Policy

The following sets out various policies held by Grant Associates which are reviewed annually.

Data Protection Policy

 In its everyday business operations Grant Associates makes use of a variety of data about identifiable individuals, including data about:

  • Current, Past and Prospective Employees
  • Clients
  • Suppliers
  • Other Stakeholders

In collecting and using this data, the organisation is subject to a variety of legislation controlling how such activities may be carried out and the safeguards that must be put in place to protect it.

The purpose of this policy is to set out the relevant legislation and to describe the steps Grant Associates is taking to ensure that it complies with it.

This control applies to all systems, people and processes that constitute the organisation’s information systems including Directors, employees, suppliers and other third parties who have access to Grant Associates’ systems.

The General Data Protection Regulation

The General Data Protection Regulation 2016 (GDPR) is one of the most significant pieces of legislation affecting the way that Grant Associates carries out its information processing activities.  Significant fines are applicable if a breach is deemed to have occurred under the GDPR, which is designed to protect the personal data of citizens of the European Union.  It is Grant Associates’ policy to ensure that our compliance with the GDPR and other relevant legislation is clear and demonstrable at all time.

Definitions

There are a total of 26 definitions listed within the GDPR and it is not appropriate to reproduce them all here. However, the most fundamental definitions with respect to this policy are as follows:

‘personal data’ is defined as:

any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject’), an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural or social identity of that natural person;

‘processing’ means:

any operation or set of operations which is performed on personal data or on sets of personal data, whether or not by automated means, such as collection, recording, organisation, structuring, storage, adaptation or alteration, retrieval, consultation, use, disclosure oy transmission, dissemination or otherwise making available, alignment or combination, restriction, erasure or destruction;

‘controller’ means:

the natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by law, the controller or the specific criteria for its nomination may be provided for by law;

Principles Relating to Processing of Personal Data

There are a number of fundamental principles upon which the GDPR is based. These are as follows:

1 Personal data shall be:

  • processed lawfully, fairly and in a transparent manner in relation to the data subject (‘lawfulness, fairness and transparency’);
  • collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes and not further processed in a manner that is incompatible with those purposes; further processing for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes shall, in accordance with Article 89(1), not be considered to be incompatible with the initial purposes (‘purpose /limitation’);
  • adequate, relevant and limited to what is necessary/ in relation to the purposes for which they are processed (‘data minimisation’);
  • accurate and, where necessary, kept up to date; every reasonable step must be taken to ensure that personal data that are inaccurate, having regard to the purposes for which they are processed, are erased or rectified without delay (‘accuracy’);
  • kept in a form which permits identification of data subjects for no longer than is necessary for the purposes for which the personal data are processed; personal data may be stored for longer periods insofar as the personal data will be processed solely for archiving purposes in the public interest, scientific or historical research purposes or statistical purposes in accordance with Article 89(1) subject to implementation of the appropriate technical and organisational measures required by this Regulation in order to safeguard the rights and freedoms of the data subject (‘storage limitation’);
  • processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security of the personal data, including protection against unauthorised or unlawful processing and against accidental loss, destruction or damage, using appropriate technical or organisational measures (‘integrity and confidentially’).

2. The controller shall be responsible for, and be able to demonstrate compliance with, paragraph (‘accountability’).

Grant Associates will ensure that it complies with all of these principles both in the processing it currently carries out and as part of the introduction of new methods of processing such as new IT systems.

Rights of the Individual

The data subject also has rights under the GDPR. These consist of:

  • The right to be informed
  • The right of access
  • The right to rectification
  • The right to erasure
  • The right to restrict processing
  • The right to data portability
  • The right to object
  • Rights in relation to automated decision making and profiling

Each of these rights are supported by appropriate procedures within Grant Associates that allow the required action to be taken within the timescales stated in the GDPR.

  • The right to be informed – When data is collected (if supplied by data subject) or within one month (if not supplied by data subject)
  • The right of access – One month
  • The right to rectification – One month
  • The right to erasure – Without undue delay
  • The right to restrict processing – Without undue delay
  • The right to data portability – One month
  • The right to object – On receipt of objection
  • Rights in the relation to automated decision making and profiling – Not specified

Lawfulness of Processing

There are six alternative ways in which the lawfulness of a specific case of processing of personal data may be established under the GDPR. It is Grant Associates’ policy to identify the appropriate basis for processing and to document it, in accordance with the Regulation. The options are described in brief in the following sections.

Consent

Unless it is necessary for a reason allowable in the GDPR, Grant Associates will always obtain explicit consent from a data subject to collect and process their data. In case of children below the age of 18 parental consent will be obtained. Transparent information about our usage of their personal data will be provided to data subjects at the time that consent is obtained and their rights with regard to their data explained, such as the right to withdraw consent. This information will be provided in an accessible form, written in clear language and free of charge.

If the personal data are not obtained directly from the data subject then this information will be provided to the data subject within a reasonable period after the data are obtained and definitely within one month.

