Anti-Bribery & Modern Slavery Policy

TEXO has a zero tolerance towards bribery and bribery of any kind is strictly prohibited.

TEXO is committed to taking appropriate action against bribery and corruption and under no circumstances should any provision be made, money set aside or accounts created for the purposes of facilitating the payment or receipt of a bribe.

This policy applies to all employees and officers of the organisation, and to temporary workers, consultants, contractors, agents and subsidiaries acting for, or on behalf of, the organisation (“associated persons”) within the UK and overseas. Every employee and associated person acting for, or on behalf of, the organisation is responsible for maintaining the highest standards of business conduct. Any breach of this policy is likely to constitute a serious disciplinary, contractual and criminal matter for the individual concerned and may cause serious damage to the reputation and standing of the organisation.

Bribery Act 2010

The organisation is committed to complying with the Bribery Act 2010 in its business activities in the UK and overseas.

Under the Bribery Act 2010, a bribe is a financial or other type of advantage that is offered or requested with the:

  • intention of inducing or rewarding improper performance of a function or activity; or
  • knowledge or belief that accepting such a reward would constitute the improper performance of such a function or activity.

A relevant function or activity includes public, state or business activities or any activity performed in the course of a person’s employment, or on behalf of another organisation or individual, where the person performing that activity is expected to perform it in good faith, impartially, or in accordance with a position of trust.

A criminal offence will be committed under the Bribery Act 2010 if:

  • an employee or associated person acting for, or on behalf of, the organisation offers, promises, gives, requests, receives or agrees to receive bribes; or
  • an employee or associated person acting for, or on behalf of, the organisation offers, promises or gives a bribe to a foreign public official with the intention of influencing that official in the performance of his/her duties (where local law does not permit or require such influence); and
  • the organisation does not have the defence that it has adequate procedures in place to prevent bribery by its employees or associated persons.

All employees and associated persons are required to comply with this policy, in accordance with the Bribery Act 2010.

What is prohibited?

The organisation prohibits employees or associated persons from offering, promising, giving, soliciting or accepting any bribe. The bribe might be cash, a gift or other inducement to, or from, any person or organisation, whether a public or government official, official of a state-controlled industry, political party or a private person or organisation,

regardless of whether the employee or associated person is situated in the UK or overseas. The bribe might be made to ensure that a person or organisation improperly performs duties or functions (for example, by not acting impartially or in good faith or in accordance with their position of trust) to gain any commercial, contractual or regulatory advantage for the organisation in either obtaining or maintaining organisation business, or to gain any personal advantage, financial or otherwise, for the individual or anyone connected with the individual.

This prohibition also applies to indirect contributions, payments or gifts made in any manner as an inducement or reward for improper performance, for example through consultants, contractors or sub-contractors, agents or sub-agents, sponsors or sub-sponsors, joint-venture partners, advisors, customers, suppliers or other third parties.

Records

Employees and, where applicable, associated persons, are required to take particular care to ensure that all organisation records are accurately maintained in relation to any contracts or business activities, including financial invoices and all payment transactions with clients, suppliers and public officials.

Due diligence should be undertaken by employees and associated persons prior to entering into any contract, arrangement or relationship with a potential supplier of services, agent, consultant or representative [in accordance with the organisation’s procurement and risk management procedures].

Employees and associated persons are required to keep accurate, detailed and up-to-date records of all corporate hospitality, entertainment or gifts accepted or offered.

Working overseas

Principle

Employees and associated persons conducting business on behalf of the organisation outside the UK may be at greater risk of being exposed to bribery or unethical business conduct than UK-based employees. Employees and associated persons owe a duty to the organisation to be extra vigilant when conducting international business.

Procedure

Employees and associated persons are required to cooperate with the organisation’s risk management procedures and to report suspicions of bribery to their Line Manager in the first instance. While any suspicious circumstances should be reported, employees and associated persons are required particularly to report:

  • close family, personal or business ties that a prospective agent, representative or joint-venture partner may have with government or corporate officials, directors or employees;
  • a history of corruption in the country in which the business is being undertaken;
  • requests for cash payments;
  • requests for unusual payment arrangements, for example via a third party;
  • requests for reimbursements of unsubstantiated or unusual expenses; or
  • a lack of standard invoices and proper financial practices.

