Gifts and Hospitality from Third Parties Policy


Introduction


University members may from time to time be offered gifts or hospitality from third parties such as current or potential suppliers and service providers.

Members need to be aware that this is a sensitive area where perception is very important. Compliance with this policy will assist members and the University to respond to charges of real or perceived undue influence on the acceptance of gifts and hospitality.

Application


This policy applies to all University members.

Note - This policy does not apply to the receipt of gifts by the University (for example endowment or scholarship given to the University).

Purpose


This policy provides guidance for the acceptance of gifts in relation to a member’s affiliation with the University. This policy aims to assist members to avoid any perception of impairment of their objectivity or impartiality.

Policy


1.     Members must not solicit any gift or hospitality of significant value (i.e. over $100) from any person or organisation

2.     The receipt of unsolicited gifts or hospitality must not result in preferential treatment being given to a person or organisation in any way

3.     Members must avoid any situation that could directly or indirectly compromise or influence the performance of their duties

4.     Members must not accept any gift or hospitality:

  • which could reasonably be seen by others as compromising or influencing them (directly or indirectly) in any decision they may make on behalf of the University. For example, staff must not accept gifts which could be perceived as an inducement to purchase
  • which creates or appears to create a favoured position for another person or organisation who either is, or potentially is, a supplier to the University
  • which could reasonably be seen by others as compromising the standing of the University
  • which could reasonably be seen by others as either an inducement or a reward which might place the member under an obligation to a third party

5.     Gifts of money, equity holdings, securities or other payments are not to be accepted under any circumstances

6.     Senior Management Team (SMT) members or above has discretion to determine that a gift received in the course of employment is a gift to the University and retain the gift, particularly where its value is over $100

7.     All approved gifts with a value over $100 must be recorded on the central Gifts Register

Approval of gifts

8.     Gifts must be approved prior to being accepted as follows:

  • gifts up to $100 may be accepted without prior approval
  • gifts with a value between $101 and $500 must have written approval from the relevant SMT member
  • gifts over $500 must have written approval from the Vice Chancellor or his delegate

Procurement

9.     Members performing procurement and tendering functions must not accept gifts of any kind while actually engaged in these functions, unless it takes the form of an invitation to attend a supplier or industry conference, seminar or trade show, where the hospitality element is incidental to the event and relevant business information is expected to be gained through their attendance

10.   Members having significant advisory input into procurement and tendering decisions where they have provided or are likely to provide advice must not accept gifts while actually engaged in these functions, unless it is principally to discuss business matters at either lunch or dinner, or at a conference or trade show

11.   Gifts or hospitality must not be accepted during, or immediately before or after, a related procurement or tendering exercise is being undertaken

Note: For the avoidance of doubt, where a member attends a conference and presents a paper or chairs a session, and is being offered free accommodation, this will not be regarded as a gift for the purposes of this policy. However, where a member is given an all-expenses (or substantially) paid attendance at a conference but has no significant role in the conference, this would be considered a gift

Definitions


The following definitions apply to this policy:

Gift means a reward, gratuity or other consideration beyond remuneration and reimbursement. It may take the form of a tangible object but might also be in the form of a benefit, for example, free use of a corporate box at a sporting event or privileged access to goods or services

Hospitality means catering and entertainment offered to clients, guests or visitors

Members means those persons who make up the University as set out in section 3(2) of The University of Auckland Act 1961 and includes University employees, students, Council committee members, contractors, sub-contractors and invitees

University means the University of Auckland and includes all subsidiaries

Key relevant documents


Include the following:

Document management and control


Owner: Director of Finance
Approved by: Vice-Chancellor
Date approved: 26 May 2014
Review date: May 2017