Foreword Our vision is “to be the most highly respected company in the industry”. To achieve this vision we have to build, maintain, protect and enhance our reputation amongst our stakeholders, including employees, customers, supply chain partners and investors, as well as within the community at large, whether in the Macedonia or abroad. A good reputation is a hard won asset which we must protect. Our ability to tender for new business and our relationship with the full range of our stakeholders depends a great deal upon the good reputation that we have established. This means all of us acting to the highest personal, ethical and corporate standards in everything we do. It means making sure all our actions and decisions support our vision and values. This policy is designed to help you understand not just the legislation relevant to bribery and corruption but also to provide you with details of further help and training which you may need. I encourage you to seek further guidance or assistance if feel you need it in any way. Your personal contribution to protecting and enhancing our reputation by complying with this policy is important to me and the Chakar&Partners Board. It is only by each one of us individually being aware of the law and complying with it that we can be sure we protect and enhance our reputation. I am committed to this policy and would ask you to show your commitment too by reading it and, if you have any queries or concerns at all, getting in touch as set out at the end of the policy.
Chief Executive Office
At Chakar&Partners, our vision is “to be the most highly respected company in the industry”, and our success in this endeavor is dependent upon how all employees behave. Our core values demand us to be enthusiastic, open and honest and to be proactive, committed and safe.
It is also our policy to comply with the law wherever we operate. In Macedonia and in many of the jurisdictions in which we operate, it is a criminal offence to offer, promise or provide – or request or accept – a bribe. In Macedonia it is also an offenc e for a commercial organization to fail to prevent an incident of bribery being committed either by the company or by someone associated with it in order to obtain or retain a business advantage.
This means that bribery and corruption have absolutely no place at Chakar&Partners – and why we operate a strict no tolerance policy towards bribery in all its forms whether directly or through third parties.
This anti-bribery and corruption policy applies to all members of Chakar&Partners – full and part-time employees and temporary staff wherever we are based. It also applies to business partners who supply services to us including agents and intermediaries.
We also rely on the services of contractors, sub-contractors and consultants, and here we want to do business only with those who accept the terms of our policy or whose own policy sets standards to match our own.
This policy sets out our anti-bribery and corruption rules and explains what is expected of all Chakar&Partners personnel and associated persons – but we ask you to do more than follow rules. We want you to act according to the spirit and the values they represent in whatever you do for CQL.
In this way we can achieve our vision together and help drive up standards throughout the industry. Throughout this policy, references to “us”, “our” or “we” are references to Chakar&Partners and its subsidiaries.
Understanding and recognizing bribery and corruption
Bribery and corruption can occur in many forms; so understanding them and recognizing when they might occur is a key step in guarding against them.
Bribery is when a person offers, promises or gives a financial (or other) advantage to another person with the intention of inducing or rewarding that person to act improperly (active bribery), or when a person requests, agrees to receive or acce pts a financial (or other) advantage to act improperly (passive bribery).
Corruption is any form of illegal, dishonest or bad behavior, especially by people in positions of power.
In our industry, bribery could occur in situations such as tendering, appointing preferred suppliers, contractors and agents, awarding licenses and so on. Bribery and corruption can be found at all levels from governments and government officials through to site operatives.
Wherever we work in the world – even where bribery may be seen as the norm – we must be clear that we will not participate in or condone any form of bribery in our dealings with the public or private sectors.
Bribes are not always a matter of handing over cash. Gifts, hospitality and entertainment can be bribes if they are intended to influence a business decision.
Transparency and openness are effective weapons against bribery, so be ready to challenge any arrangements that compromise them. Even political contributions, charitable donations and sponsorship arrangements can be used as a subterfuge for bribery.
Penalties for engaging in bribery and corruption
As befits a serious criminal offence, the penalties for engaging in bribery or corruption are severe. Individuals and companies can face punitive fines and even imprisonment.
In Canada, new legislation incorporates a specific criminal offence of a company failing to prevent bribery committed on its behalf. We take this responsibility very seriously and this is why we want to be associated only with others whose standards match our own.
