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy will be periodically reviewed to capture any changes in the law or in the Chamber’s practices.  All directors, board observers and staff are expected to be familiar with each change to the anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy. All directors, board observers and staff are required to comply with the anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy without exception.

1.3.         Rejecting bribery and corruption is critical for our reputation as a leading provider of networking opportunities and promoter of commercial relations between Canada and the United Kingdom.

1.4.         The Chamber will publish the following statement on its external website:

We have a zero tolerance of bribery and corruption. This policy extends to all the Chamber’s dealings and transactions in pursuit of its sole purpose to be the foremost non-governmental authority on all aspects of two-way trade and investment between Canada, the United Kingdom and Europe. This policy is given force in a detailed anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy which is periodically reviewed to capture changes in the law, reputational demands and changes in the Chamber’s role and activities. All directors, board observers and staff (including employees and consultants) are required to comply with this policy.’

1.5     Breach of this policy may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal for gross misconduct.

 

2.              WHAT IS BRIBERY AND CORRUPTION?

2.1.         Broadly, bribery is the offering, promising, giving, accepting or soliciting of an advantage as an inducement for an action which is illegal or a breach of trust.  An “advantage” includes a monetary payment or other benefit.  An action which is illegal includes the improper performance of a person’s professional functions.

2.2.         Improper performance of a person’s professional function would be a failure to perform it in line with the relevant expectation.

2.3.         A professional function is any function of a public nature; any activity connected with a business, trade or profession; or any activity carried out in the course of employment; or any activity carried out on behalf of a body of persons (corporate or unincorporated).

2.4.         The relevant expectation is that the function will be performed in good faith and performed with impartiality, where the person doing so is in a position of trust.

2.5.         The test for whether the performance of the function has been carried out improperly is objective: would a reasonable person in the UK consider that the performance of the function has been carried out improperly?

2.6.         Accordingly, it is unacceptable for any director, board observer or member of staff to participate in any form of bribery or corruption, as follows:

2.6.1.            offering, promising or giving an advantage to another person, intending that the person (or someone else on his/her behalf) is rewarded for performing, or being induced to perform, a relevant function improperly;

2.6.2.           requesting, agreeing to or accepting a bribe, intending that the person (or someone else on his/her behalf) is rewarded for performing, or being induced to perform, a relevant function improperly; and

2.6.3.            giving, promising to give, or offering a payment, gift or hospitality to a government official, agent or representative to facilitate or expedite a routine procedure.

2.7.        If any director, board observer or member of staff is unsure as to whether any act constitutes an act of bribery or corruption, or is unsure as to the meaning of bribery and corruption generally, he/she is instructed to obtain further clarification from the Executive Director.

 

3.              PROMOTIONAL EXPENDITURE: GIFTS, HOSPITALITY OR THE RE-IMBURSEMENT OF EXPENSES

3.1.         The Chamber prohibits the offering, giving or receiving of gifts, hospitality and the re-imbursement of expenses whenever they are or could reasonably be perceived to be a bribe, or are not reasonable and bona fide.

3.2.         This policy does not prohibit reasonable, proportionate and appropriate gifts and/or hospitality given to or received from third parties, provided it is in accordance with this policy.

3.3.         The recipient of any gift and/or hospitality should not be given the impression that he/she is under an obligation to confer any business as a result of the hospitality itself, or that his/her independence will be affected by receiving any such hospitality.

3.4.         The giving to or receiving of gifts from government officials or from individuals or companies that provide the Chamber with goods or services must be reported to and approved by the Audit Committee.

3.5.         Any hospitality or promotional expenditure should reflect a desire to cement good relations or should seek to improve and promote the image and purpose of the Chamber and better present its services and/or gain a better understanding of the other person’s services.

