Anti-corruption and bribery
This policy is applicable to all Columbia Hotel and Resort LTD employees.
Our policy is to conduct all our business in an honest and ethical manner. We take a zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption and we are committed to act professionally, fairly and with integrity in all our business communications and relationships wherever we operate.
We uphold all laws relevant to countering bribery and corruption in all the jurisdictions in which we operate. However, we remain bound by the laws of the EU.
Bribery and corruption are punishable for individuals with twenty years' imprisonment and if we are found to have taken part in corruption, we could face an unlimited fine and face damage to our reputation as Company. We therefore take our legal responsibilities very seriously.
In this policy, "third party" means any individual or organisation we come into contact with during the course of your work for us, and includes actual and potential clients, customers, suppliers, distributors, business contacts, agents, advisers, and government and public bodies, including their advisors, representatives and officials, politicians and political parties.
The higher Management of Columbia Hotels and Resorts Ltd has the overall responsibility for ensuring this policy complies with our legal and ethical obligations, and it is sufficiently controlled.
Management at all levels are responsible for ensuring those reporting to them are made aware of and understand this policy are adequately trained and remain updated/retrained at certain intervals.
The Health and Safety Manager monitors the effectiveness and reviews the implementation of this policy, regularly considering its suitability, adequacy and effectiveness. The Policy Statement will be updated whenever new data and developments become available. Any suggestions about how to improve this policy, should be communicated to Manager or immediate supervisor.
All team member/employees are responsible for the effective application of this policy and they have to report any suspicious activity, misconduct or failure of policy implementation.
Awareness of this policy forms part of the induction process for all new employees. Whenever is required the existing workers will receive training on how to implement and adhere to this policy.
The Company’s zero-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption must be communicated to all suppliers, contractors and business partners whenever a cooperation. All written contracts and agreements with third parties must include/state the Company’s code to this field.
This policy is not included in our contracts of employment however the Company may decide to include it at any time.
2. Purpose and scope of the policy
2.1 The purpose of this policy is to:
Set out the responsibilities of the all the team members as well as, of our subcontractors, in observing and maintaining our policy on bribery and corruption;
Provide information and guidance to our team members on how to recognise and deal with bribery and corruption issues.
This policy applies to all individuals working at all levels, or any other person associated with us, or any of our subsidiaries or their employees, wherever located (collectively referred to as "employees" in this policy).
This policy also applies to all operations within the group and to all joint ventures and associated organisations.
The Company will ensure that this policy is circulated and communicated to all individuals concerned.
3. Questions and Answers
In general, Managers/department Heads are encouraged to communicate with their Team if they require help or assistance.
Employees are encouraged to direct any queries they may have to their Manager
Please refer to the headings below for Questions & Answers relating to this policy.
- What is bribery?
- What is the Company’s policy on hospitality and gifts?
- Are tips seen as a bribe?
- Are gifts offered to employees and incentives (to increase performance) still allowed?
- Can we receive supplier product samples?
- Can we accept invitations to hospitality or business events?
- Can we accept free gifts from suppliers as a result of value based orders?
- What authority do I need if I am contemplating receiving or making a gift or hospitality?
- What is prohibited?
- Does the Company make any donations?
- What are my responsibilities under this policy?
- How do I raise a concern, to whom should I report it?
- What should I do if I believe that I am a victim of bribery or corruption?
- Am I protected if I raise a concern?
- Are there any other matters that I need to be concerned about?
What is bribery?
A bribe is an inducement or reward offered, promised or provided in order to gain any commercial, contractual, regulatory or personal advantage. In other words, a bribe is designed to try and persuade you to do something for someone.
Offering a bribe - you offer a regular customer tickets to a major sporting event, but only if they agree stay in our resort and get their friends and family to the same. This is different to a promotional offer and could be seen as a bribe as you are making the offer to get more money for the Company.
We may also be found to have committed an offence because the offer has been made to obtain business for us. It may also be an offence for that customer to accept your offer.
