Guide to Gifts The following is a general guide and starting point to understanding some of the requirements of the Code of Ethics. Persons reading this guide are urged to refer to the relevant sections of the Code of Ethics (see top menu), to seek formal or informal guidance from the Ethics Commission, or to speak with legal counsel regarding the proper application of the Code of Ethics to any specific facts. GIFTS LINKED TO OFFICIAL ACTION A person subject to the Code of Ethics may not accept anything of value based on an expectation or understanding that the gift will influence that person’s judgment or official actions. WHAT OTHER GIFTS ARE PROHIBITED? Gifts of cash, debt forbearance or debt forgiveness, of any amount. A gift (including but not limited to: goods, services, loans, rewards, promises of employment, favors, gratuities, or special discounts) having either a fair market value or actual cost greater than $25. Gifts from a the same source, even if given by different individuals representing the same source, in one calendar year having an aggregate fair market value or aggregate actual cost greater than $75. DOES THE GIFT REGULATION APPLY TO GIFTS RECEIVED FROM EVERYONE? No. The Gift Regulation only applies to gifts received from an “interested person.” An interested person is a person or a representative of a person or entity that has a financial interest in a decision that the public official or employee is authorized to make, or to participate in the making of, as part of his or her official duties. ARE THERE EXCEPTIONS? If the interested person receives lawful consideration of equal or greater value in return, then the transfer is not considered a gift. If the gift is immediately returned or given to a bona fide charity with no benefit accruing to the public official or employee, then the transfer is not considered a gift. Lawful campaign contributions are not subject to the gift regulation. Certain services to assist an official or employee in the performance of official duties and responsibilities are not considered gifts. A plaque or similar item in recognition of service to a charity or field of specialty. A gift from a family member who is also an interested person. A gift that is given because of the recipient’s membership in a group, the majority of whose members are not subject to the Code of Ethics, and the same or equivalent gift is given or offered to the other members of the group. ARE THERE RULES SPECIFIC TO PROCUREMENT OFFICIALS AS TO VENDORS? Yes. A state procurement official may not accept any goods or services for personal use for less than fair market value from state vendors or prospective vendors within a 24-month period if the goods or services have a fair market value of $100 or more.