Industrial Protective Paints Ltd – Anti fraud and bribery policy
Approved: Mathew Galley
- Scope of this Policy
- This policy applies to all relevant persons of Industrial Protective Paints Ltd.. Relevant persons include staff, board members, volunteers, and short-term contractors.
- Part I includes sections that are useful for and made available to all relevant persons and are publicly available on Industrial Protective Paints Ltd.’s website.
- Part II includes sections that are used for the board and senior management team (SMT) in responding to allegations and incidences of fraud and building an anti-fraud culture.
- Definitions of Corruption, Fraud, and Bribery
- Definitions of corruption, fraud, and bribery are found in Appendix I.
- It is also bribery to make unofficial payments (known as ‘grease’ or ‘facilitation’ payments) to any official to secure or speed up a routine action to which you may feel entitled to. For example, if you pay a public official a small “fee” to speed up the issuing of a visa.
- Zero Tolerance on Fraud or Bribery
- Industrial Protective Paints Ltd.’s position on fraud and bribery is to take a zero-tolerance approach, and we are committed to pursuing this approach throughout its operational practices for the following reasons:
- Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. recognizes the significant risk that fraud and bribery pose to achieving its aims and objectives. Any money that is lost to fraud or bribery is money that cannot be used to accomplish our mission.
- Corrupt behaviour also seriously damages our reputation. The eradication of fraud and bribery in the way we operate is greatly important to securing our stakeholders’ trust and confidence.
- We owe it to all out stake holders not to condone fraud or bribery. Corruption creates unstable markets, It destroys public and business standards and forces people to use ill-advised resources in their interactions with business’ and the government.
- We support the application of the zero-tolerance policy by providing:
- Direction and rules to establish appropriate and expected behaviour.
- Effective deterrents to inappropriate behaviour in the form of meaningful consequences.
- Prevention measures to reduce the risk of fraud or bribery occurring.
- Detection measures to identify fraud or bribery if it happens, including encouraging whistle-blowers.
- Response measures to ensure we react well to suspicions, allegations, and proven incidents of fraud and bribery, including protection and fair treatment for the accusers and accused.
- Measurement processes to evaluate the impact and success of our anti-fraud and bribery policy and management of risk.
- Deliberate proactive steps to embed anti-fraud & bribery thinking into our culture, including staff training and awareness.
- Anyone found guilty of fraud or bribery will be subject to disciplinary measures, which ordinarily include dismissal, prosecution, and recovery of losses.
- Anti-Bribery Policy
- Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. employs all legal and safe tactics to avoid and resist paying bribes to public officials, even if it results in denials, delays, inconvenience, and increased cost to our operations.
- No person is authorized to pay a bribe on behalf of Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. or use Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. funds for such a purpose.
- Individuals are not expected to resist bribery to the point of putting themselves or others at real risk of personal harm or injury. A payment under such circumstances is considered extortion rather than bribery.
- Conflicts of Interest
- A conflict of interest exists where an employee or a board member has an interest, relationship, or friendship which could, or could be seen to, interfere with their ability to decide an issue in the best interests of Industrial Protective Paints Ltd..
- The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all conflicts of interest are declared, declared conflicts are managed to mitigate the associated risks, and that decisions and actions are documented to ensure transparency and accountability.
- Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to):
- Relationships between members of the Senior Management Team, accounts staff, procurement staff, HR staff or board members, and any other staff member.
- Relationships between any person and their line manager
- Relationships between Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. staff or board members and suppliers, customers, beneficiaries, or job applicants.
- A ‘relationship’ in this context could include family, romantic relationships, being a bank signatory, advisor, or board member.
- The existence or discovery of a conflict of interest does not constitute a breach of policy as long as it is disclosed promptly.
- All staff are required to disclose conflicts of interest as soon as they arise, or the staff member becomes aware of the conflict of interest. Examples of such disclosures would include:
- A close friend of a staff member applies for a job with Industrial Protective Paints Ltd..
- A potential supplier presented to the company is a company where an employee is a board member.
- Appropriate actions should be taken to resolve the conflict of interest, which may be temporary or permanent.