Receiving a bribe - a supplier gives your nephew a job, but makes it clear that in return they expect you to use your influence in our organisation to ensure we continue to get supplies from them. It is an offence for a supplier to make such an offer. It would be an offence for you to accept the offer as you would be doing so to gain a personal advantage.
What is the Company’s policy on gifts and hospitality?
Hospitality - this policy does not prohibit typical and appropriate hospitality (given and received) to or from third parties.
Where we are negotiating terms of a contract and as part of those negotiations, we are prepared to offer additional services, or ‘Added Value’, (complementary food or drinks, or accommodation, etc.), this is acceptable. However, it should be made clear that the additional services are part of the package. If there is any pressure on the part of the client to have these additional services treated as a side agreement you should be very wary and report it (see below).
You may still hold Tour Operator educational to ‘show-off’ our Resort. This will be classed as advertising. Care should be taken to ensure particular clients are not singled out for special and extravagant treatment.
Gifts - The giving (or receipt) of gifts is not prohibited, if the following requirements are met:
it is not made with the intention of influencing a third party 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;
it complies with local law;
it is given in the Company name, not in our name;
it does not include cash or a cash equivalent (such as gift certificates or vouchers);
taking into account the reason for the gift, it is of an appropriate type and value and given at an appropriate time;
it is given openly, not secretly; and
Gifts should not be offered to, or accepted from, government officials or representatives, or politicians or political parties, without the prior approval of the General Manager and/or Director.
There may be occasions where we provide clients with a gift /amenity as part of the accommodation package. This is accepted, as long as it is proportionate and suitable.
We are flexible with hospitality operations so that it is apparent that we are not intending to influence any client, rather than to show our genuine interest, care and inspire his/her emotional connection with our resort
The Company in exceptional circumstances may provide vouchers to be used against future bookings within the Company.
The intention behind the gift should always be well-thought-out and approved by General Manager/Director, since gifts can be misinterpreted as a form of compensation or liability acceptance, rather than gratitude/hospitality expression.
Are tips seen as a bribe?
Small gifts/tips (low value) received or given are accepted provided that there are no commitment involved. If the value is high, then should be reported to the Immediate supervisor / General Manager. The tips procedure is different for every department and is monitored by the respective Department Head. Large sums may indicate extraordinary inquiries by clients and should be reported.
Are gifts offered to employees and incentives (to increase performance) still allowed?
They are allowed since are offered within the context of the employment relationship and not in expectation of receiving some business advantage.
Can we receive supplier product samples?
As long as they are suitable and proportionate. It is acceptable to receive adequate samples of a new product to assess its quality and evaluate effectiveness. However, it is inacceptable to receive additional quantities for ‘personal use’.
A record should be kept of all samples received.
Can we accept invitations to hospitality or business events?
As long as it is proportionate and suitable. An invitation to attend a business-related evening in the company of your business partners is acceptable. An invitation to take your family on a discounted holiday is not. Always use your good judgement. If you are in any doubt, you should seek the advice of the General Manager / Director before you accept the invitation.
Can we accept free gifts from suppliers as a result of value based orders?
‘Free gifts’ of high value are likely to have been given with the intention or expectation that the giver will receive a business advantage or as a reward for having done so. They should not be accepted particularly when the intention is that the item is a personal gift.
The only gifts that may be acceptable are those of low value which cannot be seen to influence business decisions e.g. stationery items. If in any doubt, seek the advice of your Manager or the General Manager before accepting the item(s).
Who does authorize receiving or making a gift / accommodation voucher?
All gifts/vouchers (whether receiving or giving) must be authorised by the respective Head of the Department.
Transparency is considered as the optimal way/defence to anti- bribery. We therefore expect from all employees/team members to report any gift, despite its value, to their immediate supervisor who will keep record of the gift and decide whether it is of sufficient value to notify the General Manager/Director.
What is prohibited?
