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Jisc Collections Anti Fraud, Bribery and Corruption Procedures

Aim

To document, for continuous review and update, the company's anti fraud and bribery procedures.

Bribery, Fraud, Corruption and Other Improper Conduct

We require all colleagues at all times to act honestly and with integrity and to safeguard company resources for which they are responsible.

Jisc Collections is committed to the prevention of bribery and fraud and provides guidelines for staff members in the Staff Handbook. A system of internal controls is in place to mitigate the risk of fraud.

Jisc Collections will consequently not accept any level of bribery, fraud, or corruption, and will investigate any suspected case, pursuing the appropriate legal and/or disciplinary action in all proven cases of bribery, fraud or corruption. 

What is bribery and corruption?

The Bribery Act 2010, which is not concerned with fraud, theft or other such offences, came into force in July 2011. It introduced a new corporate offence of failure by commercial organisations to prevent bribery by anyone working on behalf of organisations, including third party contractors and agents.

Generally, bribery is defined as giving someone a financial or other advantage to encourage that person to perform his or her functions or activities improperly or to reward that person for having already done so. This could include seeking to influence a decision-maker by giving some kind of extra benefit to that decision-maker rather than by what can legitimately be offered as part of a tender process.

There are four main offences highlighted within the act:

  • The offence of bribing another person
  • The offence of being bribed
  • Bribery of a foreign public official
  • A corporate offence of failure to prevent bribery

The penalties for organisations and individuals for contravention of the Act range from fines to imprisonment with maximum terms of 10 years.

There is no limit set for the maximum level of fines payable in relation to any of these offences.

More information can be found on GOV.UK

What is fraud?

The Fraud Act 2006, which came into force in January 2007, recognises fraud as:

  • False representation
  • Failing to disclose information
  • Abuse of position

Where there is an intention of causing loss or risk of loss to another, or making a gain for themselves or others, irrespective of whether a gain or loss was actually made.

Fraud would encompass but is not limited to the following:

  • Theft e.g. stealing assets, resources or services for personal use, making unauthorised payments using the company’s bank, false accounting e.g. falsifying or overstating expense claims, overtime claims or falsely claiming sick leave

More information can be found on the Crown Prosecution Service site

Responsibilities

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Jisc and the Director of Jisc Collections, as executive officers, are personally accountable for the Company’s risk management framework, including the risk of bribery and fraud, ensuring that any investigations are carried out in accordance with these arrangements, and any resultant disciplinary actions against the perpetrators of bribery or fraud are appropriate and arrived at objectively.

Jisc Finance is responsible for delivering an opinion to the executive offices on the adequacy of the Company’s risk management arrangements including the risk of bribery or fraud and for assisting in the deterrence and prevention of bribery and fraud by assessing the effectiveness of these arrangements.

Senior Managers are responsible for identifying, documenting and managing the risk of bribery and/or fraud within their areas of responsibility.

Individual members of staff are responsible for fully following the procedures laid down and reporting any breach or suspicion thereof immediately to their line manager.

Once a suspicion has been reported, an independent member(s) of the SMT (Senior Management Team) will conduct an initial investigation to ascertain the facts and clarify whether a genuine mistake or irregularity has occurred. If a breach is confirmed and the member or members of staff identified, then the executive officers may suspend any member of staff pending the outcome of a full investigation (this suspension does not imply guilt). Disciplinary action may also be taken against supervisors where supervisory failures have contributed to the commission of the fraud.

Staff should remain alert to unusual or suspicious activity and act with due diligence and professionalism. Staff members are reminded that gifts and/or hospitality provided by institutions, publishers or other suppliers of goods or services should not leave staff and the Company exposed to risks of bribery and/or fraud. Advice on the acceptance of gifts and/or hospitality is available in the Staff handbook and Staff members are aware that they must register all gifts in the ‘gift register’.

Jisc collections also has included a clause on Anti-Bribery and Corruption in all of its contracts and licences that it enters into with publishers. This clause stipulates a requirement that all publishers will have and adhere to their own policy on anti-fraud, bribery and corruption.

Whistle blowing

If a member of staff believes they or their colleagues are being required to act in a way which can be viewed as illegal, unethical or otherwise contrary to the fraud and bribery procedures, they should first of all bring this to the attention of a member of the SMT, documenting in detail the perpetrators and possible consequences of their actions. If they feel this has not been adequately dealt with, they can then document it to the attention of the Director of Jisc Collections or finally the CEO of Jisc.

The Director of Jisc Collections and/or the CEO of Jisc will be looking for evidence of:

  • Breach of guidelines
  • Criminal or unlawful activity
  • Actual and potential pitfalls of these actions

Fraud Risk Assessment

  1. A fraud risk assessment has been undertaken together with a review of the controls over the area’s most vulnerable to the risk of fraud
  2. We have concluded that the Company’s overall risk of fraud continues to be low
  3. Changes are brought to the attention of staff at our regular staff meetings.

It is the responsibility of the SMT as a whole to:

  • Identify the risks to which systems and procedures are exposed
  • Develop and maintain effective controls to prevent and detect bribery and fraud
  • Ensure that controls are being complied with
  • Investigate immediately if they suspect that either bribery or a fraud has been committed, if they see any suspicious acts or events, or if a suspicion of bribery or fraud has been reported to them by a colleague
  • Take appropriate disciplinary action against the perpetrators of bribery or fraud in consultation with the CEO of Jisc

Download this Policy as a Word document.

 

Last updated: March 2016