If an employee or associated person is in any doubt as to whether or not a potential act constitutes bribery, the matter should be referred to their Line Manager in the first instance.

Facilitation payments

Principle

The organisation prohibits its employees or associated persons from making or accepting any facilitation payments. These are payments made to government officials for carrying out or speeding up routine procedures. They are more common overseas. Facilitation payments are distinct from an official, publicly available fast-track process. Facilitation payments, or offers of such payments, will constitute a criminal offence by both the individual concerned and the organisation under the Bribery Act 2010, even where such payments are made or requested overseas. Employees and associated persons are required to act with greater vigilance when dealing with government procedures overseas.

Procedure

Where a public official has requested a payment, employees or associated persons should ask for further details of the purpose and nature of the payment in writing. If the public official refuses to give these, this should be reported immediately to their Line Manager in the first instance.

If the public official provides written details, the Line Manager will consider the nature of the payment. Local legal advice may be sought by the organisation.

If it is concluded that the payment is a legitimate fee, for example part of a genuine fast-track process, or is permitted locally, the organisation will authorise the employee to make the payment.

Where a Line Manager considers that the request is for a facilitation payment, the employee or associated person will be instructed to refuse to make the payment and notify the public official that the employee or associated person is required to report the matter to the organisation and the UK embassy.

The organisation will seek the assistance of the relevant employee in its investigation and may determine that the matter should be referred to the prosecution authorities.

If an employee or associated person has any other concerns about the nature of a request for payment, he/she should report it to a Line Manager using the reporting procedure set out in this policy and in accordance with the organisation’s whistleblowing policy.

Corporate entertainment, gifts, hospitality and promotional expenditure

Principle

The organisation permits corporate entertainment, gifts, hospitality and promotional expenditure that is undertaken:

  • for the purpose of establishing or maintaining good business relationships.
  • to improve the image and reputation of the organisation; or
  • to present the organisation’s [goods/services] effectively; provided that it is:
  • arranged in good faith; and
  • not offered, promised or accepted to secure an advantage for the organisation or any of its employees or associated persons or to influence the impartiality of the recipient.

The organisation will authorise only reasonable, appropriate and proportionate entertainment and promotional expenditure.

This principle applies to employees and associated persons, whether based in the UK or overseas. However, those with remits overseas will be given further training on the specific procedures that they are required to follow.

Procedure

Employees and, where relevant, associated persons should submit requests for proposed hospitality and promotional expenditure well in advance of proposed dates to a Line Manager.

Employees are required to set out in writing:

  • the objective of the proposed client entertainment or expenditure;
  • the identity of those who will be attending;
  • the organisation that they represent; and
  • details and rationale of the proposed activity.

The organisation will approve business entertainment proposals only if they demonstrate a clear business objective and are appropriate for the nature of the business relationship. The organisation will not approve business entertainment where it considers that a conflict of interest may arise or where it could be perceived that undue influence, or a particular business benefit was being sought (for example prior to a tendering exercise).

Any gifts, rewards or entertainment received or offered from clients, public officials, suppliers or other business contacts should be reported immediately to Line Manager, In certain circumstances, it may not be appropriate to retain such gifts or be provided with the entertainment and employees and associated persons may be asked to return the gifts to the sender or refuse the entertainment, for example where there could be a real or perceived conflict of interest. As a general rule, small tokens of appreciation, such as flowers or a bottle of wine, may be retained by employees.

What practices are permitted?

This policy does not prohibit:

  • normal and appropriate hospitality and entertainment with clients (please see the organisation’s expenses policy); and
  • the use of any recognised fast-track process that is publicly available on payment of a fee.

Any such practices must be proportionate, reasonable and made in good faith. Clear records must be kept.

Risk management

Principle

The organisation has established detailed risk management procedures to prevent, detect and prohibit bribery. The organisation will conduct risk assessments for each of its key business activities on a regular basis and, where relevant, will identify employees or officers of the organisation who are in positions where they may be exposed to bribery.

Procedure

The organisation will identify high-risk areas, for example projects undertaken in high-risk countries, tenders for work and those working on high-value projects. Employees and associated persons are required to complete a bribery risk assessment form with their Line Manager when commencing a new project.

