The Kirkhouse Trust condemns corruption in all its forms and will not tolerate it in our activities or in those we do business with or support through grants. From the confines of our working environment, it is sometimes difficult to grasp the scale of the damage that bribery does to societies. It is not a victimless crime:
"Corruption undermines democracy and the rule of law, leads to violations of human rights, distorts markets, erodes the quality of life and allows organised crime, terrorism and other threats to human security to flourish. This evil phenomenon is found in all countries - big and small, rich and poor, corruption hurts the poor disproportionately by diverting funds intended for development, undermining a government's ability to provide basic services, feeding inequality and injustice and discouraging foreign aid and investment. Corruption is a key element in economic under-performance and a major obstacle to poverty alleviation and development." (Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General)
We expect everyone connected with the Kirkhouse Trust to act with integrity and honesty at all times. The Trust has an Anti-Corruption and Bribery Policy which sets out in detail how Trustees, employees, consultants and suppliers should behave and what they should do if confronted with corruption. If we are made aware that organisations provided with charitable grants by Kirkhouse Trust are involved in corrupt practices, we will exclude them from all future funding.
If convicted of a bribery offence the Kirkhouse Trust might receive a substantial fine and suffer lasting reputational damage, including the loss of its charitable status. If employees, consultants or suppliers are convicted of a bribery offence they could face up to ten years in prison. The potential harm done by bribery, both to the Kirkhouse Trust and to an individual, is long term and hugely outweighs any potential short-term gain.
If you have any doubts about any ethical issue or practice please contact us. We are committed to eradicating corruption and we will support others in acting ethically.