GUARD-IT ANTI-BRIBERY & ANTI-CORRUPTION POLICY
This anti-bribery and anti-corruption policy (the “Policy”) exists to set out the responsibilities of Guard-IT Corporation (“Guard-IT”) and those who work for or with Guard-IT in regarding the observing and upholding of our zero-tolerance position on bribery and corruption.
The Policy also exists to act as a source of information and guidance for anyone working for or with Guard-IT, helping them recognize and respond to bribery and corruption issues, and understand their responsibilities.
Guard-IT is committed to conducting business in an ethical and honest manner and is committed to implementing and enforcing systems that ensure bribery is prevented. Guard-IT has zero-tolerance for bribery and corrupt activities, and it will report any suspected suggestions of bribery to its appropriate law enforcement authorities. Guard-IT is committed to acting professionally, fairly and with the utmost integrity in all business dealings and relationships, regardless of our client’s or vendor’s location or country of origin.
Guard-IT will constantly uphold all laws relating to anti-bribery and corruption in all the jurisdictions in which we operate. As a Texas corporation, Guard-IT’s escrow agreements and other contracts are normally drafted under Texas jurisdiction. Although state jurisdiction may vary in some cases, Guard-IT is ultimately bound by all federal laws and regulations of the United States of America.
With its primary role as a trusted third-party agent, integrity and trust are paramount to the company’s existence and sustainability. Guard-IT recognizes that bribery and corruption offenses are punishable by imprisonment and fine(s). Guard-IT is committed to preventing bribery and corruption and we take our responsibilities as a trusted third-party agent seriously.
This Policy applies to all employees of any status, consultants, contractors, interns, volunteers and other agents. The Policy also applies to Guard-IT’s corporate officers, trustees, shareholders and board members.
A “Third-Party” refers to any individual or organization that Guard-IT may work with, including, but not limited to, potential, active and former clients, customers, suppliers, distributors, business contacts, agents, advisors and other private or public entities.
Any arrangements Guard-IT makes with a Third Party is subject to clear contractual terms, including specific provisions that require the Third Party to comply with minimum standards and procedures relating to anti-bribery and corruption.
Bribery refers to the illegal act of offering, giving, promising, asking, agreeing, receiving, accepting, or soliciting something of value or some advantage to induce or influence an action or decision.
A bribe refers to any inducement, reward, or object/item of value offered to another individual to gain commercial, contractual, regulatory, or personal influence or advantage.
Bribery is not limited to the act of offering a bribe. If an individual is a real or potential recipient of a bribe, then he or she is also in violation of law.
Guard-IT’s directors, employees and agents must not engage in any form of bribery, whether directly, indirectly, actively, or passively. They must not bribe foreign public officials. They must not accept bribes in any degree and if they are uncertain about whether something is a bribe or a gift or act of hospitality, they must seek clarification from the CEO or Guard-IT’s legal counsel.
Guard-IT accepts normal and appropriate gestures of hospitality and goodwill, whether given to or received from a Third Party with the following requirements:
a) The gift is not made with the intention of influencing the party to whom it is being given, to obtain or reward the retention of a business or a business advantage or as an explicit or implicit exchange for favors or benefits.
b) The gift is not made with the expectation or suggestion of a return favor.
c) The gift is compliant with local law and regulations.
d) The gift is given in the name of Guard-IT, not in an individual’s name.
e) The gift is given/received openly, not secretly or anonymously.
f) The gift is not selectively given to an influential person with the intention or appearance of directly influencing them.
g) The gift is not offered to, or accepted from, a government official or political entity without prior approval of Guard-IT’s CEO.
Guard-IT recognizes that the practice of giving and receiving business gifts varies between countries, regions, cultures, and religions and the definitions of what is acceptable and not acceptable may differ. Gifts given and received, including those involving customers or suppliers, should be disclosed to the CEO. The intention behind a gift being given/received should always be considered. If there is any uncertainty, the advice of the CEO or Guard-IT’s legal counsel should be requested.
Facilitation Payments & Kickbacks
Guard-IT does not accept and will not make any form of facilitation payments of any kind. We recognize that facilitation payments are a form of bribery that involves expediting or facilitating the performance of a public official for a routine governmental action, often made by employees or officials intending to secure or expedite certain actions by Guard-IT for their benefit.
Guard-IT will not make donations of any kind to directly support any political party(ies) or candidate(s).
It is Guard-IT’s common practice and pleasure to donate from its profits to a wide array of charitable organizations, via its services, expertise, time or direct financial contributions. Guard-IT agrees to disclose all charitable contributions.
When applicable, employees must be careful to ensure that charitable contributions are not used to facilitate and conceal acts of bribery. Guard-IT will ensure that all charitable donations are made ethically and legally and that donations are not offered or made without the approval of the CEO.
In its role as a trusted, third-party agent, it is Guard-IT’s standard operating procedure to maintain detailed and accurate financial records, keeping appropriate internal controls in place to act as evidence for all payments made or received, with the understanding that gifts and acts of hospitality are subject to review.
Monitoring and Reviewing
Guard-IT ’s CEO is responsible for monitoring this Policy and will review it periodically, assessing the Policy’s suitability, adequacy, and effectiveness. Any need for changes or improvements to this Policy may be applied when necessary. Employees are encouraged to offer their feedback on this Policy if they have any suggestions for how it may be improved. Feedback of this nature should be addressed to the CEO, Guard-IT Corporation, 1250 S. Capital of Texas Hwy, Bldg 3, Ste 400, Austin, Texas 78746, TEL (512) 282-1995.