Anti-Bribery

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish rigorous controls to ensure that the Certified Public Accountants Association (CPAA) is complaint with all appropriate anti-bribery and corruption regulations.

Policy statement

The Bribery Act 2010 defines the act of bribery as the giving or receiving of a financial or other advantage in an attempt ot motivate an individual, who holds a position of trust, or carries out a function that would normally be expected to be carried out impartially, into improper performance.

The CPAA has a zero-tolerance approach to all bribery and corruption. As a professional association we require ourselves to operate in a legal, fair, ethical and professional way. Acts of bribery are not only punishable by fines and prison sentences, they would also greatly affect the CPAA’s existing and future business relations and partnerships and would inflict a great deal of damage upon the CPAA’s reputation.

As an organisation with international members and business relationships with entities based outside of the UK the CPAA upholds all local laws and regulations in the countries in which we operate, however, regardless of geographical location we are still bound by the relevant laws of the UK, including the Bribery Act 2010.

Scope of this policy

All CPAA employees, directors, branch officials, contractors, trainees, interns, official agents, consultants, agency staff, fixed term staff and temporary staff (from here within this policy referred to as employees) as well as students are bound by this policy.

Within the context of this policy a third party is any individual or organisation who an employee comes into contact with while carrying out official duties for the CPAA.

Bribes

Employees must not engage in any form of bribery, whether directly or indirectly. It should also be noted that this policy explicitly forbids the bribing of foreign public officials anywhere in the world.

Gifts and hospitality

Employees must not give, receive or offer hospitality or gifts where these could be regarded as improper, illegal or where they violate the recipient’s own policies/ethical guidelines. Equally gifts and/or hospitality should not be offered to or accepted from any public employee, government official, government representative, politician or political party. When the value of an individual gift exceeds £100 and/or the value of hospitality exceeds £800 (total gifts and hospitality to one third party are not to exceed a total value of over £1,500 in any given financial year) authority must be sought from a director.

Where it is not appropriate to decline the gift or hospitality offer, it should be accepted and if approval to keep it is not granted by a director it should be donated to a registered charity determined by three directors.

Given that different regions have different cultural attitudes toward the giving of business gifts, the CPAA requires that all employees apply the following test: ask whether, considering the known circumstances, the gift or hospitality is reasonable and justified, and that there is no intent by the giver of the gift to insight improper performance.

Facilitation payments

Facilitation payment are a form of bribery which involve the payment of money, or the transfer of good(s) or service(s), in exchange for expediting or facilitating an individual’s performance of their regular duties.

CPAA employees must not make or accept facilitation payments.

If an employee is faced with a situation where not making a facilitation payment could result in personal injury, or injury to their family, friends or co-workers, then the payment should be made. Though the amount should be kept to a minimum, and the employee’s manager should be informed. A record should be kept of the date the payment was made, the purpose of the payment, the amount, who the payment was made to and why the payment was made.

Political contributions

The CPAA does not make any donations, whether in cash or kind, to any political party, politician or political candidate. This prohibition extends to quasi-political organisation and those that maybe reasonably perceived to be political organisation.

Employee’s may make personal donations to political organisations/candidates. Though the employee should not use CPAA funds or facilities to do so. If making such a donation employee should under no circumstances make their connection to the CPAA known and should never imply the donation is in any way from the CPAA.

Charitable contributions

Charitable donations must be approved by at least three directors. Donations should only be made to registered charities in the UK and should be made in accordance with all applicable laws. All charitable donations must be publicly disclosed.

Risk assessment

The Association is a small organisation, with virtually no cash transactions and a focus on the UK market. These factors mean the bribery risks faced by the Association are low[1]. Despite the low risks faced by the Association we are committed to exploring and monitoring the risks we face. Below we explore the key bribery risks the Association faces.

Details of risk

Likelihood

Control measures

Employee maybe offered a bribe to admit an applicant where they do not meet the entry criteria.

low

·        Applications are reviewed by two employees. This would require two employees to breach the Association’s anti-bribery policy.

