1 STATEMENT OF POLICY
1.1 Scotland Rugby League (SRL) is committed to conducting all of its business activities in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. Its management and employees are dedicated to high ethical standards and recognise the SRL’s duty to conduct its affairs fairly and within the bounds of the law. The SRL has a zero tolerance approach to bribery and corruption.
1.2 The SRL will uphold all laws relevant to countering bribery and corruption in all the jurisdictions in which it operates. However, it also remains bound by UK laws including the Bribery Act 2010, in respect of its conduct both at home and abroad.
1.3 The purpose of this policy is to:
set out the responsibilities of the SRL and its management and employees in upholding the SRL’s commitment to preventing any form of corruption and bribery;
provide information and guidance to management and employees on how to recognise and deal with any potential corruption and bribery issues.
1.4 Bribery and corruption are punishable for individuals by up to ten years’ imprisonment and if the SRL is found to have taken part in corruption, it could face an unlimited fine and face damage to its reputation. It therefore takes its legal responsibilities very seriously.
1.5 This policy applies to all individuals working at all levels and grades within the SRL including directors, officers, employees (whether permanent, fixed term or temporary), consultants, contractors, trainees, seconded staff, agency staff, volunteers, interns, sponsors and agents, or any other person associated with the SRL, including all individuals working in all subsidiaries, operating divisions, and units of the SRL (referred to in this policy as SRL Personnel).
1.6 The SRL’s board of directors adopted this policy on DATE TBC
2 WHAT IS BRIBERY?
2.1 A bribe is an inducement or reward offered or promised in order to gain any commercial or other advantage.
2.2 Gifts, hospitality, political or charitable donations or any other form of funding for educational or other purposes will be bribes where they are given or received with the intention of gaining a commercial or other advantage.
3 CORPORATE HOSPITALITY
3.1 The SRL may provide corporate hospitality to third parties, provided that the hospitality is reasonable and proportionate and its purpose is to maintain the SRL’s profile or establish cordial business relations.
3.2 However, corporate hospitality should not be provided where it is intended to influence a particular business decision by a third party, or otherwise to gain a commercial advantage for the SRL.
3.3 SRL Personnel may accept corporate hospitality provided by third parties, provided the hospitality is reasonable and proportionate and its purpose is to maintain the third party’s profile or establish cordial relations.
3.4 However, corporate hospitality should not be accepted where it is excessive, disproportionate or intended to influence a particular business decision by the SRL, or otherwise to gain a commercial advantage for the third party.
3.5 SRL Personnel should politely decline excessive entertainment explaining that SRL policy prohibits the receipt of such entertainment. If SRL Personnel are in doubt as to whether entertainment is appropriate, they should raise their concerns with their Line Manager or the Chair or Vice Chair prior to accepting.
4 GIFTS AND HOSPITALITY
4.1 SRL Personnel are permitted to accept gifts from third parties and to give gifts to third parties provided the following requirements are met:
(a) they are not made with the intention of influencing a decision to obtain or retain business or a business advantage, or to reward the provision or retention of business or a business advantage, or in explicit or implicit exchange for favours or benefits;
(b) they comply with local law;
(c) they do not include cash or a cash equivalent (such as gift certificates or vouchers);
(d) taking into account the reason for the gifts, they are of an appropriate type and value and given at an appropriate time;
(e) they are given openly, not secretly.
4.2 Gifts should not be offered to, or accepted from, government officials or representatives, or politicians or political parties, without the prior approval of the Chair.
5 FACILITATION PAYMENTS
5.1 It is the SRL’s policy not to make facilitation payments of any kind. Facilitation payments are typically small, unofficial payments made to secure or expedite a routine government action by a government official. They are not commonly paid in the UK, but are common in some other jurisdictions.
5.2 If SRL Personnel are asked to make a payment on the SRL’s behalf, they should always be mindful of what the payment is for and whether the amount requested is proportionate to the goods or services provided. SRL Personnel should always ask for a receipt which details the reason for the payment. If SRL Personnel have any suspicions, concerns or queries regarding a payment, they should raise these with the Chair.
6 CHARITABLE AND POLITICAL DONATIONS
6.1 The SRL may make donations for charitable purposes provided they are legal and ethical under local laws and practices.
