ANTI-FRAUD & BRIBERY POLICY


1. SCOPE


This policy applies to all relevant persons of Omiics ApS. relevant persons include staff, board members, volunteers, and short-term contractors.

 

2. DEFINITIONS OF CORRUPTION; FRAUD AND BRIBERY


2.1. Definitions of corruption, fraud, and bribery are found in Appendix I, below.

2.2. It is also bribery to make unofficial payments (known as ‘grease’ or ‘facilitation’ payments) to a public official to secure or speed up a routine action to which you may feel entitled to. For example, you pay a public official a small “fee” to speed up the issuing of a visa.

2.3 Some examples of fraud and bribery relevant to Omiics ApS are described in Appendix II.


3. ZERO TOLERANCE ON FRAUD OR BRIBERY 


3.1. Omiics ApS’s position on fraud and bribery is to take a zero-tolerance approach, and we are committed to pursuing this approach throughout its operational practices for the following reasons:

      • Omiics ApS recognizes the significant risk that fraud and bribery pose to achieving its aims and objectives. Any money that is lost to fraud or bribery is money that cannot be used to accomplish our mission.
      • Corrupt behavior also seriously damages our reputation. The eradication of fraud and bribery in the way we operate is greatly important to securing our stakeholders’ trust and confidence.
      • We owe it to our communities to condone fraud or bribery. Corruption creates unstable societies. It destroys public and business standards and forces ordinary people to use ill-advised resources in their interactions with the government and other public bodies.

3.2. All members of staff and the board, together with volunteers and contractors, are required to sign the zero-tolerance declaration form Appendix III.

3.3. We support the application of the zero-tolerance policy by providing:

      • Direction and rules to establish appropriate and expected behavior.
      • Effective deterrents to inappropriate behavior in the form of meaningful consequences.
      • Prevention measures to reduce the risk of fraud or bribery occurring.
      • Detection measures to identify fraud or bribery if it happens, including whistle-blower lines.
      • Response measures to ensure we react well to suspicions, allegations, and proven incidents of fraud and bribery, including protection and fair treatment for the accusers and accused.
      • Measurement processes to evaluate the impact and success of our anti-fraud and bribery policy and management of risk.
      • Deliberate proactive steps to embed anti-fraud & bribery thinking into our culture, including staff training and awareness.

3.4. Anyone found guilty of fraud or bribery will be subject to disciplinary measures, which ordinarily include dismissal, prosecution, and recovery of losses.


4. ANTI-BRIBERY POLICY 

4.1. Omiics ApS employs all legal and safe tactics to avoid and resist paying bribes to public officials, even if it results in denials, delays, inconvenience, and increased cost to our operations.

4.2. No person is authorized to pay a bribe on behalf of Omiics ApS or use Omiics ApS funds.

4.3. Individuals are not expected to resist bribery to the point of putting themselves or others at real risk of personal harm or injury. A payment under such circumstances is considered extortion rather than bribery.


5. CONFLICT OF INTEREST

5.1. A conflict of interest exists where an employee or a board member has an interest, relationship, or friendship which could, or could be seen to, interfere with their ability to decide an issue in the best interests of Omiics ApS.

5.2. The purpose of this policy is to ensure that all conflicts of interest are declared, declared conflicts are managed to mitigate the associated risks, and that decisions and actions are documented to ensure transparency and accountability.

5.3. Examples of conflicts of interest include (but are not limited to):

      • Relationships between members of the Senior Leadership Team, accounts staff, procurement staff, HR staff or board members, and any other staff member.
      • Relationships between any person and their line manager
      • Relationships between Omiics ApS staff or board members and suppliers, donors, grantees, beneficiaries, or job applicants.
      • A ‘relationship’ in this context could include family, romantic relationships, being a bank signatory, advisor, or board member.

5.5. The existence or discovery of a conflict of interest does not constitute a breach of policy as long as it is disclosed promptly.

