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VFS Global, Partnering Governments. Providing Solutions.
Partnering Governments. Providing Solutions.

Our Commitment

Code of Conduct

 

VFS Global maintains and promotes a corporate culture and behaviour in which honesty, integrity and respect for the law are viewed as essential to achieving desired success. VFS Global’s ethical and behavioural principles, which apply across the company’s global operations, are enshrined and explained in its Code of Conduct, which is intended to serve as a guide to its corporate and employee ethical behaviour. This Code is supplemented by more detailed internal regulations, policies and guidelines issued by VFS Global, which are applicable to specific geographic areas and/or fields of activities of VFS Global.

The VFS Global Code of Conduct is an integral part of VFS Global’s corporate culture and is binding upon VFS Global’s Board of Directors, Executive Board and all personnel of VFS Global as well as to all Facility Management Companies (FMC).

Anti-Corruption Regulation

 

VFS Global is committed to doing business ethically and believes that bribery and other corrupt practices are wrong and not acceptable. To underline this commitment, VFS Global’s Board of Directors has issued the Anti-Corruption Regulation which is based on the VFS Global Code of Conduct and is fully endorsed by the Executive Board.

The Anti-Corruption Regulation which applies to VFS Global’s Board of Directors, the Executive Board and all employees and associated persons and their directors, officers and employees makes it clear that they shall not offer, provide, authorise, request or receive a bribe or anything that may be construed as a bribe.

Quality Policy

 

VFS Global ensures customer satisfaction through quality of service, safety and security by the use of right technology, robust processes and the engagement of its employees and customers, leading to continuous improvement.

Environmental Policy

 

At VFS Global, we are committed to comply to all Legal, Regulatory, Statutory and other requirements with the ultimate aim of providing the safest environment and healthiest atmosphere to all our employees, customers, suppliers, and to anyone else interacting with us while conserving the natural resources and continually improve our processes.

Health, Safety & Security Policy

 

We at VFS Global ensure and commit ourselves to the health, safety and security of our employees, contractors, partners, visitors and customers through provision of ergonomic and safe work environment infrastructure and transportation and complying with applicable legislations.

Policy under the U.K. Modern Slavery Act, 2015

 

Introduction

In a world of global migration, economic disparity, development and transitioning, Modern Slavery is a growing issue. Modern Slavery includes forced labour, debt bondage, human trafficking, descent-based slavery and child slavery. According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), approximately 21 million people around the world are in slavery; this includes 5.5 million children.

Commitment

VFS Global has a zero tolerance approach to Modern Slavery within its operations and supply chains, and encourages its staff to report related concerns and incidents using the escalation matrix available across the organisation. The management is obligated to act on any raised concerns, and held accountable for lack of action where necessary.

VFS Global has operations in 129 countries, with 2343 centres processing visas for 56 client governments, and is deeply committed against Modern Slavery in every one of its corporate offices and Visa Application Centres across the globe.

The VFS Global Policy under the UK Modern Slavery Act 2015 reflects the company’s commitment to acting ethically and with integrity in all its business relationships and to implementing and enforcing effective systems and controls to ensure slavery and human trafficking is not taking place anywhere in the VFS Global organisation and its supply chain.

Implementation

VFS Global is committed to ensuring that all its employees are abreast of its zero tolerance approach to Modern Slavery, and equipped to respond to any related situation that may arise. An official rollout of this policy ensures that the policy is disseminated to staff across the board in all regions. The employees are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the policy, which is hosted on the organisation’s portal. For further clarifications, contact details of General Counsel and the Anti-Corruption Compliance Officer (ACCO) is made available.

Training and awareness sessions are designed to ensure complete understanding of the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking in the supply chains and business. Train the Trainer programmes are designed to ensure the dissemination of accurate information to employees with regards to the policy. A training calendar will be planned for employees in a phased manner, spanning across the various regions/countries of operations starting with immediate effect and will continue until 31st March 2018.

Trainings will be imparted through various channels noted below:

Upon recruitment, new joining staff is required to undergo training on this policy as part of VFS Global’s induction programme,. For existing employees, classroom style and virtual (via video call software Zoom) trainings, and eLearning modules (web based trainings) are available, followed by online assessments. eCertificates are awarded to staff upon successful completion of the training modules and assessment. Quizzes, case studies and awareness sessions will be planned periodically to ensure complete understanding and recall of the policy.

The training sessions will be followed with regular audits by the Internal Audit as well as Corporate Security teams to ensure compliance to the policy across the organisation and supply chain.

