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Gifts and Hospitality

Section 117 of the Local Government Act 1972 requires that “an officer of a Local Authority shall not, under colour of his/her office or employment, accept any fee or reward whatsoever other than his/her proper remuneration”.

An officer who contravenes the provisions of Section 117 will be liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £2,500.

You must not:

  • Accept personal gifts, loans, fees, rewards or advantage from service users, contractors, potential contractors including those who have previously worked for Council, or outside suppliers, regardless of the value
  • Accept inducements e.g. a bribe. All offers of inducement must immediately be reported to the appropriate senior manager and be registered as set out in this guidance note.

You must:

  • Respectfully decline any offer of a gift or hospitality, explaining the Council’s position
  • Respectfully decline any offer of hospitality where it might be seen by the public to compromise your integrity e.g. complimentary tickets to sporting events etc.
  • Declare any offer of a gift or hospitality using our on-line Declaration of Gifts and Hospitality process, regardless of the value, which can be found on your MyView Account under the "My Forms" section.

If declining the offer of a gift is likely to cause offence due to cultural or religious beliefs, consider donating the gift to a local charity.

We understand that, from time to time, you will be offered complimentary low value promotional materials whilst discharging your duties.

In cases such as these it is permissible for you to accept such low value items providing the gift is to be used for work purposes and is preferably marked with the donor’s branding or company name.

Examples may include items such as diaries, calendars, pens, mouse mats or any other low value stationery item. These types of items do not need to be declared.

We understand that, from time to time, you will be offered hospitality whilst attending conferences, seminars, training events, courses, meetings with partnership organisations etc.

In cases such as these, it is permissible to accept the hospitality where it is clear the hospitality is corporate rather than personal, and where the Council is satisfied that any purchasing decisions are not compromised.

Where visits to inspect equipment etc. are required, you should ensure the Council meets the cost of such visits to avoid jeopardising the integrity of subsequent purchasing decisions.

Where attendance at such events is considered appropriate, attendance should be authorised in advance by your Director or Head of Service. When deciding the appropriateness of accepting such hospitality, consideration will be given in all cases to the benefits to the Council.

When receiving authorised hospitality, employees should be particularly sensitive as to its timing in relation to decisions which the Council may be taking affecting those providing the hospitality.

If you attend events with Elected Members, other Council employees or guests, you are not permitted to reclaim expenses relating to the provision of hospitality at that event such as drinks, etc.

If an employee’s interpretations of this Code and/or their actions are called into question, it is the responsibility of the appropriate manager to investigate whether the person acted in good faith according to their understanding of the Code of Conduct.

Where acceptance of gifts and hospitality are deemed appropriate, authorisation from the relevant Director or Head of Service will be required. It is suggested that this authorisation is captured electronically via e-mail.

If the offer is made to a Head of Service, the appropriate Corporate Director will provide the authorisation.

If the offer is made to the Corporate Director, the Chief Executive will provide the authorisation.

If the offer is made to the Chief Executive, the Monitoring Officer will provide the authorisation.

 

Page updated: 29/06/2021 12:21:32