Gifts can be defined as benefits of any kind given to someone as a sign of appreciation or cultural recognition without expectation of receiving anything in return. The gifts received or given would have no strings attached to the gifts by the receiver. There should be no reciprocity involved.
Hospitality is the friendly reception and treatment of guests. It includes offers of food, drinks, travels, accommodation, events or activities (e.g. sports, social, industry, arts, entertainment, or others). The hospitality should be modest and does not raise any conflict of interest. Entertainment includes any other activities, and can play an important role in strengthening working relationships amongst business partners.
Our Company (“APT”) recognises that it is customary for employees, customers, suppliers and other business partners to occasionally exchange small gifts, hospitality and entertainment which are often promotional in nature for the Company’s business dealings, to build good and lasting relationships. That said, the best form of relationships should be those based on honesty, integrity, transparency, fairness, and good business practice. Such values will promote further collaboration and sustainable growth for both parties.
Objectives of the Policy
In general, APT Directors, Managers, Employees and Representatives are prohibited from offering, promising, authorising, giving or receiving money, gifts or anything of a monetary value to or from business partners to improperly obtain or retain a business or to obtain an advantage in the conduct of business and/or to induce the recipient to perform an improper or unethical conduct.
This Policy shall apply to all Directors, Managers, and Employees. This Policy’s general principles and restrictions also apply to suppliers, agents, distributors, consultants, and other third parties engaged with APT.
Directors, Managers, and Employees are responsible for placing the interest of APT above their own interests when carrying out their duties. This includes exercising discretion when choosing to receive or offer gifts from or to business partners, as well as declaring such gifts in accordance with the policy.
The Integrity Committee, Managing Director, and Employees with direct reports are responsible for identifying and monitoring the risks inherent in their teamâ€™s work and functions. They must model good practice and promote awareness of this policy and related processes.
Receipt of Gift / Hospitality / Entertainment and Responsibilities
A gift offer can be anything of monetary or other value that is offered by an external party to a Director, Manager, or Employee as a result of their role and position in the Company. It includes:
- Corporate Momento – items such as company diaries, calendars, commemorative objects, door gifts or company materials, which have no resale value. These are not required to be declared.
- Perishable items – items such as books, bouquet of flowers, festive hampers, confectionary snacks and others having an aggregate monetary value of not more than RM 1,000 or equivalent. Items of such value can be maintained and/or distributed by the Director, Manager or Employee after declaration has been made and approved by the Head of Department and Managing Director. The declaration is to be kept for recordkeeping.
- Personalised Gift – items such as jewellery, perfumes, handbags, branded products of a valuable consideration that could create a reasonable perception that it is offered to influence, or could influence and further create a conflict of interest situation. These items are strictly prohibited.
- Personalised benefits – preferential treatment, privileged access, favour or other advantages or intangible benefits, for example access to personal discounts due to purchases made on behalf of the Company. Recipients must exercise discretion before receiving such gifts and disclose accordingly.
- Hospitality / Entertainment – such items may generally go beyond common courtesy, and can include offers of food, drinks, travel, accommodation, events or activities relating to sports, social, industry, arts, and entertainment). “Common courtesy” is polite, basic and modest, and are unlikely to raise conflicts of interest. Whether an offer exceeds common courtesy will depend on the circumstances such as what is offered, by whom, to whom, when and why).
A Director, Manager, Employee must refuse any gift offer that is in cash, similar to or can be converted into cash (e.g. e-angpow or holiday coupons)
For personalised gifts and personalised benefits (other than perishable items) which should not be accepted by the employee, the gifts and benefits shall be :
- Declined at first instance;
- Returned to the donor; or
- If such return is not possible or impractical, surrendered to the Company and subsequently distributed to recognised charity organisations or to the community.
All received personalised gifts and personalised benefits must be declared accordingly, furnished to and acknowledged by the Head of Department, Managing Director or members of the Integrity Committee.
