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GRATUITIES

Prohibited Receipt of Gifts by University System of Employees.

An employee of the Board of Regents shall not directly or indirectly solicit, receive, accept, or agree to receive a thing of value by inducing the reasonable belief that the giving of the thing will influence his/her performance or failure to perform any official action. The acceptance of a benefit, reward or consideration where the purpose of the gift is to influence an employee in the performance of his/her official functions is a felony under O.C.G.A. 16-10-2.

An employee of the University System of Georgia or any other person on his/her behalf, is prohibited from knowingly accepting, directly or indirectly, a gift from any vendor or lobbyist as those terms are defined in Georgia statutes (O.C.G.A. 21-5-70(6) and 45-1-6(a)(5)b). If a gift has been accepted, it must be either returned to the donor or transferred to a charitable organization. A gift may be accepted by the employee on behalf of the institution subject to reporting requirements of the Board of Regents. If the gift is accepted, the person receiving the gift shall not maintain custody of the gift for any period of time beyond that reasonably necessary to arrange for the transfer of custody and ownership of the gift.

For purposes of this policy a gift is defined as lodging, transportation, personal services, a gratuity, subscription, membership, trip, loan, extension of credit, forgiveness of debt, advance or deposit of money, or anything of value. A gift shall not include:

1. Food or beverage consumed at an occasional meal or event, provided the value is reasonable under the circumstances but in no event exceeds $100 per person;

2. Food, beverages, and registration at group events to which substantial numbers of employees of an institution are invited;

3. Food, beverage, or expenses afforded employees, relatives or others that are associated with normal and customary business or social functions or activities;

4. Actual and reasonable expenses for food, beverages, travel, lodging and registration provided to permit participation in a meeting, demonstration, or training related to official or professional duties if participation has been approved in writing by the Chancellor, the President, or his/her designee;

5. Promotional items generally distributed to the general public;

6. Textbooks, software, and instructional materials to be reviewed by teaching faculty;

7. An award, plaque, certificate, memento, or similar item given in recognition of the recipient's civic, charitable, political, professional, private or public service or achievement;

8. Legitimate salary, honoraria, benefit, fees, commissions, or expenses associated with the recipient's non-public business, employment, trade, or profession;

9. Gifts from a person or entity who is neither a lobbyist nor a vendor as those terms are defined in State Statutes, nor a student or patient at an institution;

10. Consulting fees, honoraria, or financial benefits from sponsors or foundations, received in conformance with University System, campus policies, and Georgia law;

11. Gifts to or from University System foundations or other separately incorporated, charitable entities


Page last updated: March 10, 2010