1. Introduction

Alston Gayler (AG) does not tolerate any form of bribery and corruption.

The company’s corporate philosophy is based on a commitment to conduct its business professionally, fairly and with integrity.

The company has developed an unambiguous policy on bribery and corruption and will support its employees in making decisions and entering into activities that are wholly consistent with its stated position.

Offences under the Bribery Act 2010 (“the Act”) are now punishable for individuals by up to ten years imprisonment. The Act also creates a new corporate offence of failing to prevent bribery and corruption on behalf of a commercial organisation. Under this new offence AG would be criminally liable if an employee or associated person acting on behalf of AG committed bribery in order to win or retain business for AG.

The punishment for AG would be an unlimited fine (which could amount to several million pounds) issued and enforced by the criminal courts, significant civil recovery orders and irreversible damage to our reputation and business. AG would also receive significant regulatory sanctions imposed by the FSA and Lloyd’s of London.

2. Scope

AG’s bribery and corruption policy applies equally to directors, senior managers, staff (whether permanent, fixed-terms or temporary) consultants, contractors, trainees, seconded staff, home workers, causal workers, agency staff and interns (“employees”). It extends to all business dealings and transactions in every country and jurisdiction in which the company operates. The company will also require the application of this policy by all its “business partners” including: subsidiaries, ‘appointed representatives’, suppliers and joint venture partners. All such employees and business partners could be classed as an associated person for the purposes of the Act.

This policy should be executed in conjunction with the guidelines contained within the sections entitled Entertaining Third Parties and Acceptance of Giftsto be found in the ‘Staff Handbook 2009′.

3. 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 are given in the appendix 1.

4. Policy

AG does not engage in bribery or any form of unethical inducement or payment, including facilitation payments (sometimes called “grease” payments) and so-called ‘kickbacks’.

All employees are obliged to avoid any activities that might lead to or suggest a conflict of interest with the business ethics of the company. All employees are required to declare all hospitality supplied to third parties. Hospitality or gifts received which is deemed to be exceptional by nature of its size or occurrence will be entered into a company register and be subject to regular management review.

AG will uphold laws designed to oppose bribery and corruption in all jurisdictions in which it operates. The company will continue to pursue policy guidelines laid down by the FSA and will adhere to the statutory requirements of the Bribery Act 2010. Furthermore it will take due note in all its dealings with overseas clients where the country appears on ‘Transparency International Corruptions Perceptions Index’ as a high risk jurisdiction.

The company does not make any contributions to political parties or other bodies who pursue a political agenda.

5. Responsibilities

AG’s corporate responsibilities:

The primary responsibility for implementing this policy and for monitoring, reviewing and reporting on its continuing application and suitability is with the Compliance Committee under the guise of the Compliance Officer. The Compliance Committee will review the implementation of this policy in terms of its suitability, adequacy and effectiveness and will enact improvements as appropriate.

On the AG Board of directors, the director ultimately responsible for ensuring and reporting on the efficacy of policies implemented is the Chief Operating Officer. If any instance of bribery or corruption is identified, this will be notified to the Board and remedial steps will be taken immediately.

Employees’ responsibilities:

  • You must ensure that you read, understand and comply with this policy.
  • You must NOT engage in any activity that might lead to a breach of this policy.
  • You must notify the Chief Operating Officer and/or the Compliance Officer if you believe or suspect that a conflict with this policy has occurred or may occur in the future.
  • Any employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for gross misconduct. AG reserves its right to immediately terminate its contractual relationship with contractors and agents if they breach this policy.

6. Communications and how to raise a concern

The company’s policy and guidance to employees is disseminated through its established internal communication channels, which includes amongst other things, training.

Directors and employees will receive relevant training on the implementation of this policy within the scope of their employment (or contract period).

Employees are encouraged to raise concerns about any occurrence of unethical misconduct at the earliest possible stage by following the Disclosure of Matters of Public Interest Policy as set out in Section 49 of the Employee Handbook.

Employees who refuse to accept or offer a bribe or who raise a concern or a report are sometimes worried about possible repercussions. AG is committed to ensuring that no one suffers detrimental treatment as a result of refusing to take part in bribery or corruption, or because of reporting, in good faith, their suspicions that actual or potential bribery has taken place. If you believe that you have suffered any such detrimental treatment, you should immediately inform your line manager or the COO or a Non-Executive Director.

7. Internal audit and monitoring

AG has established systems which accurately record, document and report on all financial transactions. Internal control systems are subject to regular review so as to provide assurance that they continue to be effective in countering bribery and corruption.

Appendix 1.

Examples of Bribery:

Offering a bribe

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

This would be an offence as you are making the offer to gain a commercial or contractual advantage. AG may also be found to have committed an offence because the offer has been made to obtain business for the benefit of AG. It may also be an offence for the potential client to accept your offer.

However, the Bribery Act does not intend to prohibit reasonable and proportionate corporate hospitality where there is legitimate business rationale. You must follow AG’s Entertaining Third Parties and Acceptance of Gifts found in the ‘Staff Handbook 2009′.

Receiving a bribe

A supplier gives your nephew a job, but makes it clear that in return they expect you to use your influence in our organisation to ensure we continue 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 an advantage.

Bribing a foreign official

You arrange for AG to pay an additional payment to a foreign official to speed up an administrative process, such as granting a licence or visa.

The offence of bribing a foreign public official has been committed as soon as the offer is made. AG may also be found to have committed an offence if an advantage has been gained.