Gifts, Gratuities and Recognition (III.B.5)

Volume III: Ethics
Chapter B: Conflicts
Responsible Executive: Vice President for Ethics and Compliance
Responsible Office: Office of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance and Office of the Comptroller
Date Issued: April 1, 2016
Date Last Revised: January 1, 2017

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Contacts
Statement of Policy
Reason for This Policy
Individuals and Entities Affected by This Policy
Exclusions
Responsibilities
Definitions (defined terms are capitalized throughout the document)
Related Documents, Forms and Tools
Website Address for This Policy
History and Updates
Appendix

CONTACTS

Subject 

Contact

Telephone

Email/Web Address

Policy Clarification

Director of Compliance

765-496-3158

compliance@purdue.edu

Questions Regarding the Receipt of Gifts

Calumet and North Central:

Director of Advancement Resources and Donor Stewardship

219-989-2314

Fort Wayne: Sr. Business Manager

260-481-6618

West Lafayette: Director of Compliance

765-496-3158

compliance@purdue.edu

Questions Regarding the Giving of Gifts

Calumet and North Central:

Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Business

219-785-5404

or

219-989-2853

Fort Wayne: Sr. Business Manager

260-481-6618

West Lafayette: Comptroller

765-494-7536

www.purdue.edu/business/
comptroller/General_Information/
staffDirectory.html

STATEMENT OF POLICY

Gifts and Gratuities Offered to or Received by Employees

No faculty or staff member of the University may solicit or accept any Gift, gratuity, benefit, favor, service, Discount, entertainment, food, drink, travel expense or registration fee from an individual who is seeking to influence the employee’s official conduct.

No faculty or staff member of the University may solicit or accept from a Third Party whom the employee knows is engaged in or attempting to engage in business with the University:

  • Any tangible item, gratuity, benefit, favor, food or drink of more than Nominal Value nor
  • Any Monetary Gift, service, Discount, entertainment, travel expense or registration fee.

The Operating Procedures for Gifts, Gratuities and Recognition provide specific information regarding the application of this policy and outline the criteria by which an exception for accepting certain Gifts and gratuities may be made. Individual offices and departments may develop more stringent policies or standards regarding the acceptance of Gifts and gratuities by the faculty and/or staff of their units with the approval of the Vice President for Ethics and Compliance (VPEC) in advance of the policy or standard’s effective date.

Giving Awards, Prizes and Gifts for Appreciation or Recognition

Colleges, schools, departments, offices and other units of the University may give Awards, Prizes and Gifts to faculty, staff, Students and Non-employees with University funds as follows.

  • Awards and Prizes may only be given when there is a documented recognition program in place that has been established in accordance with the Operating Procedures for Gifts, Gratuities and Recognition and approved by the unit head (vice president, vice chancellor, vice provost or dean), or his or her designee, and the unit’s business manager or fiscal approver. Awards and Prizes may not exceed $5,000. Recognition for length of service may be given only in accordance with the University’s official program as maintained by Human Resources.
  • Gifts may be given to faculty, staff, Students and Non-employees in acknowledgement of a contribution to the University or to Stakeholders in order to build and sustain the University’s relationship with the individual or entity. The expense for the Gift must have the approval of the unit head, or his or her designee, and the unit’s business manager or fiscal approver. Gifts of appreciation must have proper support documentation as outlined in the Operating Procedures and may not exceed $2,500. Gifts to Stakeholders generally are given at a University function, event or program.

In all cases noted above, if the recipient is a public official, the requirements outlined in the subsequent section also apply. If the recipient is a Student, certain financial aid and/or NCAA/NAIA regulations need to be considered prior to giving the Gift; refer to the Operating Procedures for detailed information.

Gifts and Gratuities Given to Public Officials

Federal and state laws, including the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, as well as the laws of many other countries, severely restrict or prohibit Gifts to public officials, including the payment of fees to or expenses for public officials that may be interpreted as a payment for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business or securing an improper advantage.

Under certain circumstances it may be appropriate for the University to provide a gratuity, benefit or Honorarium to or to pay fees or expenses for a public official, whether foreign or domestic, and whether at the federal, state or local level. In these cases, no expenses for any Gift, gratuity, benefit, service, entertainment, food, drink, travel, registration or Honorarium may be incurred without prior approval from the Vice President for Public Affairs or his or her designee(s). Approvals for giving Awards, Prizes and Gifts as outlined above also apply. Refer to the Operating Procedures for Gifts, Gratuities and Recognition for additional guidance.

REASON FOR THIS POLICY

The acceptance of Gifts, gratuities or benefits may improperly influence a faculty or staff member in his or her discharge of official duties or create the perception that the employee is receiving personal gain by virtue of his or her position at the University. This policy outlines the prohibitions related to Gifts, gratuities and benefits and the conditions under which they may be accepted by an employee.

Awards, Prizes and Gifts given by units of the University for appreciation or recognition may be subject to certain requirements and limitations under law or IRS regulations. Similarly, Gifts, gratuities and benefits given to public officials may be subject to certain requirements and limits. This policy provides guidance to ensure University funds are expended in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

INDIVIDUALS AND ENTITIES AFFECTED BY THIS POLICY

All units, faculty and staff of the University.

EXCLUSIONS

This policy does not restrict faculty and staff, or their Immediate Family Members, from accepting Gifts, gratuities or benefits when:

  • The employee or family member has a personal or professional relationship with the giver independent of the employee’s position with the University, and
  • The giver of the Gift, gratuity or benefit is not seeking to influence any action by the employee in his or her capacity as a representative of the University.

