General Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct
Accelerator UKIM is committed to protecting Accelerator UKIM associates [Founding partners, Board of Directors, Operational team, external associates (mentors, contractors, consultants, temporaries) and other workers and volunteers], beneficiaries and vendors and the company from illegal or damaging actions by individuals, either knowingly or unknowingly. When Accelerator UKIM addresses issues proactively and uses correct judgment, it will help set us apart from competitors. Accelerator UKIM will not tolerate any wrongdoing or impropriety at any time. Accelerator UKIM will take the appropriate measures act quickly in correcting the issue if the ethical code is broken.
The purpose of this policy is to establish a culture of openness, trust and to emphasize the Accelerator UKIM associates and beneficiaries’ expectations to be treated to fair business practices. This policy will serve to guide business behavior to ensure ethical conduct. Effective ethics is a team effort involving the participation and support of every Accelerator UKIM associate. All Associates should familiarize themselves with the ethics guidelines that follow this introduction.
This policy applies to Accelerator UKIM associates and beneficiaries including all personnel affiliated with third parties.
CODE OF ETHICS
Accelerator UKIM’s code of ethics expresses the overarching principles or ideals which guide Accelerator UKIM’s decisions and actions when conducting operations and services delivery. A code of ethics provides a general understanding of the ethical or moral responsibilities that the Accelerator UKIM associates, beneficiaries are expected to meet while working for and collaborating with Accelerator UKIM.
Accelerator UKIM will act with honesty and transparency implementing following principles of code of ethics:
- Act with integrity, competence, diligence, respect and in an ethical manner with the public, beneficiaries, prospective clients, employees, colleagues in the ecosystem for innovation and startups.
- Place the integrity of the investment / acceleration profession and the interests of clients / beneficiaries above their own personal interests.
- Use reasonable care and exercise independent professional judgment when conducting investment analysis, making investment recommendations, taking investment actions, and engaging in other professional activities.
- Practice and encourage others to practice in a professional and ethical manner that will reflect credit on themselves and the profession.
- Promote the integrity and viability of the local ecosystem for innovation and startups for the ultimate benefit of society.
- Maintain and improve their professional competence and strive to maintain and improve the competence of other innovators, entrepreneurs and investment professionals.
The Accelerator UKIM’s code of ethics also acts as a public commitment to anyone with an interest in the organization, particularly beneficiaries, funders and other stakeholders.
CODE OF CONDUCT
A code of conduct is a set of rules and guides that describe how people are expected to behave and how to respond under particular circumstances. The code of conduct is the practical application of the code of ethics. Issues commonly addressed in a code of conduct include personal behaviors, conflicts of interest, confidentiality, and bullying.
The code of conduct is more of an internal document than the code of ethics, and it is common for organizations to require governing body members, employees and volunteers to agree to a code of conduct in writing at commencement and throughout their engagement with the organization.
EXECUTIVE COMMITMENT TO ETHICS
- Senior leaders and executives within Accelerator UKIM must set a prime example. In any business practice, honesty and integrity must be top priority for executives.
- Executives must have an open-door policy and welcome suggestions and concerns from associates. This will allow associates to feel comfortable discussing any issues and will alert executives to concerns within the work force.
- Executives must disclose any conflict of interests regard their position within Accelerator UKIM.
ASSOCIATES COMMITMENT TO ETHICS
- Accelerator UKIM associates will treat everyone fairly, have mutual respect, promote a team environment and avoid the intent and appearance of unethical or compromising practices.
- Every associate needs to apply effort and intelligence in maintaining ethics value.
- Associates must disclose any conflict of interests regard their position within Accelerator UKIM.
- Associates will help Accelerator UKIM to increase beneficiaries and vendors’ satisfaction by providing quality product s and timely response to inquiries.
- Associates Employees should consider the following questions to themselves when any behavior is questionable:
- Is the behavior legal?
- Does the behavior comply with all appropriate Accelerator UKIM policies?
- Does the behavior reflect Accelerator UKIM values and culture?
- Could the behavior adversely affect company stakeholders?
- Would you feel personally concerned if the behavior appeared in a news headline?
- Could the behavior adversely affect Accelerator UKIM if all associates did it?
- Promotion of ethical conduct within interpersonal communications of associates will be rewarded.
- Accelerator UKIM will promote a trustworthy and honest atmosphere to reinforce the vision of ethics within.
MAINTAINING ETHICAL PRACTICES
- Accelerator UKIM will reinforce the importance of the integrity message and the tone will start at the top. Every associates needs consistently maintain an ethical stance and support ethical behavior.
- Accelerator UKIM associates should encourage open dialogue, get honest feedback and treat everyone fairly, with honesty and objectivity.
- Accelerator UKIM has established a best practice disclosure committee to make sure the ethical code is delivered to all associates and that concerns regarding the code can be addressed.
- Associates are required to recertify their compliance to Ethics Policy on an annual basis.
- Accelerator UKIM will avoid the intent and appearance of unethical or compromising practice in relationships, actions and communications.
- Accelerator UKIM will not tolerate harassment or discrimination.
- Unauthorized use of company trade secrets and marketing, operational, personnel, financial, source code, and technical information integral to the success of our company will not be tolerated.
- Accelerator UKIM will not permit impropriety at any time and we will act ethically and responsibly in accordance with laws.
- Accelerator UKIM associates will not use corporate assets or business relationships for personal use or gain.
Anti-Bribery and Anti-Corruption Policy
- This policy is the global anti – bribery and corruption policy of Accelerator UKIM. It is adopted to aid us to protect you and our company from the risk of bribery and corruption, to maintain the highest legal and ethical standards, thus grow the reputation of Accelerator UKIM.
This policy prescribes the responsibilities of the Accelerator UKIM and the obligations of those it encompasses to fulfill and to respect our efforts to prevent bribery and corruption. It contains procedures to prevent bribery and corruption and provides guidelines for identifying and dealing with bribery and corruption, as well as the way in which guidance can be sought when needed.