Directors, Managers, and Employees must be particularly cautious about accepting gift offers of hospitality / entertainment. Employees shall not accept gratuitous entertainment from any of the Company’s customers, suppliers, contractors or any party who the Company has business dealings with unless is an act of common courtesy. In an event the hospitality / entertainment is beyond modest and common courtesy, a declaration is to be made using the Gift & Hospitality Declaration Form and acknowledged by the Head of Department, Managing Director, or members of the Integrity Committee.
All employees shall, if in doubt as to the nature or purpose of the gift or favour, consult their Heads of Department, who shall decide, either in consultation with the Managing Director and/or members of the Integrity Committee, the course of action in respect of the gift or hospitality.
Provision of Gift and Hospitality
Gifts, benefits and hospitalities may be provided to welcome new business partners, facilitate the development and maintenance of business relationships and further the sustainability of APT’s business performance. Directors, Managers, and Employees of APT must exercise discretion in what gifts, hospitality and token are suitable to be provided to external bodies, and more specifically individual employees of those external bodies., No payments, cash or equivalent, are to be made by Directors, Managers, Employees, or Representatives acting on APT’s behalf to individual employees of external bodies, including the spouses of those individual employees of external bodies, in an attempt to influence them in their business dealings with the Company.
When deciding whether to provide any gift, hospitality or on the type of gift or hospitality to provide, individuals should ensure that:
- Any gift, benefit, or hospitality is provided for a business reason in that it furthers the conduct of official business, and is in line with APT’s Framework of Integrity and Code of Conduct
- Any costs are proportionate to the benefits obtained for sustainability of APT’s business and would be considered reasonable in cultural terms and expectations; and
- It does not raise an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest
As a general rule, perishable items, festive related gifts and promotional gifts are acceptable provided that the cost is reasonable, i.e. monetary value not more than RM 1,000 or equivalent, and the following is considered:
- There should be equality in terms of the value of all festive gifts provided to external parties
- The recipient of the gift should not be a selected group unless specified based on a criteria (e.g. loyal customer)
- No preferential treatment to any parties receiving gifts;
- Not an inducement expecting future favours that can be viewed as a form of bribe or corruption; and
- Only relevant individuals should receive the festive gifts, if the gift is not directed solely at the Company or where the specific individual works.
Costs involved in the provision of gifts, benefits, and hospitality should be contained wherever possible. Individuals should consider the following when deciding the type of gift, benefit, or hospitality to provide:
- Is the gift prohibited by law or as per the recipient company’s own gift and hospitability policy;
- Is the gift being provided to the same recipient too frequently;
- Would the gift bring discomfort or embarrassment to the recipient; and
- Does the gift create an obligation within the business relationship?
All gifts that are to be given to external parties should be documented and declaration to be furnished to the Managing Director and Integrity Committee. For claims purposes, a copy of the completed declaration form is to be provided to the Finance & Administrative Department for recordkeeping.
For Hospitality/Entertainment provided to external parties, the current disclosures in the Entertainment Expenses claim form is sufficient and a Director, Manager, or Employee are not required to declare them separately
Attempts to bribe
A “bribe” is an offer of money or other inducement made with the intention to corruptly influence a Director, Manager, or Employee in the performance of their duties and responsibilities. Moreover, bribery or attempted bribery of a public or government official is a criminal offence.
A Director, Manager, or Employee who receives a gift / hospitality offer that they believe is an attempted bribe must refuse the offer.
Documentation of Gift / Hospitality / Entertainment
All Directors, Managers, and Employees must declare gifts / hospitality / entertainment offerings or provisions defined above using the declaration of gift / hospitality form.
A list of all these gifts and hospitalities must be recorded, encompassing the following:
- The responses to such gifts / hospitalities (accepted, received, declined, or rejected);
- Expected plans for those gifts and hospitalities (e.g if offer was accepted, how the gift will be utilised);
- Must be recorded and accompanied by all the reported declaration forms
Compliance and Monitoring of the Policy
Any Director, Manager or Employee who does not comply with any part of this Policy shall be subject to disciplinary action.