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Introduction and anti-bribery statement
Bribery and corruption are found in all countries. They hurt the poor disproportionately, diverting resources intended for development and humanitarian assistance and increasing the costs of basic public services. They undermine economic growth and are a barrier to poverty alleviation, fair dealings and equal treatment, and good governance. Often, bribery and corruption can aggravate conflict and insecurity.
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Bribery is the offering, promising, giving, accepting or soliciting of money, gifts or other advantage as an inducement to do something that is illegal or a breach of trust or an unfair competitive advantage in the course of carrying out an organisation's activities.
Forms of bribery include:
Extortion – the unlawful use of one's position or office to obtain money through coercion or threats. One example would be when customs officials request undue or false 'customs duties' from importers as a condition to clear their goods.
Facilitation payments – these are bribes and are usually small unofficial payments made to secure or expedite the performance of a routine or necessary action to which the payer of the facilitation payment has legal or other entitlement. One example would be where a governmental licence or permit is required for a particular course of action (such as opening a new clinic) and an official who has some part in granting that licence or permit seeks a 'special payment' to speed through a successful application.
Gifts and hospitality –extravagant gifts and hospitality may be used to disguise bribes that are intended to induce improper behaviour.
Under the UK Bribery Act, which came into effect on 1 July 2011, a bribe is paid if a "reasonable person in the UK" would deem that it relates to the improper performance of a relevant function or activity. A bribe can take any form and be of any size, and can be paid to or received from public or non-public bodies and employees.
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Individual senior managers or trustees may be prosecuted if an offence is proved to have been committed by a corporate body with their consent or connivance. An organisation convicted on indictment for failing to prevent bribery is liable to an unlimited fine.
SciDev.Net places the highest value on ensuring that neither it nor any organisation nor any individual with which it works is in any way involved with any action which could amount to bribery or corruption. Such action is wrong in itself and damaging to the reputation of SciDev.Net and could lead to criminal convictions for SciDev.Net itself and those individuals involved. SciDev.Net has therefore put in place the following procedures which will apply to all members of staff and Trustees and (where appropriate) those who act on behalf of SciDev.Net. The procedures are designed to ensure that all concerned are aware of circumstances and action which might amount to bribery or corruption, and of the steps which they need to take if they are aware of or suspect any such action.
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