- Laws on preventing of bribery and corruption
- This policy is written in accordance with the laws on preventing of bribery and corruption which Accelerator UKIM and all its associates must respect. Among them is the Law on preventing bribery and corruption as well as certain provisions from the Criminal Code of Republic of North Macedonia which are applicable on certain aspects on the business activities of the Accelerator UKIM. These laws can be applied on activities throughout the world, regardless of the local standards or cultural norms. In addition, the terms and conditions from the accepted and implemented codes on prevention of bribery and corruption which impose more stringent conditions, must be respected.
- SCOPE OF THE POLICY
- In this policy, third party means any individual or organization you encounter during your work for us, and includes actual and potential clients, customers, suppliers, distributors, business contacts, agents, advisers, and government and public bodies, including their advisors, representatives and officials, politicians and political parties.
This policy applies to Accelerator UKIM associates [Founding partners, Board of Directors, Operational team, external associates (mentors, contractors, consultants, temporaries) and other workers and volunteers] working at all levels, or any other person associated with us, or any of our subsidiaries or their employees, wherever located (collectively referred to as employees in this policy).
- IMPORTANT TERMS AND CONCEPTS
- Bribery and Corruption
- Bribery involves giving or receiving money or other worthwhile thing as an incentive or as a reward for an improper and unlawful action. ‘Improper’ is explained further in paragraph 3.3.
The recipient of a bribe may be from the ‘private sector’ or from the ‘public sector’. When bribing, the offer or payment can be made indirectly through a third party, such as an agent or a business partner.
Depending on the circumstances, bribes can be in a variety of forms. If given or received as an incentive or reward for improper action, bribery could be considered the following:
- Payments in cash;
- Hospitality (such as meals, hotel stays, or tickets or invitations for cultural events);
- Other promotional expenses (such as travel and accommodation costs);
- Other ‘services’ that mean to the recipient (hiring a company which owner is member of family of some civil servant);
- Free use of Company’s services, its property or facilities;
- Political donations or charitable donations.
- Private sector, public sector, bureaucrats
- Bribery and corruption may occur in the public sector or in the private sector. This policy covers both sectors.
‘Public sector’ means:
- Authority of a country or territory and its decentralized units or parts (such as local or municipal government);
- An affiliate or public authority of a national, local or municipal authority (such as a police authority, an army, a judicial body, a public health authority);
- Other public authority or organization (such as a regulatory body, a stock exchange or a securities registration authority);
- A commercial company owned or controlled by the government (for example, a state-owned oil company or a state fund);
- A public international organization whose members are countries or territories or their authorities or other public international organizations (such as the World Bank or the UN);
- Non – governmental organization (NGO);
- Political party; and
Certain important parts of this policy apply to working with ‘civil servants’. This term means individuals who are in any position or who execute any function in the public sector, including, but not limited to:
- Individuals (elected or appointed) who are in any position (such as legislative, administrative, military or judicial) in the national authority of a country or territory or in its decentralized units or portions;
- Individuals performing any public office for and on behalf of a branch or a public agency of national, local or municipal government;
- Employees or representatives of a commercial company owned or controlled by the government, a public international organization, a non – governmental organization (NGO) or a regulatory body, stock exchange market;
- Politicians, political candidates or political party employees;
- Employees or representatives of a charity organization.
‘Private sector’ means companies or institutions that are not part of the public sector. Usually, these are businesses for making private profits.
- Improper/incorrect actions
- The term ‘improper/incorrect’ is used in this policy. Whether an action is prescribed as an improper or not depends on the context in which the term is used and the circumstances of the case. In this policy an ‘improper commercial or other kind of advantage’ means an advantage obtained because someone performs a certain function or activity in a way that is illegal, unethical, unhealthy, biased, or that violates the trusted authoritative position – or not performing the function or activity. The function or the activity may be a public function, a business activity, an activity that is performed as part of an employment relationship or an activity that they perform or is performed on behalf of a group of persons (associated or unincorporated). Always consult with the people in-charge to run the legal affairs for Accelerator UKIM, if something is incorrect under this policy.
An ‘improper action’ means the execution of a function or activity in an unlawful, unethical and biased manner or by violation of a credible authoritative position – or not performing the action at all.
- Facilitation payments
- A gift, often in cash, to ensure, in order to facilitate or to speed up the execution of routine or necessary action or procedure prescribed by the authorities (such as customs clearance of goods) by a civil servant. Usually, the public service officer should execute the act or procedure in question ex officio, and at the same time they represent a legal or other type of right of the person that pays. Relief payments are also referred to as payments for facilitating, speeding up the procedure.
- WHAT ARE YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES WITH THIS POLICY?
- You must:
- Read and respect this policy;
- Take an obligation to prevent, detect, and report bribery and corruption, avoid any activity that might lead to or assert that there has been a violation of this policy;
- Report as soon as possible if you think or if you suspect that a violation of this policy has occurred, or it could happen in the future. Red lights would be prescribed further below, which would mean a sign that it is a bribery and corruption.
- Integration of the policy into employment and service contracts
- This policy, which is occasionally updated, should be implemented as part of an employment contract for all employees, wherever it is possible.
- Breaking/disrespecting the policy
- Disrespecting of this policy may entail:
- Disciplinary measures for the employees (firing from work due to serious misconduct or other termination of employment);
- Termination of agreements with third parties.
- Disciplinary measures
- The employees who disrespect this policy will be charged with disciplinary action, which may include termination of the contract of the employee or the service due to serious misconduct or other termination of employment or service.
- Termination of agreements with third parties
- Whenever possible, Accelerator UKIM reserves the right to terminate the contractual relations with third parties that work with or for Accelerator UKIM, that will violate this policy or any applicable provision of the agreement regarding the prevention of bribery and corruption.