The organisation will:

  • regularly monitor “at risk” employees and associated persons;
  • regularly communicate with “at risk” employees and associated persons;
  • undertake extensive due diligence of third parties and associated persons; and
  • communicate its zero-tolerance approach to bribery to third parties, including actual and prospective customers, suppliers and joint-venture partners.

Reporting suspected bribery

Principle

The organisation depends on its employees and associated persons to ensure that the highest standards of ethical conduct are maintained in all its business dealings. Employees and associated persons are requested to assist the organisation and to remain vigilant in preventing, detecting and reporting bribery.

Employees and associated persons are encouraged to report any concerns that they may have to a Line Manager as soon as possible. Issues that should be reported include:

  • any suspected or actual attempts at bribery;
  • concerns that other employees or associated persons may be being bribed; or
  • concerns that other employees or associated persons may be bribing third parties, such as clients or government officials.

Procedure

Any reports will be thoroughly and promptly investigated by a Line Manager in the strictest confidence. Employees and associated persons will be required to assist in any investigation into possible or suspected bribery.

Employees will also be required to comply with the organisation’s whistleblowing policy.

Employees or associated persons who report instances of bribery in good faith will be supported by the organisation. The organisation will ensure that the individual is not subjected to detrimental treatment as a consequence of his/her report. Any instances of detrimental treatment by a fellow employee because an employee has made a report will be treated as a disciplinary offence. An instruction to cover up wrongdoing is itself a disciplinary offence. If told not to raise or pursue any concern, even by a person in authority such as a manager, employees and associated persons should not agree to remain silent. They should report the matter to a Line Manager.

When an individual report suspected instances of bribery, the organisation will process any personal data collected in accordance with its data protection policy. Data collected from the point at which the individual makes the report is held securely and accessed by, and disclosed to, individuals only for the purposes of dealing with the report of bribery.

Action by the organisation

The organisation will fully investigate any instances of alleged or suspected bribery. Employees suspected of bribery may be suspended from their duties while the investigation is being carried out. The organisation will invoke its disciplinary procedures where any employee is suspected of bribery, and proven allegations may result in a finding of gross misconduct and immediate dismissal. The organisation may terminate the contracts of any associated persons, including consultants or other workers who act for, or on behalf of, the organisation who are found to have breached this policy.

The organisation may also report any matter to the relevant authorities, including the Director of Public Prosecutions, Serious Fraud Office, Revenue and Customs Prosecutions Office and the police. The organisation will provide all necessary assistance to the relevant authorities in any subsequent prosecution.

Review of procedures and training

The organisation will regularly communicate its anti-bribery measures to employees and associated persons. The organisation will set up training sessions where applicable.

The HSEQ Department will monitor and review the implementation of this policy and related procedures on a regular basis, including reviews of internal financial systems, expenses, corporate hospitality, gifts and entertainment policies.

Employees and those working for, or on behalf of, the organisation are encouraged to contact the HSEQ Department with any suggestions, comments or feedback that they may have on how these procedures may be improved.

The organisation reserves the right to amend and update this policy as required. For the avoidance of doubt, this policy does not form part of employees’ contracts of employment.

If there is any doubt as to what might amount to bribery or what might constitute a breach of this statement, it must be referred to a Director.

Training will be given to all employees to assist them in understanding their duties and responsibilities under this Policy. Sub-contractors will be reminded of their contractual obligations under this Policy.

TEXO recognises that industry practices may vary from country to country or from culture to culture. What is considered unacceptable in one place may be normal or usual practice in another.

TEXO will monitor compliance of this Policy and considers any breach as a disciplinary matter, which will be dealt with in accordance with the Company’s disciplinary procedures.

In summary, it is not acceptable to give, promise to give, or offer, a payment, gift or hospitality with the expectation or hope that a business advantage will be received, or to reward a business advantage already given, or to accept a payment, gift or hospitality from a third party that you know or suspect is offered or provided with the expectation that it will obtain a business advantage for them.

If you believe that this Policy is being breeched or that there is lack of clarity in the wording or intent of this policy as it is being applied, then you should contact the undersigned who will treat the matter in strict confidentiality.

Chris Smith

Group Managing Director

Date: December 2020

Next review – December 2021

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