As a global company, Ambu is dedicated to ensuring that its business is conducted in an honest way, and without the use of corrupt practices or acts of bribery to obtain an unfair advantage.
It is important that all Ambu’s dealings are carried out with integrity. Bribery and corruption harm the societies in which the acts are committed and prevents economic growth and development.
It is Ambu’s policy to comply with all applicable anti-bribery laws and to accurately reflect all transactions on Ambu’s books and records. Ambu has a zero tolerance approach to acts of bribery and corruption, by any employee or anyone acting on our behalf.
All Ambu officers, directors and employees (collectively Ambu personnel) are expected to conduct business in a legal and ethical manner and it is also Ambu’s policy to require those agents, consultants and business partners who work on Ambu’s behalf to comply with this policy.
2. What is bribery?
Bribery is the offer or receipt of any gift, loan, payment, reward or other advantage to or from any person as an encouragement to do something which is dishonest, illegal or a breach of trust, in the conduct of the company’s business.
For the purpose of this policy, it is irrelevant whether the payee or recipient of the act of bribery or corruption works in the public or private sector.
The person being bribed is generally someone who will be able to obtain, retain or direct business. It may involve sales initiatives, or the handling of administrative tasks such as customs, taxes, licenses or import/export matters. It does not matter whether the act of bribery is committed before or after the tendering of a contract or the completion of administrative tasks.
3. What does Ambu prohibit?
the offering, the giving, the solicitation or the acceptance of any bribery, whether cash or other inducement
to or from any person or company, whether they are situated and whether they are a public official or body or private person or company,
by any individual employee, agent or other person or body acting on Ambu’s behalf
in order to gain any commercial, contractual or regulatory advantage for Ambu in a way which is unethical,
or in order to gain any personal advantage, pecuniary or otherwise, for the individual or anyone connected with the individual.
This policy prohibits any inducement which results in a personal gain or advantage to the recipient or any person or body associated with them, and which is intended to influence them to take action which may not be solely in the interests of Ambu or of the person or body employing them or whom they represent.
The intention of this policy is not to prohibit the following practices provided they are customary in a particular market, are proportionate and are properly recorded:
- normal and appropriate hospitality
- the giving of ceremonial gift on a festival or at another special time
- the offer of resources to assist the person or body to make the decision more efficiently provided that they are supplied for that purpose only
4. Where does the bribery typically arise?
It is always a good idea to ask yourself the below questions when evaluating whether an act is acceptable or not:
what is the intention of the act? Is it to strengthen or build up a relationship or is it something else?
- how would it look if the details were on the front of the newspaper?
If you find it difficult to answer one of the above questions, there may be a risk involved which could potentially damage Ambu’s business and reputation. In addition, the act could well be unlawful and punishable.
Gifts, hospitality and entertainment
Gifts, hospitality and entertainment usually include the offering or receipt of gifts, meals or tokens of gratitude or appreciation, or invitations to events or social gatherings in connection with matters related to our business. These activities are acceptable only on the condition that they fall within reasonable bounds of value and occurrence.
The giving or receipt of a gift is as a general rule 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 exchange for favours or benefits;
- it does not include cash or cash equivalent (such as gift certificates or vouchers);
- it complies with local law;
- it is appropriate in the specific circumstances. For example, in Denmark it is customary practice to give small gifts at Christmas time;
- it is given openly and not secretly;
- it is given in Ambu’s name and not your name; and
- it should not be offered to, or accepted from, government officials or representatives, or politicians or political parties.
5. Government officials and facilitation payments
A government official can be:
- a public official, whether foreign or domestic
- a representative of a government owned or controlled organisation
- a political candidate or party official
- an employee of a public international organisation (e.g. World Bank, Red Cross etc.)
As a general rule, Ambu personnel and others acting on Ambu’s behalf should not provide gifts, hospitality etc. to, or receive them from government officials. It may be acceptable to provide free meals provided that a representative from Ambu attends the lunch/dinner and it is a business related lunch/dinner etc. but otherwise facilitation payments are NOT allowed.