- GENERAL PROHIBITIONS
- It is strictly forbidden:
- To give money or anything else valuable to any person, with the intention of obtaining or retaining any improper commercial or other kind of advantage or rewarding the person for it, or to make a person to act improperly and to reward the same person for such an action; and
- To receive money or anything else worthwhile from any person in return or as a reward for giving him an unfair commercial or other kind of advantage, or to instruct us to do something wrong and to reward us for such an action. There are separate rules for gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses (section 8) and when it comes to civil servants (sections 9 and 10).
- It is strictly forbidden to:
Offer, promise, give authority, money or anything worthwhile to any person:
- with the intention of receiving, retaining or rewarding for any improper commercial or other kind of asset for the company, you, or any other person or,
- make a person to act against the law and to reward him for such an action;
- if you know or believe that it would be incorrect to accept your offer.
To seek, to aid with a request, to agree to receive, accept or receive money or anything valuable from any person, if you know or if you are suspicious:
- That the person is offering himself to make the Company, you or any other person, to provide an incorrect commercial or other advantage to the company, for you or any other person, or to act improperly, or to reward the company, you or any other person for such an action;
- That the Request itself is improper.
To use any means in any other way to receive, to keep or to award an unfair commercial or other kind of asset to BAU for you or any other person
To mediate for a third party in any of the actions mentioned above
These prohibitions apply:
- When you act directly, as well as indirectly through someone acting on your behalf and
- When it comes to third parties in the private as well as in the public sector. Money or something else valuable means a gift, hospitality or other kind of promotion cost or some financial or other kind of advantage
- GIFTS, HOSPITALITY AND OTHER PROMOTIONAL EXPENSES
- Before giving or accepting any gift, hospitality or other promotional expenses, you must consult this policy.
It is allowed to give/to provide/to cover or to accept certain gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses if the terms of this policy are compiled with. In accordance with this policy, it is unacceptable and prohibited to give, to accept and to provide certain other gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses.
- What it considered to be ‘gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses’?
- In this policy, certain terms such as ‘gifts’, ‘hospitality’ and ‘other promotional expenses’ are used.
The term ‘gifts’ means all gifted products, services, cash or cash equivalents (such as checks, traveler check’s, gift vouchers, loans and stocks), as well as all signs of attention, gratitude, discounts and services in the business sphere, as well as other valuable things for which the recipient does not pay the fair value.
The term ‘hospitality’ means all meals, drinks, entertainment, recreation (such as tickets or invitations to sport and cultural events), travelling, vacating (staying in a hotel) and hospitality in another form, which are valuable and for which the recipient does not pay the fair value.
The term ‘promotional expenses’ means every other expenditure, such as travel, and accommodation costs associated with promotion, presentation or explanation of products or services.
- The gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses may represent bribe
- Giving/providing/covering and accepting gifts, hospitality and other promotional gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses is something that is common in the business sphere. They can cause affection and build or maintain legitimate business relationship or be sign of attention. Giving/providing/covering and accepting gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses are usually not an un-lawful act. However, they may be or be considered as bribes, if, for instance are given with intention to obtain some improper commercial or other advantage.
This policy prescribes the principles, advice and examples of gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses, but it does not cover all possible scenarios. You must consult this policy and apply the prescribed principles and rules. Be sure to consult the department of Accelerator UKIM responsible for such matters, if you are not sure what to do.
- General prohibitions
- You are strictly forbidden to:
- To offer, to promise, to give an authorization or gift, hospitality or other expenses for promotion to any person;
- To ask, to aid with a Request, to agree to receive, accept or receive a gift, hospitality or other expense for promotion from any person if they:
- Falls into a category of ‘unacceptable gifts, hospitality or other promotional expenses’ prescribed in part 8.4;
- Are not in accordance with ‘the principalities for gifts’.
- Unacceptable gifts, hospitality and other expenses for promotion
- Giving/obtaining/covering or accepting different types of presents, hospitality or other expenses for promotion is unacceptable, regardless of their values. Those are:
- Ones that are given to gain an unfair advantage: everything that is given in order to obtain, retain or give a reward for any improper commercial or other type of advantage for the company, for you, or for any person, to mislead any person into doing an un-lawful act or to reward for such act; doubting that is being given or offered to mislead the company, you or some other person to give unfair advantage or other kind of advantage to any person, or to get rewarded by the company, you, or other person fur such act.
- Ones that cause a conflict of interest: everything that can cause or can be considered that can cause conflicts of interest.
- Ones that are given on the principle of reciprocity: everything that is given or is received with the intention or expectation to be returned on the principle of reciprocity, i.e. in exchange for something.
- Ones that are given in public biddings: everything that includes parties in an offer for public bidding or competitive process of bidding in which BAU submits an offer or participates in public bidding.
- Ones that are forbidden: everything that is prohibited by the organization from the other party.
- Cash or cash equivalent: everything that is cash or cash equivalent (including checks, travel checks, gift cards, loans and stocks or other negotiable investments).
- Ones that are inadequate: anything that is inappropriate or offensive (for instance, anything that is obscene or related to sexual connotation) or which may negatively effect on the reputation of Accelerator UKIM in any manner.
- Ones that are given from by yourself or secretly: everything you give personally by you, and not on behalf of the BAU, or everything that is given secretly.
- Ones that violate the laws: anything that violates any applicable law or regulation, including local laws.
- Principles of gifts
- Any gift, hospitality or expense for promotion (which is not contrary to section 6.4) must comply with the following principles:
- good intent – gift given in good faith and only in order to build or maintain a justified business relationship, or to show a sign of attention.
- symbolic and modest:
- A symbolic gift and gift with minimal or negligible value (such as small promotional items, diaries, calendars, or similar items with the trademark or logo of the provider) or
- Modest in terms of value, not rich or extravagant and as a special gift and as a part of a package of other gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses when offered to or from the same party:
- moderate and appropriate – a gift which is moderate and appropriate in terms of the type, the value and the occasion, as well as when given in relation to previously given and future gifts, in accordance with the circumstances, as well as with the norms of the local culture.
