1. The Board of Directors of the Considerate Constructors Scheme Ltd (the “Company”) is committed to the Company applying the highest standards of ethical, honest, transparent, professional conduct and integrity in all its activities. As such the Company has a zero tolerance of any involvement in bribery or corruption, whether direct or indirect, which is not only criminal but will also reflect adversely on the image and reputation of the Considerate Constructors Scheme.
2. Every Director, officer, employee, Monitor, agent, consultant, individual or company acting on behalf of the Company is covered by this policy and is required to sign acknowledgement of their understanding of this policy.
3. The Board of Directors and senior management of the Company are committed to implementing and enforcing effective systems to prevent and eliminate bribery and corruption, in accordance with the Bribery Act 2010 – see page 3 below.
4. The Company aims to limit its exposure to bribery and corruption by:
- setting out a clear anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy which will be included in Employee Handbooks, Monitor Handbooks and induction packs for all officers, directors, agents, consultants, and individuals acting on behalf of the Considerate Constructors Scheme and in any agreements with companies engaged to act on the Scheme’s behalf.
- including anti-bribery and anti-corruption in the Company’s Risk Register for continuous review and risk assessment, particularly in relation to the Scheme’s scoring of sites and companies and presentation of awards.
- reviewing this policy on an annual basis and/or as required by any changes to the law.
- training all employees, officers, Directors and Monitors so that they can recognise and avoid any bribery and corruption by themselves or others.
- supporting its employees, Monitors and all those acting on behalf of the Company to be vigilant and to report any suspicion of bribery or corruption by providing them with suitable channels of communication and ensuring sensitive information is treated appropriately.
- rigorously investigating instances of alleged bribery or corruption and assisting the police and other appropriate authorities in any resultant prosecution.
- taking firm and vigorous action against any individual(s) involved in bribery or corruption.
5. It is a criminal offence which may result in imprisonment and/or unlimited fine, to offer, promise, give or pay bribes and to request, agree, accept or receive bribes, whether pecuniary or otherwise, to gain commercial, contractual, regulatory advantage for the Company, or any individual or company acting on behalf of the Company, or to gain personal advantage for any individual or other company, or anyone connected with the individual or other company.
6. A bribe is a financial advantage or other reward that aims to induce or influence the performance of public or corporate functions or duties improperly. This includes performing dishonestly, illegally or in breach of trust, in order to secure business or a business advantage.
7. The prevention, detection and reporting of bribery and corruption is the responsibility of all Directors, officers, employees, Monitors, agents, consultants, individuals, or companies acting on behalf of the Company.
8. Anyone concerned about potential bribery or corruption should report their concerns as quickly as possible to their line manager, the Chief Executive, Non-Executive Chair or Board Director.
9. This policy should always be considered when entering into any contract negotiations.
Conflicts of Interest
10. Directors and Scheme Monitors are likely to have commitments outside of the Scheme and it is recognised that this may result in conflicts of interest between the requirements of the Scheme and other organisations. This could relate equally to previous commitments/relationships, as well as current ones, and could also relate to friends or family members who work within the industry. Any association, current or previous, where it is possible for a third party to consider there to be a conflict should be considered. Please refer to the Conflicts of Interest Policy.
Gifts and Hospitality
11. The Bribery Act and this policy do not seek to prohibit the offering or acceptance of reasonable and transparent hospitality, provided it is proportionate and properly recorded in the Company’s Gift and Hospitality Register. Any gifts and hospitality offered and accepted are to be reported to the Chief Executive, Non-Executive Chair, or a Director of the Company. If anyone is in doubt as to whether a potential gift or hospitality might be considered inappropriate or disproportionate advice should be sought from the Chief Executive, Non-Executive Chair, or a Director of the Company. In most instances employees and those acting for or on behalf of the Company will be allowed to keep and accept gifts and hospitality up to the value of £250. Income tax may apply under certain circumstances.
12. Providing hospitality on behalf of the Company is permitted but authorisation must be obtained prior to the event from the Chief Executive if the value is to exceed £100 per person.
13. Gifts and hospitality may be offered and received up to the value of £100 per person per occasion, without the need to seek advance authorisation from the Chief Executive, Non-Executive Chair, or a Director of the Company. They should however be properly recorded in the Company’s Gift and Hospitality Register.