If you are asked to make a payment on our behalf, you should always ask for a receipt which details the reason for the payment.
In the event that a facilitation payment is being extorted, or if you are forced to pay under duress or faced with potential safety issues or harm, such a payment may be made, provided that certain steps are followed. If you are ever placed in such a situation or if you are unsure whether certain payments which resemble the definition of facilitation payments are permissible, you must contact the Compliance Manager as soon as possible and you must record the payment appropriately with Ambu’s books and records to reflect the substance of the underlying payment.
6. Who can engage in bribery and/or corruption?
A commercial organisation is liable if a person associated with it bribes another person intending to obtain or retain business or a business advantage for the organisation. A person associated with the organisation is a person who “performs services” for or on behalf of the organisation, such as an employee, contractor etc. Also, where a supplier can properly be said to be performing services for a commercial organisation rather than simply acting as the seller of the goods, it may also be an “associated” person.
7. What applies according to legislation?
Most countries have laws that regulate bribery and corruption. The laws and penalties for violating same vary from country to country, and it is important to be aware of the fact that one country’s courts can have jurisdiction over offences committed in the another country if the person committing them has close connection with the country in question. This means that the UK courts may have jurisdiction over an offence committed by a Danish Ambu personnel in Malaysia.
In some countries, bribery and corruption is punishable for individuals up to several years’ imprisonment (e.g. 10 years in UK). If a company is found to have taken part in the corruption or lacks adequate procedures to prevent bribery, the company can face an unlimited fine and, be excluded from tendering for government contracts and face untold damage to its reputation.
In some jurisdictions, it is not only bribery that is illegal, but companies are also hold liable for failing to implement adequate procedures to prevent such acts by those working for the company or on its behalf, no matter where in the world it takes place.
We must keep financial records and have appropriate internal controls in place which will evidence the business reason for making payments to third parties. You must declare and keep a written record of all hospitality or gifts accepted or offered, which will be subject to managerial review. You must ensure all expenses claims relating to hospitality, gifts or expenses incurred to third parties are submitted in accordance with our expenses policy and specifically record the reason for the expenditure. No accounts must be kept “off-book” to facilitate or conceal improper payments.
Ambu takes bribery and corruption very seriously, and any employees found to be violating this policy will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include termination. Ambu encourages all of its employees to report any suspicious activity that may violate this policy.
10. Reporting incidents of bribery and corruption
You are encouraged to raise concerns about any issue or suspicion of malpractice at the earliest possible stage. Any transaction, regardless of the dollar amount, may give rise to violations of anti-bribery and corruption laws and regulations. Thus, it is important that every Ambu employee understands the rules and reports any wrongdoing he or she notices as soon as possible. If you suspect that a violation is occurring, or has occurred, you should report it immediately to the Compliance Manager.
Examples of actions not acceptable and classified as bribery
- You offer a potential client tickets to a major sporting event on the condition that the client agrees to do business with Ambu.
(This would be an offence as you are making the offer to gain a commercial and contractual advantage. Ambu may also be found to have committed an offence because the offer has been made to obtain business for Ambu. It may also be an offence for the potential client to accept the offer).
- A supplier gives your niece a job, but makes it clear that in return the supplier expect you to use your influence within Ambu to ensure Ambu continue to do business with the client.
(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).
- You arrange for the business to pay an additional payment to a foreign official to speed up an administrative process (e.g. clearing Ambu’s goods through customs).
(The offence of bribing a foreign public official has been committed as soon as the offer is made. This is because it is made to gain a business advantage for Ambu. Ambu may also be found to have committed an offence).
Examples of acts that are never permissible:
Gifts in the form of cash/or cash equivalent vouchers, a “quid pro quo” (offered for something in return).
Payment for participation in congresses etc. may be acceptable but it is important to ensure that the stay paid by Ambu does not last for more days than the duration of the congress etc.
A variety of cultural factors such as customs and expectations may influence the level of acceptability. Obviously, decisions as to whether an act is acceptable or not may not always be easy. If anyone is in doubt as to whether a potential act constitutes bribery, the matter should be referred to Compliance Manager before proceeding.