Gifts, gratuities and benefits, other than those outlined above, accepted from a Third Party by an Immediate Family Member of a faculty or staff member are considered to have been accepted by the employee for the purposes of this policy.

This policy does not apply to situations covered under the policy on Charitable Donations to the University (II.B.2).

RESPONSIBILITIES

All Faculty and Staff

  • Refuse Gifts, gratuities and benefits in accordance with this policy. Report all Monetary Gifts and items of more than Nominal Value that they are not able to refuse.
  • Consult with the VPEC (or his/her designee) prior to allowing a known Third Party to pay for any social engagements, registration fees and/or business travel expenses as outlined in the Operating Procedures or provide upon request documentation supporting the decision to accept.
  • Accept Discounts and Honoraria from Third Parties only in accordance with this policy and its Operating Procedures.
  • Give Awards, Prizes and Gifts on behalf of the University only in accordance with this policy and its Operating Procedures.

Vice President for Ethics and Compliance (VPEC)

  • Administer this policy.
  • Designate a representative from each University campus to serve as a consultant for making determinations regarding the disposition of Gifts and gratuities offered to or received by faculty and staff on that campus.

Designees of the VPEC

  • Provide advice in accordance with this policy and its Operating Procedures regarding social engagements, registration fees and travel expenses as assigned by the VPEC.
  • Record all recommended exceptions.

Vice President for Public Affairs

  • Make determinations on requests to provide a Gift, gratuity, benefit or Honorarium to a public official, or designate an individual(s) to do so.

Comptroller/Campus Chief Business Officer

  • Provide guidance and resources to business managers and fiscal approvers on their campus regarding the giving of Awards, Prizes and Gifts for appreciation or recognition.

Business Managers and Fiscal Approvers

  • Review for approval recognition programs and requests to give Awards, Prizes or Gifts for appreciation, recognition or to build/sustain a relationship with a Stakeholder.

Unit Heads

  • Review for approval recognition programs and requests to give Awards, Prizes or Gifts for appreciation, recognition or to build/sustain a relationship with a Stakeholder.
  • Monitor approved recognition programs.

Financial Aid Administrators

  • Provide guidance to colleges, schools, departments, offices and other units of the University regarding the financial impacts of Awards, Prizes and Gifts to Students.

Athletics Compliance Directors

  • Provide guidance to colleges, schools, departments, offices and other units of the University regarding NCAA/NAIA regulations for Awards, Prizes and Gifts to Student athletes and potential Student athletes.

Colleges, Schools, Departments, Offices and Other Units of the University

  • Give Gifts, gratuities and benefits only in accordance with this policy and its Operating Procedures.
  • Obtain approval from the unit head and the appropriate business manager or fiscal approver prior to implementing a recognition program or prior to giving an Award, Prize or Gift for appreciation, recognition or to build/sustain a relationship.
  • Consult with the campus financial aid administrator prior to giving any Award, Prize or Gift to a Student
  • Consult with the campus athletics compliance director prior to giving any Award, Prize or Gift to a Student athlete or potential Student athlete.
  • Request approval from the VPEC (or his/her designee) prior to putting in place any supplemental policies regarding the acceptance of Gifts, gratuities and benefits.

DEFINITIONS

All defined terms are capitalized throughout the document. Additional defined terms may be found in the central Policy Glossary.

Award
A Monetary Gift or tangible item that is provided to an individual in recognition of service to the institution.

Discount
A reduction in the cost of goods or services charged by an entity.

Gift
A voluntary conveyance of something of value that is given as a gesture of goodwill or appreciation.

Honorarium
A gift given to an individual in recognition of a special service or distinguished achievement.

Immediate Family Member
An Employee's spouse or unemancipated child, including stepchildren and adoptees.

Monetary
Cash, checks, gift cards or other negotiable instruments that are redeemable for general merchandise or have a cash equivalent value.

Nominal Value
$50 or less in one instance or $200 or less cumulatively received from one Third Party over the course of a 12-month period.

Non-Employee
Individuals who work for their own interests and are not employees of Purdue University. Examples include:

  • Independent contractors
  • Volunteers
  • Students and trainees who are merely acquiring experience without the promise of a job or compensation
  • Members of the Board of Trustees

Operating Procedures
As used in this policy, this term refers to the Operating Procedures for Gifts, Gratuities and Recognition that support this policy.

Prize
Something of value that is provided to one or more participants at a University-sponsored event.

Stakeholder
A person, group or organization that affects or may be affected by the University’s actions. Examples include:

  • University donors and prospective donors
  • Guest speakers
  • University dignitaries (e.g., former executive and academic leaders, emeritus faculty and staff)
  • Student organizations

Student
An individual currently enrolled at Purdue University who holds undergraduate or graduate status, whether temporary, part-time or full-time.

Third Party
Vendors, contractors, government entities and other individuals or entities that either do business or seek to do business with the University.

RELATED DOCUMENTS, FORMS AND TOOLS

Operating Procedures for Gifts, Gratuities and Recognition

FAQs

University Policies:

Forms:

Indiana Code of Ethics: www.in.gov/ig/2336.htm

WEBSITE ADDRESS FOR THIS POLICY

www.purdue.edu/policies/ethics/iiib5.html

HISTORY AND UPDATES

January 1, 2017: Reference to Domestic Partner removed in accordance with the Board of Trustees resolution of December 19, 2015.

April 1, 2016: This is the first system-wide policy to address this issue.

APPENDIX

There are no appendices to this policy.

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