Gifts _ Hospitality

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					Gifts & Hospitality
Our aim is to protect the honesty and integrity of the council or its employees against accusations of corruption or improper motives 1.0 1.1 Purpose To comply with statutory obligations and the Council’s policy on gifts and hospitality. To avoid circumstances where gifts or hospitality offered by other individuals or organisations may invite suspicions about the honesty and integrity of the council or its employees. To help managers make the appropriate distinctions in their attitude to gifts and hospitality as well operating consistent guidelines for their staff. Our Standard Gifts or hospitality offered by External Organisations 2.1 All Directors or Heads of Units should establish appropriate arrangements for maintaining registers and deciding authorisation arrangements. Employees should be notified of the existence of the register and the requirements of reporting offers of gifts and hospitality made. (hospitality offered by the Council can be accepted without disclosure). That employees of all levels are aware that gifts must be refused and their offer recorded in the register unless they have only a token value (e.g. calendars, mass produced diaries, inexpensive pens). The register is the responsibility of a designated officer and maintained in a format suitable for inspection by an authorised person (e.g. Councillor, Chief Executive, District Auditor, Internal Audit, Police). Any hospitality exceeding a minimum level of common courtesy is refused where the host is a person or organisation:  with whom the Council does business; or  which is seeking to do business with the Council; or  which is seeking a decision from the Council. The refusal of gifts or hospitality is handled with tact and courtesy and details are recorded in the register. (The intentions of those offering gifts

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or hospitality may not have been corrupt but simply inappropriate to professional relationships in the public sector). Employees are encouraged to seek the advice of their manager should they have any doubts as to the right course of action in any particular circumstances. Managers should seek advice from the appropriate senior management if there is any uncertainty about a particular decision. 2.7 Where 2.3 above does not apply and the acceptance of gifts and hospitality may help further the Council’s interests managers must ensure that:  employees have a prior agreement to the acceptance  details of the hospitality are recorded in the hospitality register  the hospitality is a function of a general kind organised by another person or body or a modest business lunch or equivalent. Hospitality Expenditure by the Council 2.8 All expenditure should be recorded in a register which should describe the expense, date and reasons for the expense. All Directors or Heads of Units should establish appropriate arrangements for maintaining registers and deciding authorisation arrangements. Legal Requirements The prevention of Corruption Acts 1889-1916 make it an offence for any employee to ask for, or accept any gifts or other rewards for showing favours in relation to the council’s business. Such considerations are deemed to have been given and received corruptly unless the contrary can be proved. If convicted, the employee is liable to a fine or imprisonment or both and may (exceptionally) lose his/her pension rights in addition to their job. The Local Government Act 1972 makes it an offence for employees to accept any fee or reward (including gifts) for their employment other than their proper pay, and on conviction, employees are liable to be fined.

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