The acceptance of gifts or hospitality by staff or volunteers could be perceived as a conflict of interest that may compromise impartiality.
Offers of gifts should be reported to the Trustees and recorded in the Gifts and Hospitality Register, unless of insignificant value, such as a key ring or similar. In general, gifts that may be of value of more than £50, should be included. In considering accepting gifts, the following principles should be applied:
- The reason and timing of the gift must be appropriate. For example, a bottle of wine at Christmas, as opposed to a substantial gift just prior to a contract decision being made.
- It should be of limited value. In general, no more than £50 for any one gift or £250 in cumulative value from any one individual or organisation in a 12-month period.
- It should be of a one-off or irregular nature. That is, would not be viewed by HMRC as a regular source of income for personal taxation purposes.
- Where possible, gifts should be applied for charitable purposes, unless this would cause offence. For example, included in a raffle rather than retained by the individual.
In exceptional circumstances, these principles may be overridden, where this can be justified by business needs. For example, where a visitor presents an unexpected substantial gift and refusal would cause offence.
The register will be reviewed, signed by the Chair and published on an annual basis.