Rowleys Commercial Energy Assessment Limited is committed to carrying out business fairly, honestly and openly. This means we have a zero tolerance towards bribery. We will never permit or authorise the offering, making or receiving of a bribe.
Taxes and Social Security contributions, both in the UK and abroad, form an essential means of funding our society and community. Rowleys Commercial Energy Assessment Limited is committed to ensuring both that it continues to pay all contributions required by law and to ensuring that it works with the appropriate authorities to ensure that all third parties also meet this requirement.
There are no exceptions to this policy.
The policy’s purpose is to:
Set out our general policy in relation to bribery, of which all employees, contractors and other workers need to be aware.
Set out our general policy in relation to tax and social security contributions, of which all employees, contractors and other workers need to be aware.
In this policy references are made to the Company Director, Mr Peter Rowley, and the General Manager, Mr Douglas Hough. In the absence of either, all matters must be referred without undue delay to the other.
Who does this policy apply to?
This policy applies to everyone who works for us at whatever level. It will include all Directors, managers, employees (whether permanent or on fixed term contracts, full time or part-time etc.), as well as anyone who is not an employee (such as consultants, sub-contractors, agents, representatives).
Consequences of breaches of the policy for our employees and partners
Bribery is a crime. All of you, whether you are employees or Directors, if you offer, make or receive a bribe you will be breaking the law. We can also be liable for your activities. Bribery carries a sentence of up to 10 years in jail and the possibility of an unlimited fine. Any employee of ours who offers, makes or receive a bribe is very likely to be subject to disciplinary procedures (and this is likely to amount to gross misconduct and lead to dismissal in many cases).
Tax evasion is a crime. Additionally, The Criminal Finances Act 2017 makes it a crime for an organisation such as ours to facilitate tax evasion by others. This is a technical offence, the only defence to which is to demonstrate that the organisation and all those working on its behalf have actively sought to prevent involvement in tax evasion activities. Where we or those working on our behalf become aware of suspicious activities these will be reported internally and to the relevant regional enforcement authorities.
Business consequences for us if offences take place
If we are involved in tax evasion or bribery (or those who work for us or with us or on our behalf, such as our clients, suppliers, agents or workers) there can be serious consequences. These include:
Damage to our reputation (including being subject to unfavourable press, TV and social media scrutiny);
Those who do business with us may cancel or not renew contracts with us;
Those who buy our goods and services may no longer do so;
If we are convicted of bribery we may have to pay over whatever amounts we have received from any business or contracts entered into pursuant to a bribe;
We could be stopped from trying to obtain work with some type of contracts with public organisations; and
We could be stopped from trying to obtain work from certain international bodies.
Consequences for those who provide goods and services to us
If a Company or a person who provides goods and/or services to us and has used bribery to do so we will normally wish to stop trading with them. Additionally, should they be involved in bribery or tax evasion, we will carefully review our relationship with them and will expect them to promptly settle all sums owed and establish appropriate measures to prevent reoccurrence.
For our agents and others acting on our behalf if they breach this policy, let alone offer, make or receive a bribe, we will wish to terminate our contracts immediately with them.
How we communicate this policy
This policy is made available in the following ways:
It is publicly available on our website at www.onestopepc.co.uk;
It is drawn to the attention of every new employee; and
Those working with us (employees and non-employees) who are most likely to be affected by bribery or tax evasion will receive additional training and support.
What you should do if you are subject to an offer of or making of a bribe or a request for a bribe?
If you are asked to make a bribe or you are offered a bribe (whether a mere offer or the actual making of it), you must of course refuse to make or receive the bribe. In normal circumstances:
You should explain our policy regarding bribery; and
You should refuse to make or receive (as the case may be) a bribe; and
Report the matter immediately to the General Manager who will also notify the Company Director.
We recognise that in certain circumstances you may feel that your personal safety is at risk if you are asked to make or receive a bribe. It may not be safe for you to explain our policy or to refuse or make the bribe. In such cases our first concern is for your safety. In such circumstances you will need to do what is necessary to protect yourself and then you will need to report what has occurred as soon as possible to the Company Director who will then notify the General Manager.