·        Practising members must regularly re-submit evidence as part of the renewal of their practising certificate and as part of QA process. These processes would highlight members who failed to meet entry criteria.

·        Membership of the Association does not confer any special privileges. The risks associated with committing a bribery offence therefore, for most, will outweigh any benefit of gaining membership.

Employee maybe offered a bribe to overlook a failure of a member, which may result in their removal from membership (for example, a criminal conviction).

low

·        Failures to meet the Association’s ‘fit and proper test’ are reviewed by at least two employees. This would require multiple employees to breach the Association’s anti-bribery policy.

·        Such failures are often in the public domain and such it would be difficult to conceal.

A third party may offer a bribe to secure a contract.

low

·        The Association’s suppliers are all based in low risk jurisdictions (Canada, USA, Netherlands).

·        Decisions to award contracts are scrutinised by the BoD/trustees.

 

Responsibilities

All employees must read, understand and comply with this policy. If an employee needs clarification on any element of this policy they must contact their manager as soon as possible.

The prevention, detection and reporting of bribery and other forms of corruption are the responsibility of all employees.

Any employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for gross misconduct. We reserve the right to terminate out contractual relationship with any worker who breaches this policy. If an employee is also a member and they are found to have breached this policy, they may also be subject to disciplinary action which may result in their membership being terminated.

Record keeping

The Association’s Company Secretary has responsibility for maintaining records of any gifts or hospitality given or received. Such records must include:

  • the date of the transaction
  • what the transaction was
  • why the transaction was made
  • who was involved in the transaction
  • supporting documents (such as an invoice), where appropriate

These records must be retained for the length of time that the employee has a connection with the Association plus ten years.

In accordance with this policy gifts below the value of £100 do not need to be recorded, unless the aggregate value of gifts received from one source exceeds £200 over a twelve month period from the date of first receiving a gift (in such cases all gifts received from the source should be recorded).

These records must be made available to any regulator, member or member of the public within twenty working days of a request being made in writing to the Company Secretary.

The Company Secretary may delegate this responsibility to any other employee, who should be named here if such a delegation is made. However, the Company Secretary remains ultimately responsible for the maintenance of these records.  

Raising concerns

If you have any concerns, or are unsure if an activity breaches this policy, you should inform your manager or the Operations Manager, who can be contacted at the below address:

Operations Manager

105 – 109 New Street

Blackrod

Bolton

Greater Manchester

BL6 5AG

 

What to do if you are offered a bribe (employee and officials)

If you are offered a bribe you must inform you manager or the Company Secretary as soon as possible. Failure to do so can result in disciplinary action. 

Protection

The CPAA support any employee who raises a concern in relation to this policy, even if the concern turns out to be a mistake. Under CPAA guidelines you are protected form any negative repercussions related to raising a concern under this policy (this includes threats, discrimination, disciplinary action etc.). If you have raised a concern relating to this policy and feel as though you have been the victim of negative repercussions as a consequence you should contact the Operations Manager or Chairman of the Association.

Training and communication

All employees receive training on this policy, both upon induction and at regular intervals during their employment.

Responsibility

All employees are responsible for maintaining the Association’s zero tolerance approach to bribery and corruption.

Ultimate responsibility for this policy rests with the Board of Directors (the directors/trustees). Responsibility for record keeping rests with the Company Secretary and day to day responsibility with the Operations Manager.

Monitoring and review

The Operations Manager keeps this policy under regular review to ensure its suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. Any improvements identified will be made as soon as possible.

Employees are encouraged to suggest improvements to this policy. Suggestions should be made in writing to the Operations Manager.

This policy may be amended at any time.

 

[1] Ministry of Justice, ‘The Bribery Act 2010, Quick start guide’, p.4-5 (Available here - https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/832012/bribery-act-2010-quick-start-guide.pdf)