Performance of a Contract

Where the personal data collected and processed are required to fulfil a contract with the data subject, explicit consent is not required. This will often be the case where the contract cannot be completed without the personal data in question e.g. a delivery cannot be made without an address to deliver to.

Legal Obligation

If the personal data is required to be collected and processed in order to comply with the law, then explicit consent is not required.  This may be the case for some data related to employment and taxation for example, and for many areas addressed by the public sector.

Vital Interests of the Data Subject

In a case where the personal data are required to protect the vital interests of the data subject or of another natural person, then this may be used as the lawful basis of the processing. Grant Associates will retain reasonable, documented evidence that this is the case, whenever this reason is used as the lawful basis of the processing of personal data. As an example, this may be used in aspects of social care, particularly in the public sector.

Task Carried Out in the Public Interest

Where Grant Associates needs to perform a task that it believes is in the public interest or as part of an official duty then the data subject’s consent will not be requested. The assessment of the public interest or official duty will be documented and made available as evidence where required.

Legitimate Interests

If the processing of specific personal data is in the legitimate interests of Grant Associates and is judged not to affect the rights and freedoms of the data subject in a significant way, then this may be defined as the lawful reason for the processing. Again, the reasoning behind this view will be documented.

Privacy by Design

Grant Associates has adopted the principle of privacy by design and will ensure that the definition and planning of all new or significantly changed systems that collect or process personal data will be subject to due consideration of privacy issues, including the completion of one or more data protection impact assessments.

The data protection impact assessment will include:

  • Consideration of how personal data will be processed and for what purposes
  • Assessment of whether the proposed processing of personal data is both necessary and proportionate to the purpose(s)
  • Assessment of the risks to individuals in processing the personal data
  • What controls are necessary to address the identified risks and demonstrate compliance with legislation

Use of techniques such as data minimisation and pseudonymisation will be considered where applicable and appropriate.

Contracts Involving the Processing of Personal Data

Grant Associates will ensure that all relationships it enters into that involve the processing of personal data are subject to a documented contract that includes the specific information and terms required by the GDPR.

International Transfers of Personal Data

Transfers of personal data outside the European Union will be carefully reviewed prior to the transfer taking place to ensure that they fall within the limits imposed by the GDPR. This depends partly on the European Commission’s judgement as to the adequacy of the safeguards for personal data applicable in the receiving country and this may change over time.

Intra-group international data transfers will be subject to legally binding agreements referred to as Binding Corporate Rules (BCR) which provide enforceable rights for data subjects.

Data Protection Officer

A defined role of Data Protection Officer (DPO) is required under the GDPR if an organisation is a public authority, if it performs large scale monitoring or if it processes particularly sensitive types of data on a large scale. The DPO is required to have an appropriate level of knowledge and can either be an in-house resource or outsourced to an appropriate service provider.

Breach Notification

It is Grant Associates policy to be fair and proportionate when considering the actions to be taken to inform affected parties regarding breaches of personal data. In line with the GDPR, where a breach is known to have occurred which is likely to result in a risk to the rights and freedoms of individuals, the relevant supervisory authority will be informed within 72 hours.

Under the GDPR the relevant DPA has the authority to impose a range of fines of up to four percent of annual worldwide turnover or twenty million Euros, whichever is the higher, for infringements of the regulations.

Addressing Compliance to the GDPR

The following actions are undertaken to ensure that Grant Associates complies at all times with the accountability principle of the GDPR:

  1. The legal basis for processing personal data is clear and unambiguous
  2. A Data Protection Officer is appointed with specific responsibility for data protection in the organisation (if required)
  3. All staff involved in handling personal data understand their responsibilities for following good data protection practice
  4. Training in data protection has been provided to all staff
  5. Rules regarding consent are followed
  6. Routes are available to data subjects wishing to exercise their rights regarding personal data and such enquiries are handled effectively
  7. Regular reviews of procedures involving personal data are carried out
  8. Privacy by design is adopted for all new or changed systems and processes
  9. The following documentation of processing activities is recorded:
  • Organisation name and relevant details
  • Purposes of the personal data processing
  • Categories of individuals and personal data processed
  • Categories of personal data recipients
  • Agreements and mechanisms for transfers of personal data to non-EU countries including details of controls in place
  • Personal data retention schedules
  • Relevant technical and organisational controls in place

These actions are reviewed on a regular basis as part of the management process concerned with data protection.

 

 

Corporate Responsibility Statement

Grant Associates recognises that responsible and sustainable corporate performance is essential to the long term success of our business and benefit to all of our clients. We adhere to the following principles:

Environment & Sustainability

  • Grant Associates’ approach is based on the philosophy of sustainable development. We endeavour to work only on projects built around a concern for social and environmental quality.
  • Grant Associates has a clearly defined environmental policy that is applied to both day today office management and the way it approaches projects.
  • Grant Associates has a defined reduce and recycle policy and has a selective purchasing strategy that favours products that are low energy, use of recycled materials and which are local, organic/or ethically sound.

