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Gifts and hospitality

Exchanging gifts and hospitality are part of normal business, just as they are in ordinary life, and can build goodwill.

But the problem is that unless we’re careful, they could look like a bribe – even if they’re not meant to be. 

Gifts and hospitality can be used to try to improperly influence others. Sometimes they are intended to make someone feel that they ‘owe’ whoever gave the gift or provided the hospitality. They can even be a form of payment given to someone as a reward if they make a business decision in your favour. Used like that, gifts and hospitality are a form of corruption and not acceptable. 

What we expect from you

We expect you to:

  • not provide any gift, meal, or entertainment to a company employee in any situation in which it might influence or appear to influence any employee decision in relation to yourselves. 

  • tell us if you feel influenced or pressurised in turn through the acceptance of inappropriate gifts or hospitality. 

  • You may offer modest gifts, meals, or entertainment to company employees if they are:

    • not cash or cash equivalent

    • consistent with customary business practice and supplier company policy

    • not frequent or expensive

    • do not violate any law.

  • apply these commitments in your supply chain.

We encourage you to:

  • request your staff record gifts and hospitality given or received by them.

What you can expect from us

We are committed to:

  • working within clearly defined limits on what gifts we can give or receive and never giving or accepting anything that is outside these limits unless it has the proper approval, or that could be regarded as trying to exert improper influence. 

  • taking particular care if offering things of value to government employees or public officials.

  • following our reporting process and registering gifts and hospitality we give or receive.

  • never accepting or offering securities, personal cheques or payments to or for the benefit of individuals. This also includes cash unless it’s been approved.

Gifts and hospitality will usually be ‘Appropriate’ when:

  • they are not cash, securities, personal cheques or payments to or for the benefit of an individual or political party. 

  • they are not offensive or inappropriate in nature.

  • they are consistent with building business relations or designed to enhance knowledge in the organisation’s field. 

  • they are infrequent or occasional. 

  • they are unsolicited and provided openly and transparently. 

  • they do not risk negatively affecting Serco’s reputation and are socially acceptable, reasonable in value and not lavish or extravagant or embarrassing for the recipient. 

  • they do not violate any local law or regulation or where known, the standards of the recipient’s organisation.

  • they are not given or received during the procurement period or other period leading up to or following a commercial decision.

  • there is no expectation in return of improper performance, undue advantage or influence or other corrupt intent or a perception of same.

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