Anti-Fraud, Bribery and Corruption

1. Introduction

Resilient and Ready is committed to maintaining honesty and integrity in all its activities. It is also committed to the prevention of fraud, bribery and corruption within Resilient and Ready and to the rigorous investigation of any such allegations.

Resilient and Ready will seek to apply appropriate criminal, disciplinary, regulatory and civil sanctions against fraudsters and where possible will attempt to recover any identified losses.

Resilient and Ready wishes to encourage anyone that has reasonable suspicions of fraud to report them. All employees, contractors, consultants, vendors and other internal and external stakeholders can be confident that they will not suffer in any way as a result of reporting reasonably held suspicions of fraud. For these purposes “reasonably held suspicions” shall mean any suspicions other than those which are raised maliciously andfound to be groundless.

Resilient and Ready has approved a “Whistle blowing Statement” in accordance with the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. Under the terms of this Act, a member of staff is protected if they act reasonably and responsibly.

2. Quick reference guide

This Statement must be followed in full when developing or reviewing and amending Resilient and Ready procedural documents.

For quick reference the guide below is a summary of actions required. This does not negate the need for the document author and others involved in the process to be aware of and follow the detail of this Statement.

  1. Resilient and Ready has a zero tolerance to fraudulent and corrupt behaviour.
  2. All employees must take effective action to minimise the risk of fraud and corruption to the organisation.
  3. Employees must ensure all gifts and hospitality, and outside business interests are reported in accordance with Resilient and Ready Standards of Business Conduct Statement.
  4. Allegations can also be reported to the company accountant or financial supervisor.
  5. If the concern relates to the any authorised body that carries out, or has responsibility for company finances, a report must also be made to the Directors.
  6. All allegations will be investigated to determine whether offences have been committed contrary to the Fraud Act 2006, the Bribery Act 2010 and other relevant legislation.

Resilient and Ready will pursue appropriate sanctions against those shown to have acted dishonestly. Sanction action can include: Criminal sanctions (including warnings, cautions and criminal prosecution action), disciplinary sanctions (including oral and written warnings and dismissal), referral to professional body, and recovery of monies lost.

3. Aims and Objectives

This anti-fraud, bribery and corruption Statement is intended to ensure that employees, contractors, consultants, vendors and other internal and external stakeholders are aware of the correct reporting requirements and of the actions the organisation will take to counter fraud, bribery and corruption. The Statement is intended to ensure that fraud, bribery and corruption is recognised and reported by employees, contractors, consultants, vendors, and other internal and external stakeholders who are aware of their responsibility.

4. Scope

This document is intended to provide direction and help to those senior staff and directors of Resilient and Ready who become aware of fraud, bribery or corruption against the company. This document is not intended to provide direction on prevention of fraud.

This document aims to guide employees, contractors, consultants, vendors and other internal and external stakeholders their roles and responsibility in preventing fraud, corruption or bribery.

The Statement will apply to all employees, contractors, consultants, vendors and other internal and external stakeholders.

5. Definitions

Fraud

            Fraud is defined as: A dishonest act (or a failure to act) made with the intention of making a financial gain or causing a financial loss (or risk of loss).

            The dishonest act does not need to be successful for fraud to be committed, as long as the intention exists. Neither does the financial gain have to be personal but can be for the benefit of another. Where the intent is to cause a loss to the company, no gain by the perpetrator needs to be shown.

Bribery and Corruption

The Bribery Act 2010 is the relevant legislation. The Act creates a number of criminal offences and those most applicable to Resilient and Ready and this Statement are:

Offence of bribing another person – is defined by section 1 of the Act.  It is also an offence for a person to offer, promise, or give a bribe to another person as an inducement for them improperly performing any duty. For example, providing excess hospitality to a potential purchaser or commissioner of the organization’s services. 

Offence of being bribed – is defined by section 2 of the Act. It is an offence for a person to request, or agree to receive, or accept a financial or other advantage as an inducement to, or as a reward for, the improper performance of any function or activity.

Failure of a commercial organization to prevent bribery – is defined within section 7 of the Act. If an individual bribes another person to obtain or retain business, or an advantage in the conduct of business for an organization, then that organization may also be guilty of an offence.

6. Roles and Responsibilities

The Board of Directors

  • The Board of Directors (or equivalent management body) should take overall responsibility for the effective design, implementation and operation of the anti-bribery and corruption initiatives. The Board should ensure that senior management is aware of and accepts the initiatives, and that they are embedded in the corporate culture.
  • A decision on whether to refer the matter to the Police (or another agency), seek Police assistance or to commence criminal proceedings will be made with the agreement of the Board.

Finance

The Finance supervisor or designated company accountants prepare documents and maintain detailed financial procedures and systems that incorporate the principles of separation of duties and internal checks to supplement those procedures and systems.  Finance will report to the Board on the adequacy of internal financial control and risk management. All anti-fraud, bribery and corruption work within the organisation is directed by the Board.  They shall be responsible for operational matters such as authorising the investigation of alleged fraud, interviews under caution and the recovery or write-off of any sums lost to fraud.