- The steps taken to manage the conflict of interest and mitigate the risk of conflicted decision taking should be documented in the employee’s Personnel file.
- Gifts and Entertainment
- Gifts and entertainment should never be used or allowed to influence business decision-making.
- When offers of gifts and entertainment are made or accepted in situations where they are inappropriate, they can look like, or may be, bribes. They can expose us to accusations of unfairness or even break the law and can put our reputation for ethical behaviour at risk.
- Positive, healthy, normal business practices can include accepting and making offers of gifts and entertainment, which develop and maintain positive and strong business relationships. We should be able to accept and make offers of gifts and entertainment ONLY when they are appropriate, i.e., when they:
- are proportionate in the context; and
- do not create any sense of expectation or obligation on the recipient or the giver.
- The following gifts may never be offered or accepted and will always be deemed inappropriate.
- Cash of any amount
- Any gift with a value exceeding £100.
- Any entertainment worth more than £200.
- Any gifts from existing suppliers or prospective suppliers while a tender process is underway
- Any gifts or loans to staff involved in supplier selection decisions
- Entertainment involving gambling, anything of a sexual nature, or exploitation of others.
- It is never allowed to request a gift or entertainment.
- Gifts or entertainment below the limits above are not necessarily appropriate.
- In some circumstances, an element of judgment is required to decide whether a gift is appropriate or not. If any staff member is in any doubt, they should consult a management team and obtain written permission before accepting or offering a gift.
- The following circumstances imply the giving or receiving of a gift or entertainment offer may be appropriate:
- The giving and receiving of the gift or entertainment strengthens a genuine business relationship.
- The gift or entertainment does not constitute an attempt to apply undue influence and does not create an undue obligation.
- The gift or entertainment is given or accepted in the open rather than in secret.
- The gift or entertainment is given to celebrate a recognized cultural event or holiday (for example a Christmas card or Christmas lunch).
- The gift or entertainment is given to the organization or a group (department) rather than an individual.
- The gift or entertainment is branded marketing materials (pens/notebooks etc.).
- The value of the gift or entertainment is not excessive or abnormal in a social context.
- The timing of the gift or entertainment is not suspicious.
- The following circumstances imply the giving or receiving of the gift or entertainment may be inappropriate:
- The timing, nature, or circumstances of the gift means it could be perceived as an attempt to influence a business decision.
- The value of the gift is excessive in the circumstances (despite being below the limits given above).
- The receiver feels obligated, or the giver feels entitled.
- The gift is given or received in secret.
- If any staff or board member is offered an inappropriate gift, they should politely decline it and inform their line manager.
- In the event that declining an inappropriate gift in the moment might be culturally inappropriate or embarrassing, it should be returned within no less than a week, with appropriate documentary evidence to prove that the gift was returned.
- In the event that an inappropriate gift is received publicly, steps should be taken to restore the organization’s reputation, in addition to returning the gift for example donating it to a charity.
- In the event that inappropriate gifts are received without consent (such as courier deliveries, bank, or mobile money transfers), these should be declared immediately. Steps should be taken to return the gift or notify authorities if money laundering is suspected.
- Inappropriate gifts received by employees and subsequently declared should not be received into the organization’s funds – rather they should be returned in all cases.
- Appropriate gifts, given to the organization as a whole, or to a particular team, should normally be enjoyed or shared by all relevant staff members (e.g., gift basket or flowers). Where an appropriate item is not easily sharable, it should be raffled off by random and transparent means or donated to charity.
- Speaking Up
- Industrial Protective Paints Ltd.’s policy on speaking up is designed to build confidence to report genuine concerns about fraud, bribery, or other types of misconduct. For many cases of misconduct, someone reporting it is the only way it can be discovered and dealt with.
- A genuine concern is sincerely felt and based on information the reporting person believes to be true or trustworthy. Upon further investigation, a genuine concern may or may not turn out to be true. The motivation of the person reporting a genuine concern is not relevant to its definition as a genuine or not.
- A false accusation is when the reporting person knowingly fabricates information or reports information, they know to be false.
