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Gifts and Benefits Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose

(1) This Policy provides clear guidance for the acceptance or non-acceptance of gifts or benefits by members of the University from external bodies and individuals.

Background

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

(3) 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.

Scope

(4) All members of the University and its controlled entities.

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Section 2 - Policy

(5) A Member of the University will not:

  1. 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;
  2. accept a Gift of Influence; or
  3. 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.

(6) 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.

(7) A Member of the University who is offered or receives a reportable Gift or Benefit must complete the Registering Gifts and Benefits Form and return it to the Vice-President, Finance and Resources. This form is to be completed whether the gift is accepted or rejected.

(8) A register of Reportable Gifts and Benefits will be maintained by the Vice-President, Finance and Resources. It will record:

  1. details of the Gift or Benefit;
  2. the date offered / presented;
  3. the name, position titles and organisation involved; and
  4. the approval given.

Compliance and Breaches

(9) The University may commence applicable disciplinary procedures if a person to whom this Policy applies breaches this Policy (or any of its related procedures).

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Section 3 - Procedures

(10) Refer to the Gifts and Benefits Reporting Procedure.

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Section 4 - Guidelines

(11) Nil.

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Section 5 - Definitions

(12) Commonly defined terms are located in the University Glossary. The following definitions apply for the purposes of this Policy:

  1. Benefit means a non-tangible item of value (e.g. a new job or promotion, preferential treatment or access to confidential information) that one person or organisation confers on another.
  2. Gift means an item of value (e.g. 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.
  3. Gift of influence means a gift that is intended to generally ingratiate the giver with the recipient for favorable treatment in the future.
  4. Gift of gratitude means 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.
  5. Ceremonial gift means 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.
  6. Token gift means 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 (e.g. 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.
  7. Monetary gift means a Gift such as cash, cheques, money orders, traveller’s cheques, direct deposits, gift vouchers or store cards.
  8. Gift register means an official University record that details gifts and benefits received.
  9. Member of University includes Council or Board members, Committee members, staff and students of both the University and its Controlled Entities.
  10. Reportable Gift or Benefit means an individual Gift or Benefit with a value exceeding $250, or aggregated Gifts or Benefits over a calendar year with a value exceeding $250.