Last week, Apple debuted its new ethics and compliance site containing links to policy documents on a wide range of compliance topics. The company’s anti-corruption policy includes some interesting details.
1. A complete ban on facilitating payments.
Facilitating payments are a type of bribe generally used to facilitate or expedite the performance of routine, non-discretionary government action. These types of payments are typically demanded by low-level officials in exchange for providing a service that is ordinarily and commonly performed by the official. These payments are not permissible and are strictly prohibited by Apple.
2. “Rumor has it.” Three red flags to look out for when it comes to third parties.
Be on the lookout for these red flags when dealing with third parties and subcontractors and alert Business Conduct if you become aware of any of the following:
- Rumors of, or a reputation for, bribery;
- Minimal detail on invoices or expense claims involving interactions with public officials or government agencies, including lump sum requests, requests for large commissions or payments, or payments made through a third party or another country;
- A close relationship with a public official or ministry, or insistence on using a specific consultant or one who provides little to no obvious added value.
3. An expansive view of who is a public official.
A “public official” is any person who is paid with government funds or serves in a public function. This includes individuals who work for a local, state/provincial or national government, or a public international organization, as well as employees of public (government-owned or operated) schools, hospitals, and state-owned enterprises. Employees at such organizations are considered public officials regardless of title or position.
4. A country-by-country chart for meal limits for public officials.
Meals provided to non-U.S. public employees and officials must comply with the posted country-by-country chart of Permissible Limits for Business Meals Provided to Non U.S. Public Officials.
5. Travel expenses for public officials are allowed, but they all have to be pre-approved.
If permitted under local law, Apple can pay reasonable travel expenses for public employees or officials that are directly related to the promotion, demonstration, or explanation of products and services. However, all such travel expenses must be pre-approved by Business Conduct or Legal.
– – – – –
Apple has long been a market leader and innovator in the compliance and sustainability fields, even if we don’t always understand its disclosures.
Here’s the full four-page anti-corruption policy:Apple_Anti-Corruption_Policy_FCPA_Blog