- acceptable business practice – a gift in accordance with what is considered acceptable business practice and with local cultural norms.
- Legally – a gift allowed in accordance with applicable laws and regulations and with local laws.
- Gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses – Civil servants
- Please note that specific rules apply to civil servants (sections 7 and 8). This is because in some countries, for example, it may be a punishable offense with a sentence, to give a gift to a civil servant. Prior approval is required to give or to accept a gift, hospitality or other kind of expense for promotion to or from a civil servant.
The Macedonian legislation regulates the anti-corruption policy with the Law on Prevention of Corruption, especially referring to corruption in relation to public functions, chapter two, from Article 8 to Article 46, where in Chapter 5 it also determines the creation of a separate state body i.e. the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption, whose jurisdiction enters the regulation of this issue.
In Article 59, The Law on prevention of Corruption explains in detail the prohibition of corruption in trade companies.
- Prohibition of payment from your own pocket
- You must not avoid any of the terms of this policy that apply to gifts, hospitality or other promotional expenses by paying with your own money.
- General prohibition on aiding with a Request
- You must not actively assist with a Request, to ask for, or to order to receive a gift, hospitality or other promotional expense from any person or organization.
- Register of gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses
- Each department will have to open, manage and monitor the registries in which the given or accepted gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses will be recorded.
- Approval of expenditures
- The rules in this policy that relate to:
Giving/providing/covering of gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses are a complement to the applicable procedures for requesting approval of expenditures in departments and business units, as well as other similar procedures. All requests for approval of expenditures must be submitted in accordance with the applicable expenditure policy and will be assessed by the management.
- Refusing gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses
- If someone offers you or if you receive a gift, hospitality or other promotional expenses that are not permitted under this policy, you will have to politely refuse them. You can indicate this policy to the lender as a reason for the refusal.
If, in exceptional cases, you cannot refuse (because, for instance, it would seriously violate the cultural norms of the country) you can accept the gift, hospitality or other promotional expense, but you will have to report the case to the presumed officer as quickly as possible and to record it in the registry in the appropriate department. The superior officer must consult with the legal department of the company to get rid of the gift (for instance, to donate the gift to a charity)
- Adaptation to local terms
- Countries and regions have different practice of giving/providing/covering and accepting gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses; something that is legal, normal and acceptable according to cultural norms in some countries may not be in others. In all cases, you need to apply the test to find out whether the gift is in the category of ‘unacceptable gifts, hospitality and other promotional expenses’ prescribed in paragraph 6.4 in accordance with the gift principles in paragraph 6.5. In addition to the terms prescribed in this policy and the appropriate procedures to prevent bribery and corruption, you must also comply with the terms laid down by applicable laws and procedures to prevent bribery and corruption. The department responsible for such matters will provide counselling for individual countries if needed.
- Acceptable Practice
- Covering part of the eligible expenditures of the customer or service provider of the goods (travel costs) so that they can visit the work premises;
- Showing sign of attention common to the business sphere, such as transportation from the airport to the hotel when visiting the company.
- Taking the purchaser of services or goods to a sport or cultural event, as part of a determined public relations aimed at establishing or maintaining justified business relationships with them.
- Organizing an annual event for the service purchasers or companies that our company collaborates with, with an intention of building or maintaining justified business relationship.
- Giving small ceremonial gifts or gifts to annual gatherings or on other special circumstances such as holidays.
- Celebration on successful completion of the transaction with the vendor or the purchaser of services or goods.
- Giving an original or convenient gift instead of one that is part of the routine gift scheme.
- Giving symbolic gifts with minimal or negligible value, such as small promotional items, diaries, calendars or other similar items with the trademark logo of Accelerator UKIM.
- THIRD PARTIES ENGAGED BY ACCELERATOR UKIM
- Risks related to third parties
- According to most laws on prevention of bribery and corruption, firms involved directly or indirectly in bribery practices are considered responsible for the action. This means that Accelerator UKIM can also be responsible in case a third party, engaged as a representative or as a service provider for Accelerator UKIM, makes or receives a wrong payment, or otherwise participates in an improper act during the performance of his work, and on behalf of Accelerator UKIM. A company may be exposed to this, even though it prohibits such payment or behaviour. Therefore, it is very important to ensure that the third party engaged as a representative or as a service provider for Accelerator UKIM, will not make or receive incorrect payment or that it will not otherwise participate in improper conduct while operating on behalf of Accelerator UKIM.
- Relevant third parties
- An example of the relevant types of third parties are agents, distributors and sales and marketing service providers or logistics services, consultants, advisers, contractors, inventors and inventors, brokers, and all others engaged as representatives or as service providers of Accelerator UKIM.
- Payments to third parties
- All allowances and covered costs to third parties must be appropriate, justified and proportionate, and moderate in commercial terms in the circumstances provided for justified third-party services. All fees and covered costs are paid directly to third parties (for example, for payment through a bank to an account on behalf of a third party in the geographical location in which the third party resides or operates). The payment must not be made by another person who does not have a contract with Accelerator UKIM.
- Keeping records
- All members of Accelerator UKIM that engage a third party as a service provider must take appropriate precautionary steps with respect to third parties (this applies equally to third parties with whom Accelerator UKIM already has established relationship and / or agreement). Such documentation should be kept together with the written agreement as part of the transaction file. The company’s relationship with those third parties must be documented in a standard manner or through written agreements. You must keep accurate records of all payments.
- Risk factors
- The existence of a risk a third party engaged as a representative or as a service provider for BAU, to make or receive incorrect payment or otherwise participate in misconduct in the performance of its work, and on behalf of the company, depends on several factors, but mostly on the nature of the relationship, the country in which it operates, and on whether there are any other indicators that would indicate potential bribery and corruption.
