(a)General prohibitions. Except as provided in this subpart, an employee shall not, directly or indirectly, solicit or accept a gift:
(1) From a prohibited source; or
(2) Given because of the employee's official position.
(b)Relationship to illegal gratuities statute. Unless accepted in violation of paragraph (c)(1) of this section, a gift accepted under the standards set forth in this subpart shall not constitute an illegal gratuity otherwise prohibited by 18 U.S.C. 201(c)(1)(B).
(c)Limitations on use of exceptions. Notwithstanding any exception provided in this subpart, other than § 2635.204(j), an employee shall not:
(1) Accept a gift in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act;
(2) Solicit or coerce the offering of a gift;
(3) Accept gifts from the same or different sources on a basis so frequent that a reasonable person would be led to believe the employee is using his public office for private gain;
A purchasing agent for a Veterans Administration hospital routinely deals with representatives of pharmaceutical manufacturers who provide information about new company products. Because of his crowded calendar, the purchasing agent has offered to meet with manufacturer representatives during his lunch hours Tuesdays through Thursdays and the representatives routinely arrive at the employee's office bringing a sandwich and a soft drink for the employee. Even though the market value of each of the lunches is less than $6 and the aggregate value from any one manufacturer does not exceed the $50 aggregate limitation in § 2635.204(a) on de minimis gifts of $20 or less, the practice of accepting even these modest gifts on a recurring basis is improper.
(4) Accept a gift in violation of any statute. Relevant statutes applicable to all employees include:
(i)18 U.S.C. 201(b), which prohibits a public official from seeking, accepting, or agreeing to receive or accept anything of value in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act or for being induced to take or omit to take any action in violation of his official duty. As used in 18 U.S.C. 201(b), the term “public official” is broadly construed and includes regular and special Government employees as well as all other Government officials; and
(ii)18 U.S.C. 209, which prohibits an employee, other than a special Government employee, from receiving any salary or any contribution to or supplementation of salary from any source other than the United States as compensation for services as a Government employee. The statute contains several specific exceptions to this general prohibition, including an exception for contributions made from the treasury of a State, county, or municipality; or
(5) Accept vendor promotional training contrary to applicable regulations, policies or guidance relating to the procurement of supplies and services for the Government, except pursuant to § 2635.204(l).
[57 FR 35041, Aug. 7, 1992; 57 FR 48557, Oct. 27, 1992, as amended at 62 FR 48747, Sept. 17, 1997]
Title 5 published on 2014-01-01
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