Acceptance of Benefits, Awards and Prizes

Acceptance of Benefits, Awards and Prizes

UAB employees who participate in purchase decisions are prohibited from accepting personal gifts from commercial enterprises currently engaged in business with the university or those likely to do business with UAB in the future.
Effective Date:
None Assigned
Administrative Category:
Applies To:
Faculty, Staff, Students
Material Original Source:

University of Alabama at Birmingham


April 16, 1998

(Replaces policy entitled “Acceptance of Benefits Offered by Commercial Enterprises” dated July 10, 1986)



Related Policy

UAB Enterprise Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy



Commercial enterprises frequently offer personal inducements to customers or to potential customers if they will purchase or order goods and services from them. This may result, in fact or in appearance, in purchase decisions' being made with commercial enterprises on a basis other than which enterprise offers goods or services of the greatest benefit to UAB.

Also, organizations and other external entities make awards and prizes to UAB employees for accomplishments in the employee's field of work at UAB. This policy covers those instances and specifies the required reporting of awards and prizes.

Policy Statement--Purchase Decisions

UAB employees (including faculty) who participate in purchase decisions or who purchase goods or services for UAB are prohibited from accepting personal gifts, services, gratuities, or other things of more than nominal value for themselves or for members of their immediate families from commercial enterprises with which UAB does business or with which it is likely to do business. Gifts or other favors of nominal value may be accepted by an employee or by members of the employee's immediate family where it is clear that the offer of the gift stems primarily from a personal rather than a business association and that refusal of the gift would affront the giver, where the gift is in the nature of promotional materials, or where the gift is in the nature of food or entertainment when such gifts are business-oriented and can be reciprocated. Expenses associated with social occasions afforded employees are not deemed a thing of value within the meaning of this policy nor are they prohibited hereby.

Employee's good judgment will determine whether or not the value of the gift or the circumstances under which it is given are such that the employee and/or UAB are placed in an embarrassing position. Should there be any doubt as to the appropriateness of a gift, service, or gratuity, the employee should discuss it with, and receive approval from, his or her immediate supervisor. If unresolvable by the supervisor, the matter should be referred to the Office of Human Resource Management which will seek a legal opinion from the Office of Counsel when necessary.

Policy Statement--Awards and Prizes

Appreciation of the accomplishments of UAB employees by those outside the institution reflects positively on the institution and is in UAB's best interests. Therefore, UAB employees may accept awards and prizes from organizations and other entities outside the institution for their outstanding teaching, research, and/or service performed in the course of their employment with UAB provided, however, that acceptance of such awards and prizes shall not create a conflict with the interests of UAB or with the recipient's role at UAB. In addition to the stipulations of this section, awards or prizes provided by commercial enterprises also are covered by stipulations of the section entitled "Policy Statement--Purchase Decisions." Acceptance of awards or prizes which have the potential for influencing extramurally funded research and educational activities also are covered by the UAB "Conflicts of Interest" policy. Not covered by this policy are honoraria defined for purposes of this policy as token payments in lieu of compensation for appearances, speeches, etc.

If recognition of a UAB employee by an external entity includes a monetary prize in excess of $100 or some other tangible benefit valued in excess of $100, the recipient must report such award or prize to the Provost/Vice President/Director of the UAB Health System, as appropriate, prior to accepting it. If the Provost/Vice President/Director of the UAB Health System is a recipient of such an award or prize, the proposed award or prize must be reported to the President.


The Vice President for Financial Affairs and Administration is responsible for procedures to implement this policy.