Relations with higher risk:
- Relations with an agent, distributor or service provider that works in sales and marketing;
- Relations with a contractor or subcontractor (which include logistic services);
- Relations with a joint venture partner;
- Relations with an instructor, inventor or broker who is representing or recommending Accelerator UKIM in front of other companies for a commission;
- Relations with an individual, company or another entity who for a certain reward will help Accelerator UKIM to obtain or retain relevant licenses or regulatory permissions;
- A relation in which a civil servant strictly asked for a certain third side to be engaged;
- A relation with a country of a higher rank which is engaged as a representative or service provider for the Accelerator UKIM.
Relations with lower risk:
- Relations with banks and other regulated financial bodies;
- Relations with professional counsellors (lawyers, accountants) when they are known and reputable, and located and regulated in a country with low risk.
- ‘Red Lights’
- Warning signs of corrupt behavior of third parties: There are certain activities, factors and situations that may lead us to suspect in a person with whom Accelerator UKIM has or wants to start a business relationship or transaction. They are called “red lights”, and some of them are described in Annex 1. Any red-light situation must be resolved before starting or before the actual business or transaction continues. If you face a “red light” situation, you must report the case to the superior officer and consult with the department responsible for this matter within the Company as soon as possible, before starting or before proceeding with a specific business or transaction.
- Termination of relations with third parties
- Whenever possible, BAU reserves the right to terminate contractual relations with third parties that work with or with the company, which will violate this policy or any applicable provision of the agreement regarding the prevention of bribery and corruption.
- CIVIL SERVANTS – PAYMENTS OR ANOTHER ADVANTAGE
- Special rules apply to civil servants. This is because in some countries giving a gift to a civil servant may be treated as a criminal offense. You must not give money or anything else of value (gift, hospitality or other expense for promotion or other kind of financial or other reward) to any civil servant to effect on his decision-making and performance of his job, with the intention to obtain or retain business cooperation or advantage in the business cooperation. This is irrespective of whether the civil servant performs his/her job properly. Giving or receiving money or everything that has value to a civil servant, must be previously approved in accordance with this policy. The prevention of corruption in relation to civil servants is especially regulated in the Law on Prevention of Corruption (Article 21-Article 36)
- Previous approval as a term
- To ensure that this policy is respected, giving or receiving money or anything else of value, to or from a civil servant must be approved in writing before the action takes place. Previous approval is not required when it comes to symbolic gifts of minimal or negligible value (such as representation material, diaries, calendars, or other similar items with the trademark or the logo of the provider).
If previous approval is required, you will need to get it from:
- Officer for the application of anti-corruption rules and principles;
- The superior officer or financial controller of the establishment;
- Financial controller of the department or department manager.
Previous approval must be denied if:
- The case is about one of the categories of ‘unacceptable gifts, hospitality or other promotional expenses’;
- The case is not in accordance with the ‘gift principles’.
- Public bidding offers
- When the authorities are looking for offers for public bidding which are financed with government means, they often allow or require bidders to offer, besides the basic bidding offer, additional investment for the local economy or for the benefit of the local community. Such contracts could be considered as bribe. For such matters consult the department responsible for these matters within the Company.
- What can be given to a civil servant – Examples
- Providing benevolent, proportionate and moderate hospitality, expenses for promotion and other business expense intended for building or maintaining justified relationships;
- Covering of the justified expenses of civil servants when we promote products or services;
- Providing/covering transport and accommodation but unacceptable is the offer of excessive hospitality;
- Occasionally showing a routine business sing of attention, such as transportation from the airport to the hotel when visiting the firm.
- CIVIL SERVANTS – FACILITATION PAYMENTS
- Facilitation payments
- A ‘facilitation payment’ usually means a small unofficial payment or a gift, often in cash, to ensure that it is facilitated or in order to speed up the execution of a routine or necessary action or procedure prescribed by the authorities, and by a civil servant.
The ‘facilitation payments’ are also called payments for ‘support’ and ‘acceleration’.
According to the positive laws in R. of Macedonia, the facilitation payments are a bribe and crime.
- Instances of facilitation payments
- Instances of routine action prescribed by the authorities could be actions related to:
- Issuing licenses, permits, other official documents for obtaining the right to work in a country;
- Processing of documents required by the authorities, such as visas, custom clearance for transfer of goods;
- Providing police protection or other security;
- Enabling access to electricity and water;
- Providing services for picking up and delivering mail;
- Inspections related to execution of contracts or transit of goods.
- Prohibition of facilitation payments
- BAU does not allow any kinds of facilitation payments. Even when it is usual business practice in a certain country. According to this policy they are considered as a bribe, regardless of their value, local standards or cultural norms.
- What if you are asked to do a facilitation payment?
- Corrupt civil servants seeking to pay for routine actions can put you and your staff in a dangerous position. There is no simple solution to the problem. If you believe that you are asked to pay for relief, follow this procedure:
- Ask for what you pay for;
- Make sure you pay for a justified service of merchandise;
- Check if the amount you need to pay is adequate, justified and proportionate to the service or the goods;
- If you pay for a justified service or merchandise, or if the amount is justified and proportionate, it’s probably not a fee for relief, and you can pay;
- If you do not pay for a justified service or for goods, and if the amount is inadequate, unjustified and disproportionate, it is likely a facilitation payment, and you must not pay;
- In any case, if doubt prevails for whether to pay or not, you must consult the department responsible for such matters in your company;
- If you pay, look for a receipt or account where it is explained what you paid specifically, if you think it is not a problem;
- Report the payment in accordance with the payment procedures of your department so that it can be fully and accurately recorded in the registry kept by the department for this purpose;
- If you are required to make a facilitation payment, report the case to your superiors and the legal department of the company as soon as you can. Applications will be monitored to find out if there is any scheme for reporting to the relevant law enforcement authorities.
- Agents and vendors
- You must have in mind that the vendors are possibly making a facilitation payment when performing services for BAU. It can be realized by checking the commission or the remuneration that is paid. Unusually high commissions, rewards or bonuses, schemes of payment, might be ‘red light’ and indicate of a bribe. Please consider the document in addition to this policy.
