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Acceptance of Gifts Policy

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Section 1 - Preamble

(1) This Policy was approved by the Vice-Chancellor on 17 November 2013 and includes all amendments to 11 October 2016.

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Section 2 - Purpose

(2) To outline the requirements for staff who are offered gifts in relation to University business.

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Section 3 - Scope

(3) This Policy applies to all staff of the University and associates conducting business on behalf of the University. It does not apply to benefits accrued by staff from the University in the normal conduct of their duties, nor to donations, bequests, awards, grants, fellowships, scholarships, prizes or to gifts given by the University or to acceptance of gifts given by the University in recognition of service.

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Section 4 - Policy

(4) Gifts that are offered to University staff members, associates or immediate family members as part of University business can only be accepted in the following circumstances:

  1. the gift is not cash
  2. the acceptance of the gift does not place any obligation on the University
  3. the gift is not related to a procurement process that has been, is, or will be, underway.

(5) University staff or associates must not seek gifts or benefits in connection with their employment at the University.

(6) University staff or associates must not accept any gift or benefit that may create or be perceived by a reasonable person to create a conflict of interest.

Approval required for acceptance of gifts

(7) Prior to accepting a gift the staff member or associate must assess the financial value of the gift. The following approval requirements apply depending on the dollar value:

  1. gifts under $200 in value - a staff member or associate may accept as long as the gift is consistent with the requirements set out in Clause 4
  2. a gift or series of gifts valued over $200 but less than $500 - may be accepted only with the approval of the staff member's or associate's supervisor
  3. a gift over $500 - may only be accepted with the approval of a member of the Executive and it becomes the property of the University.

(8) Where the value of a gift is not known, the staff member or associate must consult their supervisor. In such circumstances the value will be established based on what a reasonable person would consider the value of the gift.

(9) A member of the Executive may not approve their own acceptance of a gift. In these instances approval must be given by another member of the Executive.

Acceptance of gifts on behalf of a group or the university

(10) Where it is not appropriate for a gift to be received by an individual staff member or associate (for instance, a gift that is meant for a group or for the entire University) an individual may accept the gift on behalf of a group or the University. The same approval requirements exist as for any gift for an individual. For the purposes of assessing the value of gifts offered to, or accepted on behalf of, a group, it is the total value of the gift or series of gifts that should be assessed, not the value per staff member.

Register of gifts

(11) Any employee that accepts a gift valued at more than $200 must list the following details on the University's on-line Gift Register:

  1. a description of the gift
  2. the individual or agency that provided the gift
  3. the name of the staff member or associate who accepted the gift
  4. the assessed dollar value of the gift
  5. who (for gifts valued over $200) approved the acceptance of the gift
  6. the individual or group that received the gift
  7. other relevant information (for instance where the gift will be held).

(12) The University's Gift Register will be maintained by the Risk and Compliance Manager who will report to the Vice-Chancellor bi-annually with the list of gifts that have been accepted.

Gifts offered that are not consistent with the policy

(13) If a staff member or associate is offered a gift that is not consistent with the requirements set out in clause 4, the employee must inform their manager.

(14) A staff member or associate who fails to report or register a reportable gift received may be subject to disciplinary proceedings.

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Section 5 - Procedure

(15) There is no attendant procedure.

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Section 6 - Definitions

(16) For the purpose of this Policy:

  1. Associate: contractors, consultants, volunteers, visiting appointees and visitors to the University.
  2. Conflict of interest: a divergence between the individual interests of a person and their professional responsibilities such that an independent observer might reasonably conclude that the professional actions of that person are unduly influenced by their own interests, including any actual, perceived or potential conflicts of interest.
  3. Gift: a gift or benefit under this policy is something that has a monetary value or worth, or other advantage or privilege derived as a result of a business-related relationship connected with the University. Examples could include a dinner at a restaurant, tickets to attend a sporting or cultural event, gifts for a cultural holiday, a gift presented on reaching agreement with a supplier, etc. For the purpose of this policy, the University defines the value of a gift or benefit as follows:
    1. A nominal gift or benefit is under $200 in value
    2. A reportable gift or benefit is $200 or greater in value.
  4. Immediate family: of a staff member means a spouse, de facto partner, child, parent, grandparent, grandchild or sibling of the staff member or of a spouse or de facto partner of the staff member and also includes a person for whom the person has caring responsibilities arising from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kinship relationship of equivalent status to those listed above.
  5. Reportable gift: gift or benefit is $200 or greater in value requiring that it be recorded on the University's Gift Register.
  6. Staff: a member of the academic or general staff, executive or honorary staff member.