5.6. The following people are required to make a conflict of interest declarations using the form in Appendix IV.

      • Board members
      • Senior Leadership Team members
      • Staff in finance (accounting), procurement, and HR

5.7. All staff (including those listed above) are required to disclose conflicts of interest as soon as they arise, or the staff member becomes aware of the conflict of interest. Examples of such disclosures would include:

      • A close friend of a staff member applies for a job with Omiics ApS.
      • A potential supplier presented to the procurement committee is a company where a committee member is a board member.

5.8. The recruitment conflict of interest declaration form in Appendix V should be signed by all relevant persons involved in the development or design of selection tools, those with access to the selection tools, and those involved in the selection process. It should be signed as soon as all the applications are received and before any short listing.

5.9. The Procurement Committee meeting agenda should always include a clear listing of all suppliers on the approved suppliers list, and all who have provided quotes for the purchases under consideration. All members present should be required to declare that they have no interests in any of the suppliers under consideration at that meeting, and this should be recorded in the minutes.

5.10. If a conflict arises or is discovered, it should be immediately declared using the form in Appendix VI.

5.11. Appropriate actions should be taken to resolve the conflict of interest, which may be temporary or permanent, for example:

      • A procurement committee member is removed from a particular supplier selection decision in which they are conflicted.
      • A staff member ceases to act as a board member, signatory, or advisor which is causing the conflict.
      • A conflicted staff member is removed from all aspects of the recruitment and selection process.
      • One person in a romantic relationship within the Omiics ApS leaves.

5.12. The steps taken to manage the conflict of interest and mitigate the risk of conflicted decision taking should be documented on the declaration form.


6. GIFTS AND ENTERTAINMENT

6.1. Gifts and entertainment should never be used or allowed to influence business decision-making.

6.2. When offers of gifts and entertainment are made or accepted in situations where they are inappropriate, they can look like, or may be, bribes. They can expose us to accusations of unfairness or even break the law and can put our reputation for ethical behavior at risk.

6.3. Positive, healthy, normal business practices can include accepting and making offers of gifts and entertainment, which develop and maintain positive and strong business relationships. We should be able to accept and make offers of gifts and entertainment ONLY when they are appropriate, i.e., when they:

      • are proportionate in the context; and
      • do not create any sense of expectation or obligation on the recipient or the giver.

6.4. The following gifts may never be offered or accepted and will always be deemed inappropriate.

      • Cash of any amount
      • Any gift with a value exceeding $250 (or equivalent in local currency)
      • Any entertainment worth more than $500 (or equivalent in local currency)
      • Any gifts or loans from existing suppliers or prospective suppliers while a tender process is underway
      • Any gifts or loans to staff involved in supplier selection decisions (e.g., procurement officer or member of procurement committee)
      • Entertainment involving gambling, anything of a sexual nature, or exploitation of others.

6.5. It is never allowed to request a gift or entertainment.

6.6. Gifts or entertainment below the limits above [6.4] are not necessarily appropriate.

6.7. In some circumstances, an element of judgment is required to decide whether a gift is appropriate or not. If any staff or board member is in any doubt, they should consult a leadership team member (or the board chair in the case of the Executive Director) and obtain written permission before accepting or offering a gift.

6.8. The following circumstances imply the giving or receiving of a gift or entertainment offer may be appropriate:

      • The giving and receiving of the gift or entertainment strengthens a genuine business relationship.
      • The gift or entertainment does not constitute an attempt to apply undue influence and does not create an undue obligation.
      • The gift or entertainment is given or accepted in the open rather than in secret.
      • The gift or entertainment is given to celebrate a recognized cultural event or holiday.
      • The gift or entertainment is given to the organization or a group (department) rather than an individual.
      • The gift or entertainment is branded marketing materials (pens/notebooks etc.).
      • The value of the gift or entertainment is not excessive or abnormal in a social context.
      • The timing of the gift or entertainment is not suspicious.

6.9. The following circumstances imply the giving or receiving of the gift or entertainment may be inappropriate:

      • The timing, nature, or circumstances of the gift means it could be perceived as an attempt to influence a business decision.
      • The value of the gift is excessive in the circumstances (despite being below the limit of 6.4).
      • The receiver feels obligated, or the giver feels entitled.
      • The gift is given or received in secret.

6.10. If any staff or board member is offered an inappropriate gift, they should politely decline it and inform their line manager or board chair.