- POLITICAL DONATIONS
- We will not allocate aid or donations to political parties, other political organizations or electoral candidates, or to allocate any other expenditures for political purposes. Political assistance or donations, like other political expenditures, constitute a bribe if they are given with the intent to influence the work or official decisions, or to obtain a commercial or other kind of advantage. You must not provide assistance or donations to political parties, other political organizations, or electoral candidates, or to allocate any other expenditures for political purposes on behalf of Accelerator UKIM or from the financial resources of Accelerator UKIM.
- CHARITABLE DONATIONS
- All charity donations on behalf of Accelerator UKIM must be in accordance with the applicable laws and may not be made with the intention to influence the operation or the official decisions, or to obtain commercial or other kind of advantage. Offering or giving charitable donations may constitute a bribe if it is given with the intent to influence performance or official decisions, or to obtain a commercial or other kind of advantage. Offering or giving charitable donations may constitute a bribe if it is given with the intent to influence performance or official decisions, or to obtain a commercial or other kind of advantage. For example, such case may be when donating a “charity” that is controlled by a public officer in a position to make decision that will affect Accelerator UKIM. All charitable donations offered or provided on behalf of an undertaking or made of the financial resources of a company must comply with applicable laws and may not be made with the intent to influence performance or official decisions, or to obtain a commercial or other kind advantage. Be sure to consult the department responsible for such matters of Accelerator UKIM if you are not sure about any proposed charity donation.
- ADJUSTMENT TO LOCAL CONDITIONS
- For the policy to be effective, the company should apply it everywhere, while respecting the various legal and cultural environments we work in. More specifically, this policy and procedures associated with it relating to the prevention of bribery and corruption must be appropriate and fully respect local laws to prevent bribery and corruption (which may pose stricter conditions). In addition to the conditions prescribed in this policy and the appropriate procedures to prevent bribery and corruption, you must also comply with the conditions laid down by applicable local laws and procedures to prevent bribery and corruption. The legal sector of the company provides guidance to individual countries and territories, if need be. The Authority is obliged to assist the legal sector to ensure that this policy is appropriate and applicable and that it respects the corruption, which can be imposed more stringent terms than those prescribed by the policy.
- WHO IS RESPONSIBLE OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THIS POLICY?
- The company’s manager has an obligation to take care of issuing this policy in support of its efforts to prevent bribery and corruption. The main obligation is to take care of the implementation of this policy and to ensure that the issues of its interpretation and application are duly answered. As an officer for the application of the rules and principles for anti-corruption, in BAU is appointed Aleksandar Stamboliev, CEO. All the applications, requests and other submissions that this policy provides for the officer shall be submitted to the officer and shall be resolved in relation to these issues and actions that would be taken as future procedures for regulating this issue.
- MONITORING AND EVALUATION
- We will regularly monitor and evaluate how this policy is implemented and how much it is respected. We will regularly evaluate the acceptability and appropriateness of this policy. It is important for the company to monitor and evaluate the implementation and compliance with this policy and related anti-bribery and corruption procedures because the risks of bribery and corruption are variable, it is important that the company regularly assess the acceptability and appropriateness of this policy and related procedures to prevent bribery and corruption, and to improve them if need be.
Annex 1: Potential risks scenario – “red lights”
Below is a partial list of “red lights” that may emerge during the time you work for us that may cause bribery and corruption issues:
- You are aware that a third party is bribing, that it behaves improperly or that it has a reputation for someone paying or seeking a bribe;
- The third party is without qualifications, experience or without resources;
- A third party seeks gifts or hospitality before commencing or before continuing negotiations on a contract or providing services, or offering you an unusually generous gift or hospitality;
- The third party is in a higher risk country (see Addition 2);
- The third party refuses to give (or give insufficient, false or inconsistent) information in response to questions raised by caution;
- The third party requires the use of an agent, intermediary, adviser, distributor or service provider or goods we do not normally use or do not know, or a panel company serves as a trustee (especially when located in a landfill);
- There are signs that the third party does not work on its own behalf, but tries to hide the identity of the right user and owner;
- Money or assets are transferred through a third party (for example, an adviser or a representative) to a civil servant;
- The third-party requests conditions for a transaction that would avoid the usual record keeping or reporting;
- The third party refuses to sign a commission for commission or compensation, or insists on a subsidiary unofficial agreement under which the funds will be paid;
- The third party requests an unusually high or disproportionate fee, fee, bonus or other compensation, or an unexpected additional fee or commission to “facilitate” a service;
- The third party requires payment in cash (the equivalent of cash, for example, a payment order);
- The third party requires not to be paid directly (for example, through a bank account on its behalf in its principal place of business), but the payment to be made through another party that has no contractual relationship with the company or the payment to be made at a geographical location different from the place where he or she works (especially in a country with a higher risk – see Addition 2);
- The third party refuses to provide an invoice or payment account, or gives you an invoice or account that is non-standard or unusual;
- A third party refuses to abide by this policy or fails to show that it has adequate internal policies and procedures to prevent bribery and corruption.
ANNEX 2: COUNTRIES WITH HIGHER RISK
In line with this policy, countries with a higher risk are countries with a rating of less than 50 in the Transparency International (CPI) Corruption Perceptions Index. The CPI for 2017 is given at: https://www.transparency.org/news/feature/corruption_perceptions_index_2017. The IPC for 2017 measures the degree of perception of corruption in the public sector in 183 countries around the world. Countries are rated on a scale of 100 (very clean) and 0 (very corrupt). The CPI for 2017 shows that most of the 183 countries and territories rated have a score below 50, which means they have serious corruption problems.
Complete list can be found at:
Conflict of Interest Policy
- This policy is designed to help Accelerator UKIM associates [Founding partners, Board of Directors, Operational team, external associates (mentors, contractors, consultants, temporaries) and other workers and volunteers] to identify situations that present potential conflicts of interest and to provide Accelerator UKIM with a procedure that, if observed, will allow a transaction to be treated as valid and binding for every Accelerator UKIM associates who has or may have a conflict of interest with respect to the transaction. In the event there is an inconsistency between the requirements and the procedures prescribed herein and those in relevant law, the law shall control. All capitalized terms are defined in Part 2 of this policy.