- Industrial Protective Paints Ltd.’s encourages all stakeholders to be whistle-blowers and to raise any genuine concerns.
- Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. has zero tolerance to anyone who is found to have wilfully and deliberately abused the whistle blowing policy to knowingly make false accusations. Appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken.
- A genuine concern should be reported when there is evidence or a strong suspicion of misconduct in any of the following areas:
- Fraud or bribery
- Sexual misconduct
- Any illegal act
- Concerns may be reported, either in person or by email, using any of the following whistle-blower contacts below:
- Mathew Galley, Managing Director, firstname.lastname@example.org
- John Galley, Board Member, email@example.com
- All relevant persons are strongly encouraged to report genuine concerns. They should report as much detail as possible, including who, when, where, and how and whether they have evidence for the basis of their suspicion.
- Concerns may be reported anonymously, but people are encouraged to give their name and/or contact details. It is easier to investigate allegations when follow-up questions with the reporting person is possible.
- Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. will address any concerns raised with the reporting person within 72 hours, assuming contact details have been provided.
- Supporting Reporting Persons
- Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. has zero tolerance to any form of retaliation against reporting persons (also known as ‘whistle-blowers’).
- All relevant persons who report genuine concerns will be properly protected and supported.
- Details of any allegations or suspicions raised should be recorded in writing headed (as appropriate) Fraud, Bribery, and Misconduct report.
- Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. commits to take the support of whistle-blowers seriously by:
- Taking care not to underestimate or disregard the risk that a reporting person may be exposed to, or the level of fear or anxiety they may be experiencing.
- Appointing someone with responsibility to support the reporting person (the ‘support person’). Usually, this will be their line manager.
- Providing the support person with relevant information to share with the reporting person unless they are a member of the Fraud Response Team (if appointed by the management for the case in question).
- Assuring the reporting person that their concern is being handled and taken seriously.
- Explaining that their identity will be protected to every extent possible but cannot be guaranteed.
- Answering questions as appropriate and providing emotional support but not sharing confidential information with the reporting person.
- Informing the person of any decision to investigate or not, investigation outcome, and actions taken as appropriate.
- Taking necessary steps to ensure the safety of any reporting person, even if there is a cost implication, in cases where the person experiences or fears retaliation or harassment.
- Fraud Response Team
- Once a concern has been reported or otherwise identified, the responsibility to respond to that allegation will fall to the Senior Management Team who may choose to appoint a Fraud Response Team in order to include appropriate external support.
- The Fraud Response Team will be convened by a board member if the board decides a separate team is required to ensure impartiality. Any relevant person implicated in an allegation may not be a member of the Fraud Response Team.
- The roles and responsibilities of the Fraud Response Team are to:
- Document meetings, decisions, and learning
- Maintain confidentiality, especially concerning the reporting person and the person accused of alleged misconduct
- Ensure the reporting person is supported and protected from harm (see Section 8)
- Take urgent steps to protect assets or information as needed
- Communicate and manage internal and external communications as appropriate
- Make preliminary investigations
- Decide whether or not to conduct a full investigation
- Set up the Terms of Reference for the investigation
- Act on the findings of the investigation
- A case file should be opened to hold all emails, meeting minutes, reports, and other information relevant to the case. The file should be held in a safe and secure place.
- All reported or otherwise identified allegations, suspicions, or concerns should be brought to the attention of the Board. It is imperative to maintain confidentiality but providing updates about actions taken until the issue is closed.
- Conducting Investigations
- The purpose of investigating is to gather evidence and facts to establish whether suspicions or allegations are true, and whether any proven incidents are isolated or more widespread.
- All investigations should be impartial, thorough, timely, and confidential.
- Any relevant persons investigated will be considered innocent until proven guilty. False or mistaken accusations are not uncommon.
- All reported allegations or suspicions of misconduct should normally be investigated. This includes cases where:
- There is a belief that the genuine concern may have been reported due to malicious motives.
- The allegation relates to attempted fraud or bribery.
- The accused staff member has since left the Industrial Protective Paints Ltd..
- The Fraud Response Team may decide not to investigate in exceptional cases where a reported allegation or suspicion:
- Is frivolous, trivial, or has clearly arisen from a misunderstanding.