Recognising what is and what is not a bribe
Sometimes it is not always easy to recognise a bribe from a legitimate payment we need make or which we receive. Hospitality, gifts and charitable donations are not normally illegal and are all perfectly acceptable. They are also a normal way of establishing and building contacts and relationships with potential and actual customers as well as our suppliers.
To help you understand what is acceptable for you to receive or make in the way of gifts and hospitality, please consult the General Manager. Any charitable gift, whether made by a third party or to be made by us, needs the approval of Company Director.
Requests to make or receive payments other than those which relate to the normal course of our business must always be treated with suspicion. Consult with the General Manager about any situations or offers of payments etc. which have caused you or raise any suspicion.
Usually it will not be difficult to tell when something does not seem right. Usually it is very obvious, because what is occurring or what you are being asked to do is something which does not normally occur in your work for us. Equally, it may seem unreasonable or unethical to you as a reasonable person.
What you should do if you become aware of tax evasion?
If you are asked to participate in tax evasion or you become aware of such practices (whether a mere offer or the actual making of it), you must of course refuse to participate. In normal circumstances:
You should explain our policy regarding tax evasion; and
You should refuse to participate in any such scheme; and
Report the matter immediately to the General Manager who will also notify the Company Director.
We recognise that in certain circumstances you may feel that your personal safety is at risk. It may not be safe for you to explain our policy or to refuse to participate. In such cases our first concern is for your safety. In such circumstances you will need to do what is necessary to protect yourself and then you will need to report what has occurred as soon as possible to the Company Director who will then notify the General Manager.
Recognising what is and what is not tax evasion
Tax Evasion is the illegal non-payment or underpayment of taxes by an individual or organisation, usually resulting from the making of a false declaration or no declaration at all of taxes due to the relevant tax authorities. For example, deliberately (or recklessly) treating expenditure as tax deductible when it is not, structuring advice known to be for the purposes of tax evasion, and concealing the true nature of income or expenses. This may include direct and indirect charges such as:
Non-payment of income or corporation tax due in full; or
Non-payment of National Insurance contributions in full; or
Non-payment of Value Added Tax (VAT) in full.
Tax evasion can be linked to money laundering and organised crime. As such, cash payments can be particularly high risk and care must be taken to ensure the origin of the payment is known. All cash payments must be properly recorded and entered into the company’s formal accounting systems.
One of the most common forms of tax evasion is under-reporting of income. This is best prevented by ensuring that all transactions are properly and promptly recorded within accounting systems both internally and externally.
The legislation does not hold relevant bodies to account for the crimes of their customers, nor does it require them to prevent their customers from committing tax evasion. Nor is the legislation designed to capture the misuse of legitimate products and services that are provided to customers in good faith, where the individual advisor and relevant body did not know that its products were intended to be used for tax evasion purposes.
We wish to encourage you to raise any concerns or suspicions you may have as soon as you have them. Even if you are not sure whether:
What has occurred; or
A payment; or
The actions of another employee; or
An action of someone who provides goods or services to us; or
An action of someone who uses our services
amounts to bribery or tax evasion.
We urge you to raise your concerns with the General Manager. The Board of Directors wish to encourage the reporting of your concerns and suspicions and will wish it be known that if you do so you will not be subject to any disciplinary action or unfavourable treatment (or any threats relating to these). If you consider that you have been subject to such action or treatment, please use our grievance procedure.
Rowleys Commercial Energy Assessment is fully committed to working with enforcement authorities both within and outside the UK to prevent criminal activity. Where we become aware of such activity we will actively report it to the relevant authority and will work positively with such authorities on receipt of information requests. For the purposes of GDPR, we consider this a “Legitimate Interest” as defined in the legislation.
This policy is reviewed on a six monthly basis and is freely available to our customers, suppliers, employees and the general public.