- CONFLICT OF INTEREST DEFINED
- For purposes of this policy, the following circumstances shall be deemed to create Conflicts of Interest:
- Outside Interests.
- A Contract or Transaction between Accelerator UKIM and a Responsible Person or Family Member.
- A Contract or Transaction between Accelerator UKIM and an entity in which a Responsible Person or Family Member has a Material Financial Interest or of which such person is a director, officer, agent, partner, associate, trustee, personal representative, receiver, guardian, custodian, conservator, or other legal representative.
- Outside Activities.
- A Responsible Person competing with Accelerator UKIM in the rendering of services or in any other Contract or Transaction with a third party.
- A Responsible Person’s having a Material Financial Interest in; or serving as a director, officer, employee, agent, partner, associate, trustee, personal representative, receiver, guardian, custodian, conservator, or other legal representative of, or consultant to; an entity or individual that competes with Accelerator UKIM in the provision of services or in any other Contract or Transaction with a third party.
- Gifts, Gratuities and Entertainment.
- A Responsible Person accepting gifts, entertainment, or other favors from any individual or entity that:
- does or is seeking business with, or is a competitor of Accelerator UKIM; or
- has received, is receiving or is seeking to receive a loan or grant, or to secure other financial commitments from Accelerator UKIM; or
- is a charitable organization;
under circumstances where it might be inferred that such action was intended to influence or possibly would influence the Responsible Person in the performance of his or her duties. This does not preclude the acceptance of items of nominal or insignificant value or entertainment of nominal or insignificant value that are not related to any particular transaction or activity of Accelerator UKIM.
- Conflict of Interest – is any circumstance described in Part 1 of this Policy. Responsible Person is any person serving as an officer, employee or member of the Board of Directors of Accelerator UKIM. Family Member is a spouse, domestic partner, parent, child, or spouse of a child, brother, sister, or spouse of a brother or sister, of a Responsible Person. Material Financial Interest in an entity is a financial interest of any kind that, in view of all the circumstances, is substantial enough that it would, or reasonably could, affect a Responsible Person’s or Family Member’s judgment with respect to transactions to which the entity is a party. This includes all forms of compensation. Contract or Transaction is any agreement or relationship involving the sale of purchase of goods, services, or rights of any kind, the providing or receipt of a loan or grant, the establishment of any other type of pecuniary relationship or review of a charitable organization by Accelerator UKIM. The making of a gift to Accelerator UKIM is not a Contract or Transaction.
- Before Board or Committee action on a Contract or Transaction involving a Conflict of Interest, a Director or Committee member having a Conflict of Interest and who is in attendance at the meeting shall disclose all facts material to the Conflict of Interest. Such disclosure shall be reflected in the minutes of the meeting.
- A Director or Committee member who plans not to attend a meeting at which he or she has reason to believe that the Board or Committee will act on a matter in which the person has a Conflict of Interest shall disclose to the Chair of the meeting all facts material to the Conflict of Interest. The Chair shall report the disclosure at the meeting and the disclosure shall be reflected in the minutes of the meeting.
- A person who has a Conflict of Interest shall not participate in or be permitted to hear the Board’s or committee’s discussion of the matter except to disclose material facts and to respond to questions. Such person shall not attempt to exert his or her personal influence with respect to the matter, either at or outside the meeting.
- A person who has a Conflict of Interest with respect to a Contract or Transaction that will be voted on at a meeting shall not be counted in determining the presence of a quorum for purposes of the vote. The person having a conflict of interest may not vote on the Contract or Transaction and shall not be present in the meeting room when the vote is taken, unless the vote is by secret ballot. Such person’s ineligibility to vote shall be reflected in the minutes of the meeting. For purposes of this paragraph, a member of the Board of Directors of Accelerator UKIM has a Conflict of Interest when he or she stands for election as an officer or for re-election as member of the board of directors.
- Responsible Persons who are not members of the Board of Directors of Accelerator UKIM or who have a Conflict of Interest with respect to a Contract or Transaction that is not the subject of Board or Committee action, shall disclose to the Chair or the Chair’s designee any Conflict of Interest that such Responsible Person has with respect to a Contract or Transaction. Such disclosure shall be made as soon as the Conflict of Interest is known to the Responsible Person. The Responsible Person shall refrain from any action that may affect Accelerator UKIM’s participation in such Contract or Transaction.
- In the event it is not entirely clear that a Conflict of Interest exists, the individual with the potential conflict shall disclose the circumstances to the Chair or the Chair’s designee, who shall determine whether there exists a Conflict of Interest that is subject to this policy.
- Each Responsible Person shall exercise care not to disclose confidential information acquired in connection with such status or information the disclosure of which might be adverse to the interests of Accelerator UKIM. Furthermore, a Responsible Person shall not disclose or use information relating to the business of Accelerator UKIM for the personal profit or advantage of the Responsible Person or a Family Member.
- REVIEW OF POLICY
- Each new Responsible Person shall be required to review a copy of this Policy and to acknowledge in writing that he or she has done so.
- Each new Responsible Person shall annually complete a disclosure from identifying any relationships, positions, or circumstances in which the Responsible Person is involved that he or she believes could contribute to a Conflict of Interest arising. Such relationships, positions, or circumstance might include service as a director of or consultant to a not- for-profit organization, or ownership of a business that might provide goods or services to Accelerator UKIM. Any such information regarding business interests of a Responsible Person or a Family Member shall be treated as confidential and shall generally be made available only to the Chair, the CEO, and any committee appointed to address Conflicts of Interests, except to the extent additional disclosure is necessary in connection with the implementation of this Policy.
- This policy shall be reviewed annually by each member of the board of directors. Any changes to the policy shall be communicated immediately to all Responsible Persons.