3.6.         You must consider whether in all the circumstances the gift or hospitality is reasonable, proportionate and appropriate. Consideration as to whether something is reasonable, proportionate and appropriate includes but is not limited to:

3.6.1.            what the intention of the gift or hospitality is;

3.6.2.            whether there is any secrecy involved;

3.6.3.            the value of the gift/hospitality (the higher the value, the less likely it is to be appropriate); and

3.6.4.            how this would reflect on the Chamber if the details were made public.

3.7.         Circumstances that are usually acceptable include:

3.7.1.            occasional dinners, lunches or coffees with existing or prospective members of the Chamber;

3.7.2.            occasional attendance at ordinary sports, theatre and other cultural events; and

3.7.3.            gifts of nominal value (such as pens or other small promotional items).

3.8.         Circumstances which would usually not be appropriate include:

3.8.1.            gifts of cash or a cash equivalent (e.g. vouchers);

3.8.2.            gifts in your name, not in the Chamber’s name;

3.8.3.            secret gifts;

3.8.4.            gifts given to or received from government officials or representatives; and

3.8.5.            something being offered for something in return.

3.9.         Any form of gift, entertainment or hospitality given, received or offered with a value of over £100, or of any value if offered to or accepted from government officials, judges, politicians or similar individuals must be approved by the Executive Director (or in the case of the Executive Director, by the Audit Committee) and noted on the Gift Register which must be maintained by the Executive Director.  The Gift Register shall be inspected from time to time (and at least annually) by the Audit Committee.

 

4.              CHARITABLE CONTRIBUTIONS/CORPORATE SPONSORSHIPS

4.1.         From time to time, the Chamber may make charitable contributions or offer corporate sponsorships. These must be recommended by the Charitable Donation Committee for approval by the Board of Directors. The Chamber never makes charitable contributions or corporate sponsorships in an attempt to influence any decision. The Chamber only makes charitable donations to charities registered with the UK Charities Commission (or overseas equivalent) that are legal and ethical.

4.2.         The Chamber will be transparent as to its criteria behind the selection of the organisations to which donations, contributions, sponsorship are made.

4.3.         This policy does not prohibit any individual director, board observer or member of staff from offering, making, seeking or receiving a charitable donation in his or her own private capacity, provided that the donation is made to a bona fide charity, is not intended to have the effect of obtaining a business advantage, and there is no risk that it could be perceived as a bribe in connection with the Chamber or its operations. 

5.              POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS

5.1.         A political contribution is defined as a contribution, financial or in kind, to support a political cause.  A contribution can include both a gift or a loan of property, services, advertising or promotional activities.

5.2.         It is the Chamber’s policy not to make political contributions in any form, whether to political parties, causes or to support individual candidates. The Chamber partakes in occasional lobbying activities to highlight particular issues of concern and to represent its members’ opinions, as part of its overall role and purpose.

5.3.         Directors, board observers and members of staff may make their own personal contributions, provided that they are not made in any way for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or securing an advantage for the Chamber.  The Chamber will not reimburse any director, board observer or member of staff in any way for making political contributions.

 

6.              FACILITATION PAYMENTS

6.1.         The Chamber prohibits ‘facilitation’ payments by its directors, board observers and staff, as these are bribes and illegal.  Facilitation payments are small payments made to individuals (usually but not always public officials) to secure or speed up routine actions, such as issuing visas, licences, permits, or providing services.  Paying a higher tariff to a government for a quicker service (e.g. for a visa in 24 hours rather than 1 week) is not a facilitation payment, provided that the payment is made to the government and not to the individual personally.   

6.2.         Facilitation payments can also be solicited by employees of commercial providers of services, such as telephone, cable or IT services.  The Chamber’s policy also requires that we work to ensure that our contractors and suppliers do not make facilitation payments on our behalf. 

6.3.         Facilitation payments may be requested when a director, board observer or member of staff is travelling.  If it becomes necessary to make such a payment under threat of physical harm, confiscation of property or loss of liberty or imprisonment, then payment should be made and reported in detail to the Audit Committee on the director, board observer or member of staff’s return to the office.  If possible, the director, board observer or member of staff should try to obtain a receipt and details of the official to whom the payment was made.

