The Met Office is proud of its international reputation for scientific integrity and this ethic pervades all of its activities including its commercial operations.
In support of its commitment to maintaining the highest possible standards of business practice the Met Office stance on bribery is one of 'zero-tolerance'. Bribery is illegal and as such has no place in our organisation.
In accordance with the Bribery Act 2010 the Met Office prohibits the following:
- the offering, the giving, the solicitation or the acceptance of any bribe, whether cash or other inducement, regardless of size;
- to or from any person or company, wherever they are situated and whether they are a public official or body or private person or company;
- by any individual employee, agent or other person or body acting on the Met Office's behalf;
- in order to gain any commercial, contractual or regulatory advantage for the Met Office in a way which is illegal/unethical;
- or in order to gain any personal advantage, pecuniary or otherwise, for the individual or anyone connected with the individual.
This prohibition includes facilitation payments made to public officials for securing or accelerating routine processes and procedures.
Interpreting the policy
It is not the intention of the policy to prevent the following activities, particularly in relation to our international role as a representative of the UK Government:
- Normal and appropriate hospitality.
- The giving and receiving of ceremonial gifts.
Such hospitality or gifts must be in moderation and not place any expectation on the recipient to reciprocate either in like or by performing, or failing to perform, any other task in return.
If there is any doubt as to whether an action might constitute bribery the matter should be referred to either a Met Office Director or the Treasurer for a decision.
Preventing and reporting bribery
All Met Office staff have a responsibility to prevent, detect and report bribery. Relevant guidance is available to support all staff in fulfilling this duty.
Any suspicion of bribery or attempted bribery committed by or against an employee, agent or other party acting on behalf of the Met Office must be reported immediately to the Met Office Counter Fraud Officer on 01392 886117.
The Met Office Whistleblowing Policy is in place to protect anyone reporting reasonable suspicions.
Reviewed by Rob Varley, Met Office Chief Executive, 27th November 2015