Gifts and Benefits

Gifts and Benefits

SUMMARY

The Gifts and Benefits Policy provides clear guidance for the acceptance or non-acceptance of gifts or benefits by members of the University from external bodies and individuals. The Procedure provides further information in relation to gift and benefit reporting.

POLICY

Purpose To provide clear guidance for the acceptance or non-acceptance of gifts or benefits by members of the University from external bodies and individuals.

Overview

From time to time staff and other members of the University may be offered gifts or benefits from external bodies or individuals.

As an employer, and a public authority, the University has an obligation to ensure compliance with relevant legislation and adopted codes of ethics and codes of practice.

DEFINITIONS
Benefit: a non-tangible item of value (eg a new job or promotion, preferential treatment or access to confidential information) that one person or organisation confers on another.

Gift: an item of value (eg gift voucher, store card, entertainment, hospitality, travel, commodity, property) which one person or organisation offers or presents to another. In the business context, gifts can have different meanings and purposes as described below.

Gift of influence:  a gift that is intended to generally ingratiate the giver with the recipient for favorable treatment in the future.

Gift of gratitude: a gift offered to an individual or the University in appreciation for performing specific tasks or for exemplary performance of duties. Gifts to staff who speak at official functions would be considered gifts of gratitude.

Ceremonial gift: an official gift from one institution to another institution. Such gifts are often provided to a host institution when conducting official business with delegates from another organisation. Although these gifts may sometimes be offered to express gratitude, the gratitude usually extends to the work of several people in the University, and therefore the gift is considered to be for the University, not a particular individual.

Token gift: a gift that is offered in business situations to the University or to staff representing the University. Such gifts are often small office or business accessories (eg pens, calendars, folders) that contain the company logo. They are usually products that are mass-produced and not given as a personal gift.
Token Gifts and Ceremonial Gifts may be presented at least partially in gratitude. For the purposes of this Policy, however, Ceremonial and Token Gifts are treated differently from Gifts of Gratitude.

Monetary gift: a Gift such as cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques, direct deposits, gift vouchers or store cards.

Gift register: an official University record that details gifts and benefits received.

Member of University: a member of the University includes Council or Board members, Committee members, staff and students of both the University and its Controlled Entities.

Reportable Gift or Benefit: an individual Gift or Benefit with a value exceeding $250, or aggregated Gifts or Benefits over a calendar year with a value exceeding $250.
Scope All members of the University and its controlled entities.

Policy

A Member of the University will not:  
  • solicit or accept for private purposes any Gift or Benefit, monetary or non-monetary, or loan in connection with that person's official function and/or duties, performed or not performed which could create a conflict of interest or be seen to create such conflict
  • accept a Gift of Influence
  • accept any Gift or Benefit from an organisation where there is a commercial relationship between the University and that organisation. An inappropriate Gift would include any item that might provide or be perceived as providing incentive for a Member of the University to seek the services of a particular company.

A Member of the University may, however, accept a tangible or intangible Gift or Benefit not referred to above, provided that the Gift or Benefit has a fair value less than or equal to A$250.

A Member of the University who is offered or receives a reportable Gift or Benefit must complete the Form for Registering Gifts and Benefits and return it to the Chief Financial Officer. This form is to be completed whether the gift is accepted or rejected

A register of Reportable Gifts and Benefits will be maintained by the Chief Financial Officer. It will record:
  • details of the Gift or Benefit
  • the date offered / presented
  • the name, position titles and organisation involved
  • the approval given.
COMPLIANCE AND BREACHES
The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).

Policy Information

Contact Officer Chief Financial Officer
Date Approved 28 August 2013
Approval Authority

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Date of Commencement 28 August 2013
Amendment History

29 May 2017 - updated Approval Authority from Chief Operating Officer to Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor
4 September 2014 – updated legislation to Public Interest Disclosures

Date for Next Review August 2016
Related Documents

Fraud Corruption and Prevention Policy
Gifts and Benefits Reporting Procedure (see tab above)
Reporting Wrongdoing: Public Interest Disclosures Policy
Staff Code of Conduct

Registering Gifts and Benefits form

Managing Gifts and Benefits in the Public Sector (ICAC)

Policies / Rules Superseded by this Policy Gifts and Benefits Policy approved 18 January 2010
Keywords Reportable Gifts, Reportable Benefits, Code of Practice, ICAC

PROCEDURE

Purpose To detail the procedures relevant to gift and benefit reporting.

Procedure

This procedure requires actions by the following: The steps and/or actions that must be undertaken include:
  • Declare
  • Notify
  • Report

Staff member

DECLARE
Declare all Gifts and Benefits every time they are offered or received from an external organization or individual where there is doubt as to the monetary value. When it is difficult to estimate the monetary value of a Gift a reasonable value should be assigned to the Gift.  This value must be agreed in consultation with your supervisor.

NOTIFY
Notify your supervisor every time you are offered or receive a Gift or Benefit whose fair value may be in excess of A$250 – whether the Gift or Benefit is accepted or not.

Complete the Form for Registering Gifts and Benefits within 10 business days of being offered or receiving the Gift or Benefit and submit it to Chief Financial Officer and include the following details:
  • the date on which the offer/presentation occurred
  • the name and company details of those involved in presenting the gift
  • the name of the recipient
  • a detailed description of the gift
  • an estimation of the value of the gift, or actual value if known
  • the outcome of the offer
  • whether the gift was given to the University or retained by the recipient.
REPORT BRIBES, POTENTIAL BRIBES AND COMPROMISING CIRCUMSTANCES
Report bribes, potential bribes and compromising circumstances to your supervisor or another line manager in the following manner:
  • as soon as practicable, preferably within one business day of the incident
  • in verbal or written form
  • where initial notification is provided verbally this must be followed by a written report containing the following information:
  • the date on which the bribe, potential bribe or compromising circumstances occurred
  • the name and company details of those involved in the occurrence
  • the name of the recipient
  • a detailed description of the bribe, potential bribe or compromising circumstances
  • an estimation of the value of the bribe, potential bribe or compromising circumstances, or actual value if known
  • the outcome of the offer
  • whether the bribe, potential bribe or compromising circumstances was given to the University or retained by the recipient.

Supervisor

Notify
Immediately forward all information on the offer or receipt of a Gift or Benefit over $250 to the Chief Financial Officer.

Report
Immediately forward all information regarding bribes, potential bribes or compromising circumstances to the Chief Financial Officer, including any subsequent written notification.
Chief Financial Officer Notify
Notify the Vice-Chancellor where it is determined that the reported incident involves, or is likely to involve, corrupt conduct.
Vice-Chancellor Report
Report such incidences to the Independent Commission Against Corruption in accordance with the Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 (NSW).

Procedure Information

Contact officer Chief Financial Officer
Date Approved 20 January 2014
Approval Authority

Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Date of Commencement 20 January 2014
Amendment History

29 May 2017 - updated Approval Authority from Chief Financial Officer to
Chief Operating Officer and Deputy Vice-Chancellor
4 September 2014 – updated legislation to Public Interest Disclosures

Date for Next Review February 2017
Related Documents

Fraud Corruption and Prevention Policy
Gifts and Benefits Policy (see tab above)
Reporting Wrongdoing: Public Interest Disclosures Policy

Registering Gifts and Benefits form

Independent Commission Against Corruption Act 1988 (NSW)
Keywords Gift, Bribe, Compromising, Benefit
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