6.11. In the event that declining an inappropriate gift in the moment might be culturally inappropriate or embarrassing, it should be returned within no less than a week, with appropriate documentary evidence to prove that the gift was returned.

6.12. In the event that an inappropriate gift is received publicly, steps should be taken to restore the organization’s reputation, in addition to returning the gift.

6.13. In the event that inappropriate gifts are received without consent (such as courier deliveries, bank, or mobile money transfers), these should be declared immediately using the conflict-of-interest declaration form. Steps should be taken to return the gift or notify authorities if money laundering is suspected.

6.14. Inappropriate gifts received by employees and subsequently declared should not be received into the organization’s funds – rather they should be returned in all cases.

6.15. Appropriate gifts, given to the organization as a whole, or to a particular team, should normally be enjoyed or shared by all relevant staff members (e.g., gift basket or flowers). Where an appropriate item is not easily sharable, it should be raffled off by random and transparent means.

 

7. SPEAKING UP


7.1. Omiics ApS’s policy on speaking up is designed to build confidence to report genuine concerns about fraud, bribery, or other types of misconduct. For many cases of misconduct, someone reporting it is the only way it can be discovered and dealt with.

7.2. A genuine concern is sincerely felt and based on information the reporting person believes to be true or trustworthy. Upon further investigation, a genuine concern may or may not turn out to be true. The motivation of the person reporting a genuine concern is not relevant to its definition as a genuine or not.

7.3. A false accusation is when the reporting person knowingly fabricates information or reports information, they know to be false.

7.4. Omiics ApS’s whistle-blower lines should be used by all relevant persons to raise any genuine concerns.

7.5. Omiics ApS has zero tolerance to anyone who is found to have wilfully and deliberately abused a speaking up line to knowingly make false accusations. Appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken.

7.6. A genuine concern should be reported when there is evidence or a strong suspicion of misconduct in any of the following areas:

Fraud or bribery

      • Sexual misconduct
      • Harassment
      • Any illegal act

7.7. Concerns may be reported, either in person or by email, using any of the following whistle-blower lines below:

Den Nationale Whistleblowerordning (Denmark)

Carl Jacobsens Vej 35

2500 Valby, Denmark

Phone (+45) 33 19 32 02

wb@datatilsynet.dk

7.8. All relevant persons are strongly encouraged to report genuine concerns. They should report as much detail as possible, including who, when, where, and how and whether they have evidence for the basis of their suspicion.

7.9. Concerns may be reported anonymously, but people are encouraged to give their name and/or contact details. It is easier to investigate allegations when follow-up questions with the reporting person is possible.

7.10. Omiics ApS will address any concerns raised with the reporting person within 24 hours, assuming contact details have been provided.

7.11. Information about the speaking up lines will be made available:

      • On the website
      • Within this policy


8. SUPPORTING REPORTING PERSONAS 

    8.1. Omiics ApS has zero tolerance to any form of retaliation against reporting persons (also known as ‘whistle-blowers’).

    8.2. All relevant persons who report genuine concerns will be properly protected and supported.

    8.3. Details of any allegations or suspicions raised should be recorded on a Fraud, Bribery, and Misconduct report form Appendix VII and submitted to the Executive Director/CEO.

    8.4. Omiics ApS commits to take the support of whistle-blowers seriously by:

      • Taking care not to underestimate or disregard the risk that a reporting person may be exposed to, or the level of fear or anxiety they may be experiencing.
      • Appointing someone with responsibility to support the reporting person (the ‘support person’). Usually, this will be their line manager.
      • Providing the support person with relevant information to share with the reporting person unless they are a member of the Fraud Response Team.
      • Assuring the reporting person that their concern is being handled and taken seriously.
      • Explaining that their identity will be protected to every extent possible but cannot be guaranteed.
      • Answering questions as appropriate and providing emotional support but not sharing confidential information with the reporting person.
      • Informing the person of any decision to investigate or not, investigation outcome, and actions taken as appropriate.
      • Taking necessary steps to ensure the safety of any reporting person, even if there is a cost implication, in cases where the person experiences or fears retaliation or harassment.


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