Corrupt or Unethical Behavior
The ICTI CARE Process does not tolerate any kind or manner of corrupt or unethical behavior that attempts to influence or affect the process, result or other aspects of audits of manufacturing facilities under the ICTI CARE Process or any other aspects of operations of the ICTI CARE Process wherever and whenever provided.
This procedure documents how the ICTI CARE Process will implement this policy and the steps that must be taken to address effectively this important issue.
"Accredited Audit Company" means a provider of social compliance audit services that has been officially approved and trained by the ICTI CARE Process to perform ICTI CARE audits.
"Advantage" includes, but is not limited to the following: money, gifts, loans, commissions, offices, contracts, services, favors, discharge of liability in whole or in part, travel and holidays, Entertainment, and any other tangible or non-tangible things of value.
"Auditor" includes auditors of the ICTI CARE Process or any Accredited Audit Company.
"Entertainment" includes, but is not limited to the provision of food or drink and of any other form of entertainment e.g. singing and dancing etc., for consumption or enjoyment on the occasion when it is provided, or at some later date. For the avoidance of doubt, the following shall not constitute "Entertainment": reasonable and modest meals served in the canteen of the factory in cases where the factory is located in a remote area with very limited access to restaurants or take-away facilities; and/or modest amounts of non-alcoholic beverages, such as tea, water and soft drinks, that are served by the factory during the audit.
"Factory Representative" means any person - employed or otherwise - who is representing the factory, or is giving the impression that he/she represents the factory, and/or its management, owners or commercial partners.
"ICTI CARE Process Representative" includes employees, consultants, advisors - paid or unpaid - who performs work for the ICTI CARE Process.
Corrupt or unethical practices within and between individuals and/or enterprises are a serious issue. They pose the risk that services will be provided under unfavorable conditions, and/or that services will not be of the optimal, or even required, quality.
They occur, for example, when an employee solicits or accepts an Advantage offered to him/her by a person from outside of his/her company, without the knowledge and approval of the relevant corporate bodies or persons of the Advantage and/or of its solicitation or acceptance. As a consequence, the corrupted executive's or manager's freedom of judgment may be jeopardized for money (or other considerations).
No ICTI CARE Process Representative, no Auditor, and no Factory Representative shall offer, provide, attempt to offer or provide, solicit, accept, or attempt to solicit or accept, any Advantage at any time during the course of an audit under the ICTI CARE Process.
The ICTI CARE Process is committed to the promotion of Rules of Conduct to Combat Extortion and Bribery as published by the Anti-Corruption Commission of the International Chamber of Commerce ("ICC") , as well as to compliance with those anti-corruption laws and regulations that apply in the jurisdictions where the ICTI CARE Process occurs.
The ICTI CARE Process believes that it is essential to effectively and clearly communicate its policy on corrupt or unethical behavior in a way that allows factories to consult internally at the appropriate management level before committing to the General Terms and Conditions contained in the ICTI CARE Process application form.
To this effect:
7.4.1 The General Terms and Conditions contained in the ICTI CARE Process application form shall contain a clause that clearly states the ICTI CARE Process policy on corrupt or unethical behavior. The factory will sign and chop a declaration that, inter alia, the factory understands and is in agreement with the General Terms and Conditions.
7.4.2 At the opening meeting of the audit, before any audit activity is carried out, the Auditor will reiterate the ICTI CARE Process policy on corrupt or unethical behavior to the Factory Representative. The Factory Representative will sign and chop another declaration, inter alia, that the factory understands the policy and is in agreement with it.
The ICTI CARE Process believes that its Auditors must at all times act in a respectful and professional manner that reflects the values and integrity of the ICTI CARE Process.
To this effect:
7.4.3 The ICTI CARE Process, as a part of its Auditor training, shall ensure that all Accredited Audit Companies clearly understand the policy and know how to react in the event of suspected corrupt or unethical behavior.
7.4.4 All Accredited Audit Companies must sign an agreement with the ICTI CARE Process to ensure that all incidents of suspected corrupt or unethical behavior are promptly reported to the ICTI CARE Process to allow for due handling of such behavior.
If a Factory Representative offers, provides, or attempts to offer or provide, an Advantage to an ICTI CARE Process Representative or Auditor, the ICTI CARE Process Representative or Auditor shall:
7.5.1 Ask questions - as instructed during the ICTI CARE Process Auditor training - to ascertain:
when such Advantage is offered, provided, described, hidden or packaged in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to establish what is being offered or provided;
7.5.2 Politely refuse to accept such Advantage; if it is not possible to refuse to accept the Advantage due to safety reasons, information on its content and nature must be registered with the relevant ICTI Care Process regional Operations office or representative, and the Advantage returned through secure channels to the factory, as soon as practicable;
7.5.3 At the discretion of the ICTI CARE Process Representative or Auditor, the audit can either be stopped immediately and the audit team leaves the factory, or the audit can continue. The key consideration of the ICTI CARE Process Representative or Auditor in making this decision will be to ensure for the safety of the audit team;
7.5.4 At the earliest possible convenience, report to the office on and record the following information:
7.5.5 Upon return to the office, prepare and sign a written report on the matters listed in Article 7.5.4 (an "Incident") and submit the report to the responsible person of the relevant ICTI CARE Process regional Operations office or representative.
7.5.6 If applicable laws so require, report the Incident to the relevant government authority(ies), at the earliest possible convenience after leaving the factory, if the ICTI CARE Process Representative or Auditor knows or suspects that the aim and/or use of the Advantage which was offered or provided as set forth above in this Article was to bribe or attempt to bribe the ICTI CARE Process Representative or Auditor. And, thereafter, notify the relevant ICTI CARE Process regional Operations office or representative, in writing, that such report has been duly made.
Upon receipt of a report stating that a Factory Representative has offered, provided, or attempted to offer or provide, an Advantage to an ICTI CARE Process Representative or Auditor, the relevant ICTI CARE Process regional Operations office or representative will:
7.6.1 Compile a case memorandum with the following information:
7.6.2 Within 48 hours take the necessary steps to communicate the decision to the factor in accordance with Article 7.8 below.
7.6.3 Inform the relevant regional Technical Advisory Board ("TAB") and the President/CEO of the case and decision, without revealing the identity of the factory. The President/CEO will inform the Oversight and Appeals Committee about the case and the decision.
7.7.1 Subject to Article 7.7.2, any suspected corrupt or unethical behavior where a factory offers, provides, or attempts to offer or provide, any Advantage at any time during the course of an audit under the ICTI CARE Process shall result in the immediate termination of the ICTI CARE Process (for first-time audit) or withdrawal of the Seal of Compliance (for renewal or other audits), as the case might be. Such termination or withdrawal is indefinite. However, at the discretion of the Oversight and Appeals Committee, a factory may be allowed to re-apply or re-register, as the case might be, after a 6- to 12-month period (which shall commence beginning from the date of the Incident).
7.7.2 In certain very rare circumstances, the waiving of a withdrawal of a Seal of Compliance may be considered if the following three conditions are met:
In such instances the audit during which the incident took place would be void and a replacement audit would be scheduled using a different audit team from the same audit company. In such situation, the factory must:
In cases where, as a result of suspected corrupt or unethical behavior, a factory's participation in the ICTI CARE Process is terminated, the Seal of Compliance originally issued to the factory is withdrawn, or the factory is put on probation, then the relevant ICTI CARE Process regional Operations office or representative will communicate such decision to the factory in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 6 of the ICTI Care Process Handbook.
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