EIT InnoEnergy takes a zero-tolerance approach to fraud, corruption and bribery and is committed to acting ethically, professionally and with integrity and transparency in all our relationships and business dealings wherever we operate. In line with this strategy, we will:
• Enhance, promote and maintain a culture of zero tolerance to fraud, bribery and corruption; and • Implement and enforce effective systems to actively prevent, detect and counter fraud, corruption, and bribery.
EIT InnoEnergy Context
To address these risks, we have taken or will undertake the following steps:
• Review and, where required, update EIT InnoEnergy policies including Grant Allocation Policies; Anti-Fraud, Corruption and Bribery Policy; Conflict of Interests and Gifts Policy; Procurement Policy; and HR Policies
• Monitoring of the risk by responsible managers and conduct trainings at regular intervals – both at the general staff level as well as for specific focus groups (e.g., senior managers, finance operatives, those with authorisations for decision making and/or financial approvals and others). All staff underwent a GDPR training and those who work with procurement have received a procurement training which also covers conflicts of interest and fraud
• EIT InnoEnergy’s Supervisory Board has strongly recommended to implement a formal Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC) function in anticipation of future capital market requirements. Such a GRC office will also play a key role in EIT InnoEnergy’s AF approach. Current planning is to create a GRC office in 1Q22, headed by a GRC Officer, with the clear objective of having that fully operational by the end of 2022.
Guiding principles and standards
As also follows from EIT InnoEnergy Code of Conduct (more specifically the “Business Integrity Section”), EIT InnoEnergy Employee Handbook and other relevant documents, EIT InnoEnergy takes a zero-tolerance approach with respect to non-compliance (including fraud) with our business integrity principles.
Moreover, EIT InnoEnergy has a whistleblower policy in place, encouraging and enabling EIT InnoEnergy’s employees and others to raise serious integrity concerns internally. This allows EIT InnoEnergy to detect, correct and sanction any inappropriate conduct or actions, including those relating to fraud.
The new GRC-office will play a key role in monitoring compliance risks and in enforcing compliance through performing internal audits.
The operations of EIT InnoEnergy and its affiliates spread throughout many countries (inside and outside of Europe). Therefore, the definitions of fraud, corruption, bribery, and other concepts of relevance for this policy and for deploying InnoEnergy’s operations are first and foremost dictated by local legislation, rules & regulations.
In deploying its operations, EIT InnoEnergy meticulously assesses local rules and regulations to avoid any violations thereof and to avoid any behaviour otherwise considered unethical in accordance with local standards. If local law imposes stricter rules, InnoEnergy follows the additional requirements required by local law. If local law imposes less stringent requirements, InnoEnergy will stick to its own ethical standards.
Given the large number of jurisdictions in which EIT InnoEnergy and its affiliates operates (the large number of) local law standards will not be elaborated on further in this policy.
As taken from the Convention for the Protection of European Communities’ Financial Interests (Article 1(2) of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95),
In respect of expenditure, any intentional act or omission relating to: • the use or presentation of false, incorrect or incomplete statements or documents, which has as its effect on the misappropriate or wrongful retention of funds from 1 Article 1(2) of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 06 the budget; • non-disclosure of information in violation of a specific obligation, with the same effect; and/or • the misuse of such funds for purposes other than those for which they were originally granted.
In respect of revenue, any intentional act or omission relating to: • the use or presentation of false, incorrect or incomplete statements or documents, which has as its effects the illegal diminution of the resources of budget resources; • non-disclosure of information in violation of a specific obligation, with the same effect; and/or • misuse of a legally obtained benefit, with the same effect.
Therefore, for EIT InnoEnergy, the concept of fraud covers not only any infringement of the financial interests of EIT InnoEnergy, but also behavior that may not have a direct effect on our financial interests – for example reputation impact, concealment of material facts, security breaches of IT systems, cyber fraud and conflicts of interest that has not been declared intentionally. Favoritism and collusion are also included in the definition of fraud.
Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power or position for private gain. For example, favouring the funding of KIC Partners or projects which involve persons or entities in which you have a personal interest such as a shareholding, management/advisory position, or other relationship.
The conflicts of interest & gifts
A bribe is an inducement or reward offered, promised, or provided to gain any commercial, contractual, regulatory, or personal advantage.
Examples: Offering a Bribe You offer to vote positively on a partner’s proposal in portfolio week (or otherwise foster a KAVA allocation to the partner), but only if they agree to employ your niece (or you, following your departure from EIT InnoEnergy).
This would be a bribery offence as you are making the offer to gain a personal advantage. It may also be an offence for the partner to accept your offer.
Example: Receiving a bribe An IT supplier agrees to support your spouse’s initiative but makes it clear that in return they expect you to use your influence in our organisation to ensure a consulting contract.
It is an offence for a partner to make such an offer. It would be an offence for you to accept the offer as you would be doing so to gain a personal advantage.
Example: Bribing a Foreign Official You arrange for the organisation to pay an additional payment to a foreign official to speed up an administrative process, such as a cost reporting review.
The offence of bribing a foreign public official has been committed as soon as the offer is made. This is because it is made to gain a business advantage for us. We may also be found to have committed an offence.
Fraud risk assessment
EIT InnoEnergy will assess the risk of fraud both preventatively, by ensuring procurement and recruitment policies are maintained, and through investigative methods when fraud is suspected or reported.
Objectives and actions
a. Zero tolerance approach
b. Fair and consistent approach to dealing with fraud at all levels of the company
c. Openness and transparency
Functions addressing and preventing fraud
EIT InnoEnergy will address and prevent fraud using the following functions:
1. Appoint a dedicated GRC officer. AF will be an integral part of the GRC-office tasks. 2. Ensure internal dissemination of definitions and rules/expectations to all staff 3. Continue to work with other KICs and the EIT to share best practices
Review and monitoring
EIT InnoEnergy will review its policy and strategy on a yearly basis. EIT InnoEnergy Executive and Supervisory Boards will approve any material changes related to fraud prevention.
Action plan for 2021-2023
Our action plan for 2021-2023 can be forwarded to you upon request.