A. Examples of risk areas:
The following are examples of a range of UK and Overseas activities which, depending on the circumstances, could lead to breaches of he Act by the individuals or HEI. Other activities could carry similar risks.
A company is desperate to win a major contract with the HEI and offers to make a car available on a long term load to a staff member who can influence the award of the contract.
A wealthy alumnus arranges for his company to make a substantial donation to the HEI to ensure that his child is awarded a place.
An agency responsible for recruiting students pays a small bribe to an education department official to be allowed access to students in a highly rated school.
The HEI seeks to expand into the Middle East and the Director exchanges valuable gifts with local leaders on the basis that this is expected practice in the country.
A professor on a field trip with students pays a small sum to customs officials to avoid excessive delay in the import of field equipment.
A professor conducting research in a specialist area is asked to give an overly positive peer review in exchange or a similar review of their own work.
B. Use of third-party representatives
It is important to identify risks when a third-party conducts activities on the University's behalf.
Where risk regarding a third -party arrangement has been identified, staff must:
- Evaluate the background, experience and reputation of the third-party;
- Understand the services to provide, and methods of compensation and payment;
- Evaluate the rationale for engaging the third-party;
- Take reasonable steps to monitor the transactions of third-parties appropriately;
- Ensure there is a written agreement in place which acknowledges the third party's understanding and compliance with this policy.
C. Giving and accepting gifts and hospitality
When evaluating what is acceptable, first take a step and consider:
- What is the intent - is it to build a relationship or is it something else?
- How would this look if these details were on the front page of a newspaper?
Circumstances which are never permissible include examples that involve:
- A 'quid pro quo' (offered for something in return);
- Gifts in the form of cash or cash equivalent vouchers;
- Entertainment which could be perceived to be a bribe or inducement.
As a general rule, employees and third parties should not provide gifts to, or receive them from, those meeting the definition of a government official.