6.2 The SRL does not make contributions to political parties.
6.3 It is The SRL’s policy to maintain accurate and appropriate documentation of all donations.
7 WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR IMPLEMENTING THIS POLICY?
7.1 The board of directors has overall responsibility for ensuring this policy complies with the SRL’s legal and ethical obligations and that all SRL Personnel comply with it.
7.2 The board has appointed the Chair as the person with primary and day-to-day responsibility for implementing this policy, as well as monitoring its use and effectiveness and dealing with any queries on its interpretation.
7.3 However, is the responsibility of all SRL Personnel to ensure that they have read, understand and comply with this policy.
7.4 SRL Personnel who breach this policy will face disciplinary action, which could result in dismissal for gross misconduct.
8 RECORD KEEPING
8.1 All SRL Personnel must keep financial records and have appropriate internal controls in place which will evidence the business reason for making payments to third parties.
8.2 All SRL Personnel must declare and keep a written record of all hospitality or gifts accepted or offered, which will be subject to managerial review.
8.3 All SRL Personnel must ensure all expenses claims relating to hospitality, gifts or expenses incurred to third parties are submitted in accordance with the SRL’s expenses policy and specifically record the reason for the expenditure.
8.4 All accounts, invoices, memoranda and other documents and records relating to dealings with third parties, such as clients, suppliers and business contacts, should be prepared and maintained with strict accuracy and completeness. No accounts must be kept “off-book” to facilitate or conceal improper payments.
9 Training and education
9.1 The SRL will provide all SRL Personnel with appropriate training, as determined to be necessary in the light of the relevant individual’s role within the SRL.
9.2 The Chair will designate those SRL Personnel required to attend training and retraining seminars.
9.3 The Chair will disseminate to all relevant SRL Personnel alerts regarding new rules, regulations or compliance notices issued by relevant government or professional entities.
10 How to raise concerns
10.1 SRL Personnel are encouraged to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of malpractice at the earliest possible stage.
10.2 SRL Personnel can raise concerns with the Chair, their line manager, or other appropriate SRL officers.
10.3 Concerns may be raised anonymously and it is the SRL’s policy that any individual who reports a compliance concern in good faith will not be subject to retaliation or harassment of any kind as a result of doing so.
11 Monitoring and review
11.1 The Chair will monitor the content, effectiveness and implementation of this policy on a regular basis. Any updates or improvements identified will be made as soon as possible.
11.2 SRL Personnel are invited to comment on this policy and suggest ways in which it might be improved. Comments, suggestions and queries should be addressed to the Chair.
POTENTIAL RISK SCENARIOS: “RED FLAGS”
The following is a list of possible red flags that may arise during the course of working for SRL and which may raise concerns under various anti-bribery and anti-corruption laws. The list is not intended to be exhaustive and is for illustrative purposes only.
If SRL Personnel encounter any of these red flags, they must report them promptly to their manager or to the Chair or using the procedure set out in the whistle blowing policy:
(a) becoming aware that a third party engages in, or has been accused of engaging in, improper business practices;
(b) learning that a third party has a reputation for paying bribes, or requiring that bribes are paid to them, or has a reputation for having a “special relationship” with foreign government officials;
(c) a third party insisting on receiving a commission or fee payment before committing to sign up to a contract with the SRL, or carrying out a government function or process for the SRL;
(d) a third party requesting payment in cash and/or refusing to sign a formal commission or fee agreement, or refusing to provide an invoice or receipt for a payment made;
(e) a third party requesting that payment is made to a country or geographic location different from where the third party resides or conducts business;
(f) a third party requesting an unexpected additional fee or commission to “facilitate” a service;
(g) a third party demanding lavish entertainment or gifts before commencing or continuing contractual negotiations or provision of services;
(h) a third party requesting that a payment is made to “overlook” potential legal violations;
(i) a third party requesting that SRL Personnel provide employment or some other advantage to a friend or relative;
(j) receiving an invoice from a third party that appears to be non-standard or customised;
(k) a third party insisting on the use of side letters or refusing to put terms agreed in writing;
(l) SRL Personnel noticing that the SRL has been invoiced for a commission or fee payment that appears large given the service stated to have been provided;
(m) a third party requesting or requiring the use of an agent, intermediary, consultant, distributor or supplier that is not typically used by or known to the SRL; and
(n) SRL Personnel being offered an unusually generous gift or offered lavish hospitality by a third party.