Fraud, Bribery, Facilitating Tax Evasion and Whistle Blowing

Fraud

It is the responsibility of all Officers and members of staff to ensure the correct and honest use of all University resources and to report any circumstances which may indicate the improper use of these resources.

If you do suspect any instance of fraud or misappropriation please report this immediately to either your Head of Department or the Chief Financial Officer.

You can find out more by reading the University Fraud Response Plan.

Reporting an Occurrence of Fraud

If you do suspect any instance of fraud or misappropriation please report this immediately to either your Head of Department or the Chief Financial Officer.

If you wish to use the on-line form to report a concern in relation to fraud, please access this via the Quick Links box on this page. It is possible for you to complete this form anonymously. The information provided will be treated in confidence, whilst still involving the Chief Financial Officer or Head of Department as appropriate and where required.

Bribery

The Bribery Act 2010 applies to Higher Education Institutions, and the staff who work for them, with effect from 1 July 2011. Human Resources have produced an Anti-Bribery Statement which explains how the Bribery Act affects the University of Sheffield.

Penalties for committing offences covered by the Bribery Act include unlimited fines and a maximum of 10 years in jail. There are four offences covered by the Act:

  1. active bribery (offering, promising, or giving a bribe)*
  2. passive bribery (requesting, agreeing to receive, or accepting a bribe)*
  3. bribery of a foreign public official*
  4. corporate offence of failure of commercial organisation to prevent bribery*

* Areas 1 - 3 above cover both individuals and corporate bodies
* Area 4 above covers corporate bodies only

The high risk areas for the University have identified as:

      UK:

      • large scale projects, tenders or longer term/high value contracts
      • gifts, hospitality and entertainment activities
      • donations

      Overseas:

      • campuses, joint or collaborative ventures (including research programmes) and student recruitment in higher risk countries
      • significant use of third parties and agencies as intermediaries
      • dealings and negotiations with government officials or representatives of overseas partners including licence applications, concessions, planning consent, visas, tax and provision of utilities

University staff engaged with these higher risk areas under the Bribery Act should seek advice on their conduct from the their Finance Manager for Academic Departments or Professional Services Departments, or their contact within Human Resources. To report suspected Bribery Act offences you can follow the Whistle Blowing guidance outlined below, or complete the on-line form to report a concern, please access this via the Quick Links box on this page.

Facilitating Tax Evasion

The Criminal Finances Act 2017 – Part 3 applies to Higher Education Institutions including all its staff and anyone acting on behalf of the organisation (eg agents, associates) with effect from 30 September 2017.

Part 3 of the Act introduces a new ‘corporate criminal offence of failure to prevent the facilitation of tax evasion’. This legislation applies to all taxes in the UK and overseas.

It is important to bear in mind that this particular offence is not about the University itself avoiding, evading or underpaying tax, but the University failing to prevent its employees, agents and associates from facilitating the evasion of tax by another party.

Prosecution could lead to:

  • Unlimited fine;
  • A public record of conviction; and
  • Significant reputational damage and adverse publicity.

The high risk areas are seen as those that involve paying cash to anyone in the UK or overseas for services provided or in reimbursing them for expenses incurred whilst acting for the University or on University business.

There is a defence of having reasonable prevention procedures in place, and this is what the University has undertaken to mitigate all risks highlighted as a result of its risk assessment in accordance with HMRC guidance on CFA 2017 Part 3.

Whistle Blowing

Whistle blowing in the context of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 is the disclosure by an employee (or other party) about malpractice in the workplace.

The University’s policy is set out in the Policy and Procedure on Public Interest Disclosure.

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Need Help or More Information?

Who to Contact
If you have any questions about these web pages or about Audit Committee and Internal Audit at the University of Sheffield, please contact us.

Helen Dingle
Chief Financial Officer

Andrew Cattermole
Management Accountant