- The procurement procedure should enable an optimum competitiveness and market-based approach and efficiency when implementing program operations and achieving the project outputs.
- Should the procurement procedures be subject of a contract with a donor, financing authority or other contracting entity, the required type of procedure laid down in the contract shall apply.
- Should there be no procurement procedure requirements in such contract, the existing procurement procedures laid down in this document shall apply.
The internal procedures for procurement set out below shall apply for procurement from external financing sources and in case no requirements are specified by the financing source. The procurement procedures apply to procurement of the following:
- Goods (Purchase and/or rental)
- Space/facilities (Purchase and/or rental)
- Consultant services
- Authors (include all individuals and/or groups which are included in projects)
The internal procurement procedures do not apply to purchases of one-time value of less than 6.000 MKD (example: petty cash purchases, office materials). Procurements from one vendor or one type of product/service within a calendar month that exceed the amount of 6.000 MKD shall not be excluded from the internal procurement procedures.
GENERAL CONDITIONS FOR PROCUREMENT
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
Procurement of related entities services or goods shall be in accordance to a mutual agreement by the shareholders.
Associates must not request or accept gratuities, gifts, favors or anything of monetary value from vendors, sub agreement contractors or parties. The provisions above do not apply in situations where the financial interest is not substantial, or the gift is an unsolicited item of nominal value (below 6.000 MKD).
DISQUALIFICATION CRITERIA FOR TENDERERS
Tenderers will be excluded from taking part in a procurement procedure if:
- They are bankrupt or being wound up, are having their affairs administered by the courts, have entered into an arrangement with creditors, have suspended business activities, are the subject of proceedings concerning those matters, or are in any analogous situation arising from a similar procedure provided for in national legislation or regulations;
- They have been convicted of an offence concerning their professional conduct by a judgment which has the force of res judicata;
- They have been guilty of grave professional misconduct proven by any means which the Company can justify;
- They have not fulfilled obligations relating to the payment of social security contributions or the payment of taxes in accordance with the legal provisions of the country in which they are established or with those of the country of the Company or those of the country where the contract is to be performed;
- They or persons having powers of representation, decision making or control over them have been the subject of a judgment which has the force of res judicata for fraud, corruption, involvement in a criminal organization or money laundering;
All tenderers shall be required to confirm compliance with this section in the form of a signed statement.
All criteria above apply to legal entities and are not applicable to physical persons as suppliers.
Points (1) to (4) do not apply to the purchase of supplies on particularly advantageous terms from either a supplier which is definitively winding up its business activities, or the receivers or liquidators of a bankruptcy, through an arrangement with creditors, or through a similar procedure under national law. Should a financing authority (donor, client, funding agency etc.) provide additional qualification requirements to tenderers, such shall be taken into account when performing the procurement procedures.
PROCUREMENT PROCEDURES FOR GENERAL PROCESSES
The procurement procedures quoted further in this policy are applicable for the following thresholds*:
* Value thresholds consider the total amount (excl. VAT) of one-time purchases, or the total annual amount in the case of recurring contracts (i.e. periodical invoicing). Annual amounts are calculated within one calendar year.
- Commercial practices/single source procurement for contract value less than:
- Goods 200.000 MKD
- Space/facilities 200.000 MKD
- Consultant services 200.000 MKD
- Works 600.000 MKD
- Limited tender for contract value between:
- Goods 200.001 – 3.000.000 MKD
- Space/facilities 200.001 – 3.000.000 MKD
- Consultant services 200.001 – 3.000.000 MKD
- Works 600.001 – 6.000.000 MKD
- Public tendering for contract value over:
- Goods 3.000.000 MKD
- Space/facilities 3.000.000 MKD
- Consultant services 3.000.000 MKD
- Works 6.000.001 MKD
COMMERCIAL PRACTICES/SINGLE SOURCE PROCUREMENT SELECTION
This procedure is based on a single source procurement selection and follows the steps as mentioned bellow:
- Prepare technical specification;
- Research the local market for the availability of the required goods, works and services;
- Obtain unit prices of items included in each package from suppliers, shopkeepers, catalogues, previous contracts, internet, etc., and using this information, cost each package;
- Execute the procurement.
EXTENDED USE OF SINGLE TENDER PROCEDURE
A single tender procedure shall be used in procurements above the prescribed thresholds in the following cases of procurements:
- Items which are intellectual property in ownership of one supplier/author on the market;
- Items subject to licensing, where there is only one licensee (supplier) in the market;
- Items subject to compliance with assets already owned by the company where only one supplier;
- Where services are entrusted to public-sector bodies or to non-profit institutions or associations and relate to activities of an institutional nature.
This method is used for off-the-shelf items of goods or standard specification commodities/services available from several sources of supply within the country. The following steps are to be undertaken:
- Establish procurement committee
- Prepare technical specifications;
- Prepare evaluation criteria;
- Prepare list of suppliers broad enough to generate good competition, with at least three suppliers. Such list may be prepared based on the past experience, consultation with chambers of commerce, Internet, or direct market research;
- Prepare Invitation to Quote (ITQ);
- Send the ITQ to the suppliers;
- Receive quotations by a deadline;
- No public or formal opening of the quotations is required;
- Prepare the evaluation form;
- Process the evaluation scores of the panel, prepare and sign the evaluation grid;
- Prepare and sign the contract with the supplier.
The tender shall be cancelled if no successful bidder was selected by the evaluation panel. The evaluation panel may decide to enter into negotiations to conclude the contract with one of the bidders.
Public tendering shall be conducted in accordance with the rules for limited tender set out above, with the following amendments of the above procedure:
- The invitation to tenders will be published in at least one daily newspaper and on the website of the company
- Vendors will be provided a minimum of 1 week after the date the tender has been published to deliver quotations
Public tendering may be applied for values lower than those indicated in Point 6.12.2., if it is considered that good competition would be generated, and efficiency achieved. Exceptions from established lines after negotiation procedures have ended are acceptable only with consensual approval of all committee members and the company manager.