14. All travel booked by the Company for clients will require prior authorisation by the Chief Executive, or by the Non-Executive Chair or another Company Director in the absence of the Chief Executive.
15. As a Not-for-Profit organisation the Company’s Board of Directors will consider and authorise any proposed expenditure on sponsorship as recommended by the Chief Executive or other Board Directors.
Favours and Pro Bono Work
16. All requests for Favours and Pro Bono work require prior authorisation by the Chief Executive.
Foreign Public Officials (FPOs)
17. Before any sponsorship, charitable donation, Favour, or Pro Bono work is authorised the Company will check whether the recipient organisation has any associated FPOs and whether the involvement of any such FPOs could create a conflict of interest.
Expenses claim statement of compliance
18. All claims for expenses must have a signed statement of compliance.
Audit and Sanctions
19. The Company reserves the right to audit/investigate any action by Directors, officers, employees, Monitors, agents, consultants, individuals, or companies acting on behalf of the Company. Failure to implement any or all aspects of this policy will be considered an automatic breach of this policy.
20. The Company reserves the right to implement any sanction considered appropriate if, following investigation, it considers this policy has been breached.
21. The Company will keep records of all gifts and hospitality, sponsorship, client travel, Favours and Pro Bono work given by the Company.
22. The Considerate Constructors Scheme does not make contributions to political parties.
23. The Considerate Constructors Scheme will only make charitable donations that are legal and ethical under local laws and practices, and only after conducting Due Diligence on the potential recipient. Donations that exceed £250 must be approved by the Board of Directors.
The Bribery Act 2010
24. The Bribery Act 2010 contains two general offences covering the offering, promising, or giving of a bribe (active Bribery) and the requesting, agreeing to receive, or accepting of a bribe (passive Bribery). It also sets out two further offences which specifically address commercial bribery. These are:
- Bribery of a Foreign Public Official (FPO) in order to obtain or retain business or an advantage in the conduct of business, AND
- Corporate liability for failing to prevent bribery on behalf of a commercial organisation.
25. The Act also provides that the UK Courts will have jurisdiction over offences committed in the UK and also over offences committed outside the UK where the person committing them has a close connection with the UK, by virtue of being a British National, or ordinarily resident in the UK, or a person performing services for or on behalf of a body incorporated in the UK. It does not matter whether the offences take place in the UK or elsewhere. The UK courts have jurisdiction.
26. There is NO corporate liability for receiving a bribe (PASSIVE BRIBERY) by a person performing services on behalf of a body incorporated in the UK. This offence is specifically related to such persons offering or giving a bribe (ACTIVE BRIBERY).
27. Bona fide hospitality and promotional or other business expenditure which seeks to improve the image of a commercial organisation, better present its services, or establish cordial relationships is recognised as AN ESTABLISHED AND IMPORTANT PART OF DOING BUSINESS.
28. The Act does not prohibit “reasonable and proportionate” hospitality or other similar business
expenditure intended for these purposes.
29. In order to amount to a bribe there must be an INTENTION to give, offer or promise a financial, or other advantage, in order to influence someone to do something that is illegal, dishonest or in breach of trust so as to secure business or a business advantage.
30. The basic tests which will govern the rules in our anti-bribery programme are:
- Is our expenditure on hospitality and the like reasonable and proportionate?
- Is there NO INTENTION to give, offer or promise anything in order to influence anyone to do something illegal, dishonest or in breach of trust so as to secure business or a business advantage?
Reasonable and Proportionate
31. In order to provide guidance as to what we will regard as reasonable and proportionate, the Board has set a financial limit of £250.
32. Expenditure above these limits may still be reasonable and proportionate but will require prior approval in accordance with this policy.
33. These are usually small payments made to secure or speed up routine actions, usually undertaken by public officials, such as issuing permits, providing services and the like.
34. If you have any doubts about a payment and suspect that it might be a facilitation payment, only make the payment if the official can provide a receipt or written confirmation of its legality.
35. If a demand for payment is accompanied by threats such as you fear loss of life, limb, or liberty, ALWAYS put safety first and make the payment. Report the circumstances and amount involved to the Chief Executive as soon as possible.