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Summary of the Gift Rule
Don’t accept gifts from people who want something from your employment.
Examples of the Gift Rule
- You work for the Department of Health and are responsible for purchasing a new multi-function copier. You may not accept a promotional PDA the vendor would like to give you as a thank-you for your agency’s purchase of the copier.
- Your work for the Department of Homeland Security involves traveling around and inspecting private sector facilities to ensure compliance with state regulations. You may not accept a gift certificate from one of the facilities that you regulate.
- You work for the Department of Labor and attend a business fair at which vendors are promoting their goods and services. You may accept an inexpensive plastic key ring from a vendor that has a business relationship with your agency since it is of nominal value.
- You are an employee for the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT). An employee of a company who is interested in doing business with INDOT offers to take you out to lunch to talk about it. You may not accept lunch from this person.
- You are a Family & Social Services Administration (FSSA) employee. An employee of a job training company that does contract work for FSSA sends you flowers in return for recommending this job training to individuals. You may not accept the flowers.
Past Advisory Opinions on the Gift Rule
The Rule: 42 IAC 1-5-1 Gifts; Travel Expenses; Waivers
- A state employee or special state appointee, or the spouse or unemancipated child of a state employee or special state appointee, shall not knowingly solicit, accept, or receive any:
- travel expenses; or
- registration fees
from a person who has a business relationship with the employee's or special state appointee's agency or is seeking to influence an action by the employee or special state appointee in his or her official capacity.
- The following shall not be subject to this rule:
- Gifts, favors, services, entertainment, food, drink, travel expenses or registration fees from public agencies or public institutions.
- Food or drink consumed at a public meeting to which at least twenty-five (25) individuals are invited. A meeting will be considered public if:
- the event is a reception or other gathering for public officials that is not arranged to solicit government procurement of goods or services;
- the employee is giving a speech or participating in a presentation in the employee's official capacity; or
- the meeting has a formal educational program that the employee is attending to assist him or her in performing official duties.
- Mementos or souvenirs of nominal value.
- Food or drink consumed by an employee during negotiations or other activities related to an Indiana economic development corporation economic development project.
- Gifts, favors, services, entertainment, food, or drinks from relatives, or a person with whom the employee or special state appointee has an ongoing social relationship, so long as:
- the gifts or other items of value are not deducted as a business expense; and
- the gift giver is not seeking to influence an action by an employee or special state appointee in that person's official capacity.
- Political contributions subject to IC 3-9-2 that are reported in accordance with applicable law.
- Nominal refreshments offered to a state employee or a special state appointee conducting official state business while the employee or special state appointee is at a workplace of a person who:
- has a business relationship; or
- seeks to influence official action with the employee's or special state appointee's agency.
- Discount and other promotional programs approved and made available to state employees and special state appointees through the state personnel department or the Indiana department of administration.
- An employee's or special state appointee's state officer or appointing authority may waive application of subsection (a) of this rule in individual cases when consistent with the public interest. The waiver shall:
- be in writing; and
- identify the following:
- The employee or special state appointee
- The nature and value of the gift
- The donor of the gift
- Why acceptance of the gift is consistent with the public interest.
- Written waivers must be filed with the commission within thirty (30) days of receipt of the gift. The commission may review the written waivers. An appointing authority or state officer may designate authority to the agency's ethics officer to waive application of this rule on behalf of the appointing authority or state officer. The designation shall be in writing and filed with the commission.
- If a person wishes to reimburse the state for any part or all of the expenses incurred by the state for appearances of a state officer, employee or special state appointee or their official representatives on behalf of the state, the person shall remit to the treasurer of state any such amounts. The treasurer of the state shall quietus the funds into the general fund.