 

7.              HUMAN RESOURCES AND REPORTING

7.1.         No member of staff will suffer demotion or penalty or any other disciplinary action or adverse consequence for refusing to pay or accept a bribe, even if such a refusal may result in the Chamber losing an opportunity to fulfil and promote its role.

7.2.         Compliance with the anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy is mandatory for all directors, board observers and members of staff.  Failure to comply with the anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy will be a disciplinary offence and can result in dismissal from employment or removal from office as the case may be.  Such sanctions will be applied openly and consistently to all directors, board observers and members of staff. 

7.3.         If any director, board observer or member of staff genuinely and in good faith considers that an act of bribery has or might have taken place, or is likely to occur, he/she must report the matter as soon as possible to the Audit Committee or the Executive Director who must report it to the Board of Directors.

7.4.         In addition, article 10.17 of the Chamber’s articles of association require the office of a director of the Chamber to be vacated in, among other things, the following circumstances:

“10.17.7 he is convicted of an indictable offence and the Directors shall resolve that it is undesirable in the interests of the Chamber that he remains a Director of the Chamber; or

10.17.8 the conduct of that Director (whether or not concerning the affairs of the Chamber) is the subject of an investigation by an inspector appointed by the Secretary of State or by the Serious Fraud Office (or any successor body or body equivalent in any foreign jurisdiction thereto) and the Board shall resolve that it is undesirable that he remains a Director.”

If any director, board observer or member of staff becomes aware that a director has engaged in conduct (whether or not concerning the affairs of the Chamber) which would require consideration by the Board in the circumstances set out above, he/she must report the matter as soon as possible to the Audit Committee or the Executive Director who must report it to the Board of Directors.

7.5.         Each director, board observer  and member of staff can speak up without fear of recrimination.  No director, board observer or member of staff will suffer any detrimental treatment arising out of the reporting of a genuine suspicion in good faith, even if such suspicions turn out to be mistaken.  If any director, board observer or member of staff is in any doubt as to whether to report a matter, the matter should be reported.

 

8.              AGENTS AND OTHER INTERMEDIARIES

8.1.         The Chamber does not use third party agents to obtain work, to effect its operations or to expand its membership.

 

9.              VENDORS/SUPPLIERS: CONTRACTING AND PURCHASING

9.1.         The Chamber’s awarding of contracts will be carried out in line with the Chamber’s policy of zero tolerance of bribery.

9.2.         All suppliers are selected by reference to clearly specified criteria, relating to the quality of the product or service, its availability and price.

 

10.           INTERNAL CONTROLS & RECORD KEEPING

10.1.      Accurate record keeping and accounts are the key to ensuring transparency in all transactions involving the Chamber.

10.2.      The Chamber has an effective system of internal controls to counter bribery, comprising financial and organisational checks and balances over the Chamber’s accounting and record-keeping practices.

10.3.      The Chamber maintains accurate books and records which properly and fairly document all financial transactions.

10.4.      The Chamber does not and will not maintain “off-the-book” accounts.

10.5.      Each director, board observer and member of staff is expected to maintain a high standard of record keeping, and to ensure the accuracy of records or accounts.

10.6.      Each director, board observer and member of staff must ensure that he or she submits all expense claims relating to hospitality, gifts or other expenditure incurred in relation to third parties in accordance with the Chamber’s expenses policy.

 

11.           REVIEW OF POLICY

11.1.      This policy will be reviewed regularly and may be amended at any time in line with legal or regulatory requirements or to improve its effectiveness.

11.2.      The Board of Directors and/or Audit Committee will periodically review the implementation and adherence to this anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy and will review any incidents of allegations of bribery and corruption and actions taken to correct deficiencies, as they occur.

 

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