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Anti-Fraud and Bribery Policy

1. Scope of this policy

This policy applies to all relevant persons of Toybox. Relevant persons include staff, board members, volunteers and short-term contractors.

2. Definitions of corruption, fraud and bribery

Definitions of corruption, fraud and bribery are found in Appendix 1. For the purposes of this policy, reference to any of these can be understood to mean any of the three issues.

Some examples of corruption, fraud and bribery relevant to Toybox are described in Appendix 2.

3. Zero Tolerance on fraud or bribery

Toybox’s position on fraud and bribery is to take a zero-tolerance approach and is committed to pursuing this approach throughout its operational practices for the following reasons:

a) Toybox recognizes the significant risk that fraud and bribery pose to the achievement of its aims and objectives. Any money that is lost to fraud or bribery is money that can’t be used to achieve it’s objectives.

b) Corrupt behaviour can also serious damages Toybox’s reputation. The eradication of fraud and bribery in the way we operate is of great importance to securing the trust and confidence of all our stakeholders.

c) Toybox owes it to the communities that it operates in not to condone fraud or bribery. Corruption creates unstable societies. It destroys public and business standards and forces ordinary people to use resources that they can ill afford in their interactions with the government and other public bodies.

All members of staff and the board, together with volunteers and contractors are required to sign the zero-tolerance declaration form during induction and when it is updated/reapproved.

Toybox supports the application of the zero-tolerance policy by providing:

  • Direction and rules to clearly establish appropriate and expected behaviour
  • Effective deterrents to inappropriate behaviour in the form of meaningful consequences
  • Prevention measures to reduce the risk of fraud or bribery occurring
  • Detection measures to identify fraud or bribery if it happens
  • Response measures to ensure we react well to suspicions, allegations and proven incidents of fraud & bribery, including protection and fair treatment for accusers and accused
  • Deliberate proactive steps to embed anti-fraud & bribery thinking into our culture, including staff training and awareness

Anyone found guilty of fraud or bribery will be subject to disciplinary measures which will ordinarily include dismissal, prosecution and recovery of losses.

4. Anti-Bribery Policy

Toybox employs all legal and safe tactics to avoid and resist paying bribes to Public Officials, even if it results in denials, delays, inconvenience, and increased cost to our operations.

No relevant person is authorised to pay a bribe on behalf of Toybox or using Toybox funds. Individuals are not expected to resist bribery to the point of putting themselves or others at real risk of personal harm or injury. A payment under such circumstances is considered extortion rather than bribery.

5. Conflicts of Interest

A conflict of interest exists where an employee or a Board Member has an interest, relationship, or friendship which could, or could be seen to, interfere with their ability to decide an issue in the best interests of Toybox.

The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all conflicts of interest are declared, declared conflicts are managed to mitigate the associated risks, and that decisions and actions are documented to ensure transparency and accountability.

Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Relationships between members of the Senior Leadership Team, accounts staff, procurement staff, HR staff or board members and any other staff member
  • Relationships between any person and their line manager
  • Relationships between Toybox staff or board members and suppliers, donors, grantees, beneficiaries or job applicants
  • A ‘relationship’ in this context could include family, romantic relationships, being a bank signatory, advisor or board member

The existence or discovery of a conflict of interest does not constitute a breach of policy as long as it is disclosed as soon as possible.

The following people are required to make annual conflict of interest declarations using the standard form.

  • Board members
  • Senior Leadership Team members

All staff (including those listed above) are required to disclose conflicts of interest as soon as they arise or the staff member becomes aware of the conflict of interest. Examples of such disclosures would be:

  • A close friend of family member applies for a job with Toybox
  • A board member works for a company that is presented as a potential supplier

If a conflict of interest arises of is discovered, it must be immediately declared. Appropriate actions may be taken to resolve the conflict of interest, which may be temporary or permanent. Steps taken to manage the conflict of interest and mitigate the risk of conflicted decision taking should be documented on the declaration form.

6. Gifts and Entertainment

Gifts and Entertainment should never be used or allowed to influence business decision making. When offers of gifts and entertainment are made or accepted in situations where they are not appropriate, they can look like, or may in fact be, bribes. They can expose Toybox to accusations of unfairness or even break the law, and can put at risk Toybox’s reputation for ethical behaviour.