Integrity & Ethics

  • Grant Associates maintain the highest standards of corporate governance.
  • Grant Associates deal fairly with all suppliers, partners, clients and other parties we encounter in our business and we develop productive and collaborative relationships.
  • Grant Associates ensure bids are conducted with integrity and transparency.
  • Grant Associates apply and continuously seek to improve our risk management procedures and protocols.

Our People

  • Grant Associates is committed to a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities in employment in which individuals are selected and treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities.
  • Grant Associates is committed to offer training and development opportunities to all employees equally and without prejudice. The Company supports the CPD requirements set out by the Landscape Institute.

Health & Safety

  • Grant Associates has a comprehensive Health and Safety Policy and is committed to continuous improvement in this area. Grant Associates employs external health and safety consultants to audit and advise the company.

Community

  • Grant Associates supports the development of local businesses, cultural events and uses local people and other local resources wherever possible. Grant Associates has been a sponsor of the annual Bath Fringe Festival and creates the annual Forest of the Imagination events.

Performance

  • Grant Associates positively encourages feedback from clients, contractors and those in contact with Grant Associates, as a necessary part of a review process to ensure services are maintained or improving.

 

 

Bribery & Corruption Policy

Grant Associates is dedicated to ensuring full compliance with all anti-bribery and corruption laws and regulations, including the Bribery Act 2010. Its Anti-Bribery Policy extends to all the Company’s business dealings and transactions.

Grant Associates’ policy is that no employee; associate or agent shall pay bribes or offer improper inducements to anyone for any purpose, nor do we or will we, accept bribes or improper inducements. Grant Associates expects its employees to demonstrate honesty; integrity and fairness in all aspects of their business dealings and exercise appropriate standards of professionalism and ethical conduct in all their activities.

To use a third party as a conduit to channel bribes to others is a criminal offence. We do not; and will not, engage indirectly in or otherwise encourage bribery.

Grant Associates takes bribery and corruption very seriously; and will not tolerate bribery or corruption in any form and has a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to any breach of this policy. All directors and employees of Grant Associates are required to comply with the policy.

Grant Associates encourages its employees to report any suspicious activity that may violate this policy.

 

 

Competition Law Compliance Policy

Grant Associates is committed to compliance in full with all laws and regulations, including competition laws. Grant Associates adheres to the principle of fair and efficient competition and does not engage in conduct which is anti-competitive- such as entering into agreements which restrict, prevent or distort competition.

To comply with competition laws, Grant Associates should seek to bid for contracts independently from, and without any agreement or arrangement with, its competitors. The only exception to this is if neither Grant Associates nor the competitor would have a good chance of winning the bid on its own because it is not big enough or does not have all the requisite skills. In such circumstances Grant Associates may enter into a joint venture arrangement for the purposes of submitting a joint bid with one or more of its competitors – provided always that cooperation is strictly limited to that which is necessary for the purposes of the joint bid.

Acting independently means not engaging in agreements regarding the pricing, bids or bidding strategies.

This includes not:

  • Discussing any element of pricing (e.g profit margins, labour costs) or engaging in cover pricing or price fixing.
  • Discussing restrictions on geographic markets, customers or terms and conditions of contract with competitors.
  • Engaging in methods of keeping new competitors cut out of the market.
  • Discussing sub-contractor or suppliers arrangements with competitors.
  • Engaging in bid rotation or bid suppression.
  • Engaging in sub-contract bid rigging.

Grant Associates considers a breach of this policy as a serious offence. Any violation will result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal of an individual in appropriate circumstances. Breach of competition laws may also lead to penalties including fines and/or imprisonment being enforced against the individual by the regulator.

 

 

Modern Slavery & Human Trafficking Policy

Grant Associates is committed to driving out acts of modern day slavery and human trafficking within its business and that from within its supply chains, including sub-contractors, and partners. The Company acknowledges responsibility to the Modern Slavery Act 2015 and will ensure transparency within the organisation and with suppliers of goods and services to the organisation. These as well as the suppliers of services make up the supply chain within Grant Associates.

As part of the companies due diligence supplier approval process will incorporate a review of the controls undertaken by the supplier to prevent slavery and human trafficking. Imported goods from sources outside the UK and EU are potentially more at risk for slavery/human trafficking issues. The level of management control required for these sources will be continually monitored.

The company will not support or deal with any business knowingly involved in slavery or human trafficking.

The company Directors and senior management shall take responsibility for implementing this policy statement and its objectives and shall provide adequate resources (training, etc ) and investment to ensure that slavery and human trafficking is not taking place within the organisation and within its supply chains.

A full copy of this policy and a copy of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 will be accessible to all employees electronically and can be obtained from the HR department upon request.

This policy statement will be reviewed annually.