Contact Details

Global Tax Strategy

 

VFS Global is the world’s largest outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions. The VFS Global group (“the Group”) manages administrative and non-judgmental tasks related to visa, passport, identity management and other citizen services for 57 client governments enabling them to focus entirely on the critical task of assessment. The Group has a global reach with operations across five continents.

The Group’s vision is to be the market leader in the visa, consular and identity management solutions industry. And our mission is to partner with governments to enable faster and informed decision making in the area of consular and identity management services, by providing technology and administrative solutions and value added services that are secure, innovative and offer value for money. We strive to consistently create a reliable and convenient experience for customers, by having engaged employees, business expertise, global presence and value to stakeholders.

In the past 16 years the Group has developed highly differentiated solutions portfolio including dedicated visa and passport application centres, information services (contact centres), web based modules (for appointment scheduling and online payment collection), biometrics solutions development, verification and attestation services and specialised security solutions. VFS Global has also developed sophisticated, technology-driven solutions which enable remote visa and other document processing – such as an integrated video interviewing hub solution, and a location independent document processing solution.

It is a well acknowledged fact that this industry plays a very direct and strong role in global economic development and VFS Global facilitates global travel and tourism by offering visa services to our client governments. We are also proud to employ over 8,000 people globally of over 100 nationalities.

Approach to risk management and governance arrangements

As a Group, we are deeply committed to ethical business practices (as highlighted in our Corporate Social responsibility and Code of Conduct policies) and to respecting local laws in the territories where we operate, and this has a direct bearing on our approach to taxation. We are committed to compliance with the tax laws and practices in the countries in which we operate and have implemented robust governance processes to enable us to do so.

Our tax function is involved in structuring business arrangements, agreements, restructuring projects and acquisitions conducted by the Group. Consequently, all tax risks are identified and considered before concluding on such business decisions. The tax function also reviews and advises the wider group on all key agreements and arrangements, specifically cross-border transactions, and their input is mandatory as an internal policy prior to the final sign off on these agreements / arrangements from the Legal Team.

Based on pre-determined guidelines, escalation mechanisms are in place within the group with respect to key tax matters / risks including reporting to the Chief Financial Officer or Chief Executive Officer of the Group or the Audit Committee or the Board, as required.

Attitude towards tax planning

Tax planning is only considered where there is a commercial rationale and is carried out within the parameters of the legal and tax frameworks set out by the jurisdictions in which we operate.

All tax decisions are made in response to commercial activity and tax is just one of many factors taken into consideration when making such decisions. Any tax planning that is undertaken is reviewed yearly; along with the Group’s tax strategy, as part of the annual Audit Committee meeting.

We endeavour to use automated technology to track tax related compliances in various operating jurisdictions and also modify/alter/create technology used in operations for easy and accurate implementation of tax reforms, wherever possible.

Approach towards dealings with tax authorities

The Group has always maintained a cooperative and collaborative relationship with tax authorities and will continue to do so. In territories such as the UK, where we have an allocated Customer Relationship Manager, we hold face to face meetings to discuss our tax affairs, and we pro-actively engage with tax authorities wherever required.

Level of risk in relation to tax that the group is prepared to accept

We have a minimal tax risk tolerance as a Group. We are committed to compliance with the tax laws and practices in all of the countries in which we operate, and continuously monitor changes to tax legislation, ensuring that we take advice where appropriate from professional advisers.

Given the nature of our business and geographic footprint, it is inevitable that risks may arise with respect to the application of tax laws that are complex and uncertain at times. The level of tax risk that we accept is driven by our overarching values, corporate social responsibility, brand and reputation. We routinely seek professional advice where the application of tax laws to a material transaction or a given situation is reasonably unclear or uncertain, or where specialist knowledge is required, particularly in relation to international tax matters.

The Group’s Internal Audit function is responsible for reviewing the relevant processes and controls which are in place for tax, with oversight provided by the Audit Committee, who reviews the controls in place for tax compliances on a quarterly basis.

 

This document is prepared on behalf of VF Services (UK) Limited, VFS Global Services PLC and VFS Cayman Limited pursuant to Paragraph 22(2) Schedule 19, Finance Act 2016, for the financial year ended 31 December 2017 and is intended to comply with all other obligations within Schedule 19, Finance Act 2016.

Published on 31 December 2017

Testimonials

Hugh Keachie
Customer Service Excellence Standard Assessor at Centre for Assessment (CFA) in Manchester, UK

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UKVI Entry Clearance Manager, Bogota


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