Anti-Bribery Policy

1. Introduction

1.1. The Bribery Act 2010 created a single comprehensive code in relation to Bribery and Corruption. The act creates new offences and places responsibility on organisations as well as the individual. The act covers any country in the world and also includes any bribes paid by third parties on behalf of the organisation. The act also covers the acts of agents or associates acting on behalf of the organisation. The penalties are severe with potentially unlimited fines and the possibility of imprisonment up to a maximum of 10 years for individuals. The act creates two offences:

Bribing a foreign official

A person is guilty of the offence if their intention is to influence the official in the official’s capacity as a foreign public official. Foreign public officials include government officials and those working for international organisations. The offence does not cover accepting bribes, only offering, promising or giving bribes. It does not matter whether the offer, promise, or gift is made directly to the official or through a third party.

Failing to prevent bribery

The Bribery Act introduces a new offence for commercial organisations of failing to prevent bribery by persons associated with them. This is committed where a person associated with the organisation commits an act of corruption with the intention of obtaining or retaining business or of obtaining or retaining an advantage in the conduct of business. A person is deemed to be “associated” if he or she performs services for or on behalf of the company or partnership, without regard to whether the person is an employee, agent or subsidiary company. There is a statutory defence if the organisation can show that it had in place “adequate procedures” designed to prevent bribery.

2. Offences under the act

2.1. The Act creates four offences. The first three are offences that are committed by individuals:

  • Promising or offering a bribe;
  • Requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting a bribe;
  • Bribing a foreign public official; and
  • A corporate offence of “failure to prevent bribery” by “persons associated” with an organisation.

3. Definitions

3.1. A traditional definition of bribery is the receiving or offering of undue reward by or to any person whatsoever in a public office, private employee, colleague or representative of another organisation in order to influence their behaviour in office and to incline them to act contrary to known rules of honesty and integrity.

4. Policy Statement

4.1. This Policy applies to all staff and officials of the University Group including all staff and officials of all subsidiary or associated companies. The Policy also includes third parties such as agency workers, consultants, sub-contractors and others working on behalf of the University irrespective of their location, function or grade.

4.2. The University does not wish to stifle the development of good working relationships with suppliers, agents, contractors or officials; however, the actions must be transparent, proportionate and auditable.

4.3. The University expects our staff, officials, business partners, agents, suppliers and contractors to act with integrity and without any actions that may be considered as an offence within the meaning of the Bribery Act 2010.

4.4. University employees or any other person working on behalf of the University must not:

  • Offer or make a bribe, unauthorised payment or inducement of any kind to anyone;
  • Solicit business by offering a bribe, unauthorised payment or inducement to a third party;
  • Accept any kind of bribe, unauthorised payment or inducement that would not be authorised by the University in the normal course of events.

4.5. University employees or any other person working on behalf of the University must:

  • Refuse any bribe, inducement or unauthorised payment that is offered in a clear manner that could not lead to any misunderstanding;
  • Report all such offers received under the University’s “Speak Up” policy and procedures;
  • Report all perceived or potential breaches of this policy to both the line manager and the Chief Operating Officer.

5. Hospitality and Gifts

5.1. The University has an extensive policy on Gifts and Hospitality which complements this Anti-Bribery policy and must be adhered to. 

6. Reporting

6.1. The University takes compliance with the act very seriously and any known or perceived breach of the policy or act should be reported immediately to both the line manager and the Chief Operating Officer using the University “Speak Up” policy if appropriate. Any breach of this policy will be dealt with in accordance with Disciplinary Procedures.

Appendix: Document Control

Prepared by Ian Smallwood, Financial Accountant and Compliance Officer October 2021
Reviewed by Ruth Clark, Group Financial Controller October 2021
Approved by Finance Senior Management Team October 2021
Approved by University Executive Board November 2021
Published Finance Website December 2021
Date for review of policy 3 years after University Executive Board approval September 2024
Document owner Group Financial Accounts  

Contact us

Group Financial Accounts
Group Financial Accounts, Heslington Hall

Contact us

Group Financial Accounts
Group Financial Accounts, Heslington Hall