At this time of year, companies and individuals doing business with blanked may send holiday gifts to individual employees or to the agency. This note is a reminder to all employees to be conscious of the limitations that apply to gifts given to blanked employees as well as the requirements of the Political Reform Act and Fair Political Practices Commission rules.
As a general rule it is usually simplest to decline or return gifts. However it is often impractical or unreasonable to return some gifts. Holiday goodies and similar gifts may be accepted if they are given to celebrate the holidays and not as compensation or reward for services provided or work performed. blanked's Administrative Code does prohibit compensation or rewards to employees from outside sources for performing their duties.
If gifts are not returned or declined, they may be reportable under the Political Reform Act and Fair Political Practices Commission rules. Employees required to file annual disclosures of their economic interests on FPPC Form 700 are required to report any gifts from a party within their disclosure category that are collectively valued at $50 or more per year on their annual disclosure statements. Acceptance of gifts valued at more than $390 per year from any single source is prohibited. However, gifts that are given to the agency and not to an individual do not have to be reported. Gifts such as food baskets or candy boxes can be shared by a group or department and then are not subject to this reporting requirement.
Gifts are considered not to have been received if they are returned to the donor within thirty days. If return is not possible, the gift can be turned over to a public or charitable institution without being claimed as a charitable deduction. In the case of return or donation to a charity, the gift does not have to be reported. A record of the donation should be kept, along with an explanation why return of the gift was not feasible. When possible, the donor also should be informed of this action.
On a separate issue, some employees have commented that too many personal packages are being delivered through blanked. Please be considerate of our hardworking mailroom staff and keep those deliveries to a minimum.
Please enjoy the Holidays and if you have any questions on these guidelines, feel free to contact either the Ethics Officer or the Legal Department.
Do I have to report that CD case now? No, it was done during a break onto a personal machine.