A conviction for a bribery or corruption related offence would have severe penalties for our reputation. A damaged reputation could lead to us being excluded from tender lists or overlooked when bidding; loss of business; a decrease in investor confidence, all of which could have severe financial consequences for our business.
Our ‘no tolerance’ of bribery relies on each one of us choosing to always do the right thing. All this takes is a few simple commitments:
We will always:
• Comply with this Anti-Bribery and Corruption Policy
• Act according to the Chakar&Partners Values
• Be guided by our vision and values of openness and honesty
• Comply with company policies on gifts and hospitality; political contributions and charitable donations
• Comply with our requirements concerning any conflicts of interest
• Record all activities and transactions accurately, completely and transparently
• Follow appropriate due diligence and risk mitigation procedures before proceeding with any contract or other arrangement
• Seek advice if unsure how to proceed
• Be alert to ‘red flags’ and immediately report or seek guidance about them.
We will never:
• Participate in any form of corrupt behavior
• Use company funds, in the form of payments or gifts and hospitality for any unlawful, unethical or improper purpose
• Authorize, make, tolerate or encourage, or invite or accept, any improper payments to obtain, retain or improve business
• Permit anyone to offer or pay bribes or make facilitation payments on our behalf, or do anything else we would not be permitted to do ourselves
• Offer or give anything of value to a public official (or their representative) to induce or reward them for acting improperly in the course of their public responsibilities
• Offer or accept gifts or hospitality, if we think this might impair objective judgment, improperly influence a decision or create a sense of obligation, or if there’s a risk it could be misconstrued or misinterpreted by others.
Understanding specific areas of risk
While high profile cases of bribery, involving large sums of cash and senior executives, are most likely to hit the headlines, bribery can be a risk in many areas of our industry.
• Facilitation payments
• Kickbacks and reciprocal agreements
• Corrupt third parties (including agents, consultants, contractors or subcontractors)
• Excessive gifts and hospitality
• Inadequate financial controls or record keeping.
Facilitation payments are usually small payments (or gifts) made to public officials in order to speed up or ‘facilitate’ actions the officials are already duty-bound to perform.
We make no distinction between facilitation payments and bribes, regardless of their size or the local culture.
The only exception is where a payment is extorted from you. If you feel coerced or that your safety (or that or your family or colleagues) is at risk, then you should make the payment but report it immediately via the Speak Up Helpline.
Kickbacks and reciprocal agreements or any other form of ‘quid pro quo’ are never acceptable. We will not participate in cartels, cover pricing, bid-rigging or any form of collusion. We will never accept improper payments to obtain new business, retain existing business, or secure any improper advantage.
Corrupt third parties can include a range of people acting on our behalf such as agents, consultants, contractors or sub-contractors. We wish to work only with those who are committed to our standards and will undertake due diligence to ensure this. We will engage a third party only when there is a clear business rationale for doing so and with an appropriate contract. We will ensure all payments made to third parties are properly authorised and recorded.
Excessive gifts and hospitality can be used to exert improper influence on decision makers. We will only accept gifts and hospitality in accordance with our policy. We will ensure any gifts or hospitality we offer are reasonable in terms of value and frequency.
We will never offer or accept gifts or hospitality if we feel it could influence a business decision or give the appearance of doing so.
Inadequate financial controls or record keeping can be exploited to hide bribes or corrupt practices. We will ensure we have robust controls in place so that our financial and other records are accurate and complete and never misleading.
How to raise a concern
If you have a concern or know of or suspect a violation of this policy we want you to speak up immediately. Please don’t ignore it. Speaking up can be a difficult thing to do, so be reassured that all information received will be treated seriously and investigated appropriately.
We will treat your information in confidence and if you prefer, and the law allows it, you can report anonymously.
Statement of commitment
We will not tolerate any form of bribery or corruption.
This policy demonstrates the Chakar&Partners’ Board’s no-tolerance approach to bribery and corruption. It will be regularly reviewed and updated if necessary as new threats appear.
This policy applies to the whole of Chakar&Partners and as such should be seen as setting the broad rules and guidance for all.