- Is wholly unbelievable, i.e., there is no conceivable way the facts it related to could have occurred.
- If there is insufficient information to investigate.
- Investigations may be carried out by in-house staff, an internal auditor (which may be an outsourced function), an audit firm, or a specialist investigation consultant, depending on the case.
- Investigators should be objective and unbiased, thorough, able to maintain confidentiality, competent in investigative techniques, empowered with sufficient seniority and confidence, honest, and independent of any possible subsequent disciplinary process.
- The Fraud Response Team should set clear terms of reference for the investigator including background, allegations made, the scope of investigation, and the timeline for expected work and reports.
- Care should be taken not to compromise evidence. This may include:
- Two full backups of hard drives/electronic files – one copy left untouched and the other used for the investigation.
- Keeping documents in the files they were filed in, and in the order they were filed in. If documents are removed, take a note of where they were located.
- Adding hole punches to or writing comments on documents that may be admitted as evidence.
- Considering fingerprint contamination if appropriate.
- The following factors should be considered when deciding whether or not to suspend staff:
- Could the staff member’s presence result in the risk of loss or damage to evidence, influencing witnesses, or interfering with the investigation in any way?
- Would the impact on other staff or operations be excessive?
- Are there laws regarding the maximum length of any formal suspension?
- Have other alternatives been considered, such as requiring them to take leave?
- The legal and other rights of interviewees should be considered when conducting interviews during an investigation. This may include ensuring that:
- All interviews are completely and accurately documented.
- There is a complete ban on coercion or coercive techniques.
- The date, time, and location of interviews are, unless required, within office hours.
- The interviewees’ wish or right to have a witness or lawyer present is respected as appropriate.
- A formal documented investigation report should be submitted to the Fraud Response Team, according to the agreed timing, which outlines the case’s findings, facts, and conclusions.
- The investigation report should make recommendations about weaknesses. It should avoid making any recommendations associated with disciplinary consequences.
- Reporting and Acting on Findings of Investigations
- The Fraud Response Team will agree on the appropriate actions to be taken in light of the findings of an investigation.
- Where fraud is collusive and involves more than one staff member, junior employees should never be used as a scapegoat to protect more senior employees.
- Once receiving the investigation report, the Fraud Response Team may choose to take the following actions, as appropriate to the case:
- Take legal advice
- Pass the matter to the Senior Management to take action against guilty individuals, in accordance with the disciplinary policy, which should usually be dismissal.
- Organize appeal hearings in accordance with disciplinary policy in case of individuals’ appeal.
- Clear the reputations of those accused but found innocent of wrongdoing.
- Recover losses from individuals
- Make improvements to internal control systems to ensure that similar frauds do not happen again
- Implement recommendations from the investigation report
- Communicate with staff, and public as necessary
- All decisions and actions of the Fraud Response Team shall be documented and filed.
- A one-page summary of the case (allegation, response, and outcome) should be prepared, shared with the board.
- Induction, Training, and Awareness
- All relevant persons should receive training in the following elements (starred items at induction):
- Definitions of fraud and bribery, with relevant examples
- Relevant sections of this policy (zero tolerance, conflicts, gifts, speaking up)*
- Reporting suspicions*
- What to report
- How to report
- Confidentiality and protection
- Signing declarations (code of conduct, conflict of interest, zero tolerance, etc)*
- Zero tolerance principle
- Disciplinary Process
- Where evidence of fraud or bribery is discovered, Industrial Protective Paints Ltd.’s disciplinary policy should be followed.
- Per Industrial Protective Paints Ltd’s Zero Tolerance Policy, the usual outcome for committing or attempting to commit fraud or bribery or deliberate abuse of the speaking up lines will be dismissal.
- In the event of collusion or coercion, consideration may be given to a degree of leniency if it results in information against a more senior staff member.
- Grievance Process
- If staff feel they have been treated unfairly during a fraud or bribery response, they may take recourse in line with the Grievance Policy.
- Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. supplier contract’s discourage any form of misconduct.
|Appendix I: Glossary Terms||Definition|
|Attempted fraud or bribery||An unsuccessful effort to commit fraud or bribery.|
|Bribery||The unlawful act of offering or receiving any gift, loan, fee, reward, or other advantage (taxes, services, donations etc.) to or from any person as an inducement to do something which is dishonest, illegal or a breach of trust, in the conduct of one’s duties.|
|Corruption||The abuse of entrusted power for private gain.|
|Embezzlement||To steal money that people trust you to look after as part of your work.|
|Entertainment||Invitations to attend events with a social aspect, such as meals and conferences, and entertainment events including shows or games, which are offered free of charge or at reduced rates.|
|Error||An accidental mistake, for example, in a calculation or a decision.|
|Extortion||Act of utilizing one’s access to a position of power or knowledge, either directly or indirectly, to demand unmerited cooperation or compensation due to coercive threats.|
|Fraud||The act of intentionally deceiving someone in order to gain an unfair or illegal advantage (financial, political, or otherwise).|
|Gift||Goods, services, or cash offered to or by staff or board members, or their friends, family, or associates, at free or preferential rates. Unpaid loans are considered gifts for the purposes of this policy.|
|Money Laundering||The concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money, typically by means of transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses.|
|Negligence||Failure to give care or attention, especially when this causes harm or damage.|
|Nepotism||Form of favoritism based on familial relationships whereby someone in an official position exploits his or her power or authority to provide a job or favor to a family member, even though he or she may not be qualified or deserving.|
|Public Official||Any person holding legislative, executive, administrative, or judicial office, whether he/she is appointed or elected, permanent or temporary, paid or unpaid.|
|Robbery||The crime of taking money or property illegally, often by using threats or violence.|
|Theft||The crime of stealing.|
The following are examples of fraud and bribery relevant to Industrial Protective Paints Ltd.’s context. The list is by no mean exhaustive.
- A employee requires or accepts kickbacks from suppliers or customers.
- A staff member submits fake receipts in an expense claim.
- A manager requires payment for authorizing an expense claim.
- A staff or board member fails to disclose a conflict of interest with a partner, supplier, or another staff member.
- A staff member bribes an auditor to ignore or fails to report an audit finding.
- A staff member colludes with a supplier to get a kickback on overpriced goods or services.
- A Finance staff member records transactions in the accounting records they know to be false.
- A Finance staff member knowingly posts entries to incorrect codes to conceal fraudulent payments.
Zero Tolerance Declaration
New employees should complete this form when they join the organization
I, ____________________________________, understand that Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. has a zero tolerance policy on fraud and bribery.
I understand that fraud includes a wide range of dishonest behaviours, including theft, making false statements, falsifying data, and using, property that does not belong to me for my own purposes and without permission.
I understand that bribery includes a wide range of dishonest behaviours, including accepting or paying kickbacks and making or receiving unofficial payments.
I understand that at Industrial Protective Paints Ltd.:
- Fraud and bribery are never acceptable.
- All activities that Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. undertakes in furthering its mission must be done with integrity.
- Resources must be protected and maximized for the benefit of our stakeholders.
- Any employee found to have committed fraud or bribery will be subject to serious disciplinary action or termination of employment.
I understand that Industrial Protective Paints Ltd. strongly encourages me to speak up and report any genuine concerns or suspicions of fraud or bribery, sexual misconduct, harassment, or illegal acts in the workplace.
I understand that I can report those suspicions verbally or in writing by contacting:
- Matthew Galley, firstname.lastname@example.org
- John Galley, email@example.com
I understand that I may report anonymously, but I am encouraged to give my name to make the investigation possible.
Fraud, Bribery & Misconduct Report Form
The information contained within this form is highly confidential. Only authorized persons should have access to the form and the information recorded here. This form must be securely stored.
|Date report made|
|Who reported (name and job title)|
|Date/s of incident/s triggering suspicion|
|Nature of suspicion|
|Suspect (name and job title)|
|Evidence/witnesses (if any)|
|Estimate of Loss|
|Other relevant information|
|Completed by Name:|
|Received by Executive Director Signature:|