Human Resources (or HR Advisor)

  • Human Resources staff play a vital part in identifying and reporting incidents of suspected fraud, bribery and corruption. 
  • Criminal and disciplinary processes have different purposes, different standards of proof, and are governed by different rules. As such, it would not be appropriate for one investigation to cover both criminal and disciplinary matters.  A disciplinary enquiry can proceed in parallel with a criminal investigation as long as there is close co-operation between Human Resources staff and the company’s investigating officer.
  • The purpose of a disciplinary investigation is to establish the facts of the case, i.e. to ascertain whether there is a reasonable belief that the alleged misconduct has occurred; whether the employee has any explanation for the alleged misconduct; and whether there are any special circumstances to be taken into account. Disciplinary investigations and ensuing proceedings must adhere to the Company’s Disciplinary and Grievance Statement and Procedures.
  • It is not unusual for the criminal and disciplinary processes to overlap. For example, an employee who is being investigated for suspected fraud may also be the subject of disciplinary proceedings by the company arising out of the same set of circumstances.
  • In the case of parallel criminal and disciplinary processes, these should be conducted separately, but there needs to be close liaison between HR and other agencies and functions since one process may impact on the other. This may include the sharing of information where lawful and at the appropriate time.

Managers

  • All managers are responsible for ensuring that policies, procedures and processes are adhered to.
  • Managers have a responsibility to ensure that employees are aware of fraud, bribery and corruption and understand the importance of protecting the company from it.  Managers will also be responsible for the enforcement of disciplinary action for staff who do not comply with policies and procedures.
  • It is important that managers do not investigate any suspected financial crimes themselves.
  • Managers will proactively identify and report any system weaknesses that could facilitate fraud, bribery or corruption.

All Employees

  • All employees are required to comply with the policies and procedures of Resilient and Ready and apply best practice in order to prevent fraud, bribery and corruption. 
  • Employees who are involved in, or manage, internal control systems should ensure that they receive adequate training and support in order to carry out their responsibilities.
  • Under no circumstances should a member of staff speak or write (including email) to representatives of the press, TV, radio, or to another third party, about suspected fraud, bribery or corruption.

Information Management and Technology

            The Computer Misuse Act became UK law in 1990; the Act identifies three specific offences:

  1. Unauthorized access to computer material could include using another person’s password without proper authority in order to use data or a program, or to alter, delete copy or move a program or data.
  2. Unauthorized access with intent to commit or facilitate commission of further offences could include gaining unauthorized access to financial or administrative records with intent.
  3. Unauthorized acts with intent to impair, or with recklessness as to impairing, operation of computer, could include destroying another user’s files; modifying system files; creation of a virus; and deliberately generating information to cause a complete system malfunction.

7. Reporting Fraud, Bribery or Corruption

Be aware that, in general, Fraud, Bribery or Corruption are criminal offences. As such extreme care must be taken when responding to any allegations in this area. It is imperative that any criminal investigation (where appropriate) has precedence over any internal process and must be supported by all staff members.

           Resilient and Ready has comprehensive procedures in relation to the declaration of interests, gifts and hospitality and sponsorship.

  • Any employee of Resilient and Ready discovering or suspecting fraud, bribery or corruption should report the matter immediately to their supervisory manager.  All information received is treated in the strictest confidence.
  • If an employee is concerned that that their Manager themselves may be implicated in suspected fraud, bribery or corruption, the matter should be reported to a Director.

Sanction and Redress

            Where an objective investigation has found that fraud, bribery and corruption is present the company will seek to apply appropriate sanctions. This may include:

  • Criminal Prosecution – The Board will work with the Police and/or the Crown Prosecution Service to bring a case to court against the alleged offender.
  • Disciplinary – Disciplinary procedures will be initiated where an employee is suspected of being involved in a fraudulent/illegal act.
  • Civil proceedings – Civil sanction will be applied against those who commit fraud, bribery and corruption to recover money and/or assets which have been fraudulently obtained, including interest and costs. 
  • Professional body disciplinary – If the organisation is aware during the course of an investigation that an employee is involved in fraud, bribery or corruption, the regulatory body will be made to consider whether fitness to practice procedures should be evoked.

            Resilient and Ready will seek financial redress wherever possible to recover losses to fraud, bribery and corruption.  The redress can take the form of confiscation and compensation orders, a civil order for repayment, or a local agreement between the organisation and the offender to repay monies lost.

8. Monitoring and auditing of Statement effectiveness

Resilient and Ready will monitor the effectiveness of this Statement to ensure that it remains appropriate and continues to provide clear direction and help to those of Resilient and Ready who become aware of fraud, bribery or corruption.

Where deficiencies or weaknesses are identified as a result of monitoring and/or reviewing system controls, Resilient and Ready will make appropriate recommendations for improvement.  These will be considered by the Board of Directors.

9. Specific exceptions.

There may be occasion where specific exceptions or extenuating circumstances dictate a deviation from Statement. These will be Risk Assessed, approved (if appropriate) in writing by a director.

Further Information

UK Bribery Legislation and Guide

ActionFraud UK

Anti Corruption (UK Gov)