Positive, healthy, normal business practices can include accepting and making offers of gifts and entertainment, which develop and maintain positive and strong business relationships. We should be able to accept and make offers of gifts and entertainment ONLY when they are appropriate, ie when they:

  • are proportionate in the context; and
  • do not create any sense of expectation or obligation on the recipient or the giver.

The following gifts may never be offered or accepted, and will always be deemed inappropriate:

  • Cash of any amount
  • Any gift with a value of more than £20 (or equivalent in local currency)
  • Any entertainment worth more than £100 (or equivalent in local currency)
  • Any gifts or loans from existing suppliers or prospective suppliers while a tendering process is underway
  • Any gifts or loans to staff involved in supplier selection decisions
  • Entertainment involving gambling, anything of a sexual nature or exploitation of others, or which otherwise conflicts with Toybox’s values.

It is never allowed to ask for a gift or entertainment, and gifts below the values outlined above are not necessarily appropriate. In some circumstances, an element of judgement is required to decide whether a gift is appropriate or not. If any staff or board member is in any doubt, they should consult a member of the Leadership Team (or the board chair in the case of the Chief Executive) and obtain written permission before accepting or offering a gift.

The following circumstances imply the giving or receiving of a gift or entertainment offer may be appropriate:

  • The giving and receiving of the gift or entertainment strengthens a genuine business relationship
  • The gift or entertainment does not constitute an attempt to apply undue influence, and does not create an undue obligation
  • The gift or entertainment is given or accepted in the open rather than in secret
  • The gift or entertainment is given to celebrate a recognised cultural event such as Christmas or New Year
  • The gift or entertainment is given to the organisation or a group of people (department) rather than an individual
  • The gift or entertainment is branded marketing materials (pens / notebooks etc)
  • The value of the gift or entertainment is not excessive or abnormal in social context
  • The timing of the gift or entertainment is not suspicious

The following circumstances imply the giving or receiving of the gift or entertainment may be inappropriate:

  • The timing, nature or circumstances of the gift means it could be perceived as an attempt to influence a business decision
  • The value of the gift is excessive in the circumstances (despite being below the limit above)
  • The receiver feels obligated, or the giver feels entitled
  • The gift is given or received in secret

If any staff or board member is offered an inappropriate gift they should politely decline it and inform their line manager or board chair.

In the event that declining an inappropriate gift in the moment that it is given might be culturally inappropriate or embarrassing, it should be returned within no less than a week, with appropriate documentary evidence to prove that the gift was returned.

In the event that an inappropriate gift is received publicly, steps should be taken to restore the reputation of the organisation, in addition to returning the gift.

In the event that inappropriate gifts are received without consent (such as courier deliveries, bank or mobile money transfers), these should be declared immediately using the conflict of interest declaration form. Steps should be taken to return the gift, or notify authorities if money laundering is suspected.

Inappropriate gifts received by employees and subsequently declared should not be received into the organisation’s funds – rather they should in all cases be returned.

Appropriate gifts, given to the organisation as a whole, or to a particular team, should normally be enjoyed or shared by all relevant staff members (eg hampers or flowers). Where an appropriate item is not easily sharable, it should be raffled by some random and transparent means.

7. Speaking Up

Toybox’s policy on speaking up is designed to build confidence of relevant persons to report genuine concerns about fraud, bribery or other types of misconduct. For many cases of misconduct, someone reporting it is the only way it can be discovered and dealt with.

A genuine concern is sincerely felt and based on information the reporting person believes to be true or trustworthy. Upon further investigation, a genuine concern may or may not turn out to be true. The motivation of the person reporting a genuine concern is not relevant to its definition as genuine or not.

A false accusation is when the reporting person knowingly fabricates information or reports information, they know to be false.

Toybox’s speaking up lines should be used by all relevant persons to raise any genuine concerns.

Toybox has zero tolerance to anyone who is found to have wilfully and deliberately abused a speaking up line to knowingly make false accusations. Appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken.

A genuine concern should be reported when there is evidence or a strong suspicion of misconduct in any of the following areas:

  • Fraud or bribery
  • Sexual misconduct
  • Harassment
  • Any illegal act

Concerns may be reported, either in person or by email using any of the speaking up lines below:

All relevant persons are strongly encouraged to report genuine concerns using the above lines. They should report as much detail as possible, including who, when, where, and how and whether they have evidence or the basis for their suspicion. Concerns may be reported anonymously, but people are encouraged to give their name and / or contact details as it is easier to investigate allegations when it is possible to follow up for more details from the reporting person.

