BRIBERY - WHAT IS IT?
Bribery is defined as giving someone a financial or other advantage to encourage that person to perform their functions or activities improperly or to reward that person for having already done so.
Simply put, it would be making a payment to someone in customs to get our products past them quicker.
SO I CAN'T ACCEPT GIFTS OR GO TO EVENTS WITH MY SUPPLIERS?
Generally speaking, taking clients out - for example to a big rugby game at Twickers - to present products or build relationships, is fine. It is, after all, an established way of doing business. But we also have to be mindful that hospitality and promotional, or other expenditure like it, can be used as bribes. So it's usually best to check with your manager or someone in the People team before you RSVP an invitation somewhere!
AREN'T BRIBES NORMAL IN SOME COUNTRIES?
Yes, but as we are a UK company we will still be in trouble if we go along with these practices anywhere else in the world.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES?
For individuals, up to 10 years in prison and an unlimited fine. Companies face unlimited fines.
WHAT IS THE DEFENCE AGAINST BRIBERY CHARGES?
We will reduce or remove any liability as long as we have tried our very best to prevent bribery (by implementing this learning to make sure everyone understands it, for example.)
But we also need strong systems and practices in place, discouraging behaviour that might be construed as bribery. At Jack, these include providing anti-bribery training, carrying out risk assessments for certain markets, and checking some peoples' and suppliers' backgrounds.
AREN'T THERE SOME GREY AREAS, HERE?
As with everything, it isn't always straightforward. The use of contractor and subcontracts is cloudy; the Ministry of Justice have guidance that says we only have to perform due diligence on those who actually supply goods or services to us - but what if there are implications between them and another client of theirs? We need to be mindful and diligent, is the message. Another point for debate at the moment is the question of liability between a parent company and a subsidiary, or even a partner - Alshaya, for example - if a bribe has been paid by a subsidiary or partner, and the benefit is solely to that party, then we are not necessarily liable - but we can't always be sure. Whilst this is yet to be worked out, we will do everything we can to avoid such situations.