November 16, 2017

Know your Alabama Ethics Law before accepting gifts from UAB vendors

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Ethics 300Throughout the year and during the holiday season, UAB employees should be mindful that Alabama law restricts items you may receive from vendors. As a public employee with expectations of appropriate stewardship, you may not use your position to reap private gains or receive special personal benefits.

However, items of de minimis value — such as greeting cards, plaques or other items intended solely for presentation, promotional items commonly distributed to the general public and items that have no resale value or value to others — are permissible under state law.  The statute defines de minimis as a value of $25 or less per occasion with an aggregate of $50 or less in a calendar year from a single provider. Other amounts may be prescribed by the Ethics Commission.

Before you accept a personal gift from a business partner, determine whether it is allowed by state ethics law and the school or unit policy on receipt of gifts.

If it is not permissible, you should decline it and return it to the donor, pay the donor market value for it or give it to an appropriate charity through the UAB Development Office.

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