It is not acceptable for you (or someone on your behalf) to:
give, promise to give, or offer a payment, gift or accommodation voucher with the expectation or hope that a business advantage will be acquired, or to reward a business advantage that was already given;
give, promise to give, or offer a payment, gift or accommodation voucher to a government officer, agent or representative to "facilitate" or expedite a routine procedure;
accept payment from a third party that you know, or suspect that is offered with the expectation that a business advantage will be obtained for him;
accept a gift or a business advantage from a third party if you know or suspect that it is offered or provided with an expectation that a business advantage will be provided by us in return;
intimidate a colleague who has refused to commit a bribery offence or who has raised concerns under this policy; or
engage in any activity that might lead to a breach of this policy.
Does the Company make any donations?
We don’t contribute to political parties. We only offer charitable donations (either vouchers or prizes) that are legal and ethical within the frame of our local legislation and internal practices. The rules regarding anti-bribery and anti-corruption apply not only to monies but also to goods, services and favours. No donation must be offered or made without the prior approval of the General Manager/Director.
What are my responsibilities under this policy
You must ensure that you read, understand and comply with this policy.
The prevention, detection and reporting of bribery and other forms of corruption are the responsibility of all team members or subcontractors under our control. All workers are required to avoid any activity that might lead to, or suggest, a breach of this policy.
You must notify the General Manager/Director as soon as possible if you believe or suspect that a violation of this policy has occurred or may occur in the future. For example, if a client or potential client offers you something to gain a business advantage from us or indicates to you that a gift or payment is required to secure our business.
Any employee who breaches this policy will face disciplinary action, which may result in dismissal for gross misconduct. We also reserve our right to terminate our contractual relationship with subcontractors if they breach this policy.
How do I raise a concern, to whom should I report it?
You are encouraged to raise concerns about acts that leads you to believe that bribery or corruption is occurring in the Company. If you are hesitant/uncertain whether a particular act constitutes bribery or corruption, or if you have any other questions/inquiries, these should be communicated to your Manager immediately. Alternatively, you can report your concerns directly to the Higher Management (HR Manager, Director or General Manager).
What should I do if I believe that I am a victim of bribery or corruption?
It is important to notify your Head of Department or Higher Management the soonest as possible, if you are offered a bribe by a third party, you are asked to offer one, suspect that this may happen in the future, or believe that you are a victim of another form of unlawful activity.
Am I protected if I raise a concern?
You should not worry if you have refused to accept a bribe or you speak out about others who may have acted in breach of this policy. The company supports anyone who raises genuine concerns in good faith under this policy, even if they turn out to be mistaken.
We will aim to ensure that no one suffers any detrimental treatment as a result of refusing to take part in bribery or corruption, or because he/she speaks out about his/her suspicion that an actual or potential bribery or other corruption offence has taken place, or may take place in the future. Detrimental treatment includes dismissal, disciplinary action, threats or other unfavourable treatment connected with raising a concern. If you believe that you have suffered any such treatment, you should share your concerns with the Higher Management.
Are there any other matters that I need to be concerned about?
We should also be mindful of proceeds of crime. As per respective legislation, it is considered as an offence to acquire, use or possess criminal property without informing the relevant authorities about it. The definition of criminal property is very wide and covers dividends paid out of profits generated through corrupt behaviour. The person/organisation receiving the property needs only to “suspect” criminal behaviour for the rules on the proceeds of crime to apply. It is not necessary for the recipient to "know for sure" that the funds are tainted.
Involvement in the proceeds of crime may induce heavy penalties, hence all team members must be vigilant, transparent and honest if they believe that team members/employees or the Company is involved with it.
The Company keeps financial records and have appropriate internal controls in place which evidence/justify payments to third parties.
Heads of departments must declare and keep a written record of all vouchers or gifts accepted or offered for themselves and their teams.
We must ensure that all expenses related to vouchers, free accommodation, gifts or expenses offered/provided to third parties are submitted in accordance with the Company expenses policy and specifically record the reason for the expenditure.
All accounts, invoices and other documents and records related to the dealings with third parties, such as clients, suppliers and business contacts, should be prepared and maintained with accuracy and integrity. No accounts must be kept "off-book" to facilitate or conceal improper payments.