Toybox will address any concerns raised with the reporting person within 24 hours, assuming contact details have been provided.

Information about the speaking up lines will be made available:

  • On the website, and findable by site search
  • Within this policy, located in a searchable directory on the organisations electronic filing system
  • On a poster displayed in the office

8. Supporting reporting persons

Toybox has zero tolerance to any form of retaliation against reporting persons (also known as ‘whistle-blowers’). All relevant persons who report genuine concerns will be properly protected and supported.

Details of any allegations or suspicions raised should be recorded on a fraud, bribery & misconduct report form and submitted to the Chief Executive.

Toybox commits to take the support of reporting persons seriously by:

  • Taking care not to underestimate or disregard the risk that a reporting person may be exposed to, or the level of fear or anxiety they may be experiencing.
  • Appointing someone with responsibility for supporting the reporting person (the ‘support person’). Usually this will be their line manager.
  • Providing the support person with relevant information to share with the reporting person, unless they are a member of the Fraud Response Team.
  • Assuring the reporting person that their concern is being handled and taken seriously.
  • Explaining that their identity will be protected to every extent possible but cannot be guaranteed.
  • Answering questions as appropriate and provide emotional support but do not share confidential information with the reporting person.
  • Informing the person of any decision to investigate or not, investigation outcome, and actions taken as appropriate.
  • Taking necessary steps to ensure the safety of any reporting person, even if there is a cost implication, in cases where the person experiences or fears retaliation or harassment.

Appendix 1

Terms and Definitions

  • Attempted fraud or bribery
    An unsuccessful effort to commit fraud or bribery.
  • Bribery
    The unlawful act of offering or receiving any gift, loan, fee, reward or other advantage(taxes, services, donations etc.) to or from any person as an inducement to do something which is dishonest, illegal or a breach of trust, in the conduct of one’s duties.
  • Corruption
    The abuse of entrusted power for private gain.
  • Embezzlement
    To steal money that people trust you to look after as part of your work.
  • Entertainment
    Invitations to attend events with a social aspect, such as meals & conferences, as well as entertainment events such as shows or games, which are offered free of charge or at reduced rates.
  • Error
    An accidental mistake, for example in a calculation or a decision.
  • Extortion
    Act of utilizing one’s access to a position of power or knowledge, either directly or indirectly, to demand unmerited cooperation or compensation as a result of coercive threats.
  • Fraud
    The act of intentionally deceiving someone in order to gain an unfair or illegal advantage (financial, political or otherwise).
  • Gift
    Goods, services or cash offered to or by staff or board members, or their friends or family or associates, at free or preferential rates. Unpaid loans are considered gifts for the purposes of this policy.
  • Money Laundering
    The concealment of the origins of illegally obtained money, typically by means of transfers involving foreign banks or legitimate businesses.
  • Negligence
    Failure to give care or attention, especially when this causes harm or damage.
  • Nepotism
    Form of favoritism based on familiar relationships whereby someone in an official position exploits his or her power or authority to provide a job or favor to a family member, even though he or she may not be qualified or deserving.
  • Public Official
    Any person holding any legislative, executive, administrative or judicial office, whether he/she is appointed or elected, permanent or temporary, paid or unpaid.
  • Robbery
    The crime of taking money or property illegally, often by using threats or violence.
  • Theft
    The crime of stealing.

Appendix 2 – Examples of Fraud and Bribery

The following are examples of fraud and bribery relevant to Toybox’s context. The list is by no mean exhaustive.

  • A Programme Manager requires or accepts kick-backs from partners for grant awards or payment remittances
  • A staff member submits fake receipts in an expense claim
  • A manager requires a payment for authorising an expense claim
  • A staff or board member fails to disclose a conflict of interest with a partner, supplier or other staff member
  • A staff member bribes an auditor to ignore or fail to report an audit finding
  • A staff member colludes with a supplier to get a kickback on overpriced goods or services
  • An accounts staff member records transactions in the accounting records they know to be false
  • An accounts staff member knowingly posts entries to incorrect codes in order to conceal fraudulent payments
  • An unofficial payment is made to a Government Officer to be allowed access to work in a particular area or country