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Receiving Gifts and Benefits: Managing the Risks

NCJ Number
Narelle George; Robyn Bredhauer
Date Published
June 2006
8 pages
This paper helps public officials better understand the issues involved with the potential risks associated with offers of gifts or benefits.
In the course of ones duties as a public official, one is sometimes offered gifts or benefits by members of the community or by work colleagues. When is it permissible to accept a gift or benefit, and when is it not permissible? The answer depends on why the gift is offered and in what circumstances. Trust and integrity are fundamental to good public administration. If one works in the public sector, whether as a State or local government employee, one is expected to perform ones duties and make decisions without bias. It is expected that they will not seek any form of reward for their work beyond the usual salary and employment arrangements. Although the policies of many agencies allow some nominal gifts as tokens of appreciation, there are always strict limits. The spectra of corruption make any breach of these limits hazardous business. The risk to one’s reputation, and to the reputation of one’s agency, makes honest, open dealings the best policy. This paper provides guidelines on how to manage such situations and suggests strategies to minimize the risks. Tables


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