5 CFR 2635.201 - Overview and considerations for declining otherwise permissible gifts.

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§ 2635.201 Overview and considerations for declining otherwise permissible gifts.

(a)Overview. This subpart contains standards that prohibit an employee from soliciting or accepting any gift from a prohibited source or any gift given because of the employee's official position, unless the item is excluded from the definition of a gift or falls within one of the exceptions set forth in this subpart.

(b)Considerations for declining otherwise permissible gifts.

(1) Every employee has a fundamental responsibility to the United States and its citizens to place loyalty to the Constitution, laws, and ethical principles above private gain. An employee's actions should promote the public's trust that this responsibility is being met. For this reason, employees should consider declining otherwise permissible gifts if they believe that a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts would question the employee's integrity or impartiality as a result of accepting the gift.

(2) An employee who is considering whether acceptance of a gift would lead a reasonable person with knowledge of the relevant facts to question his or her integrity or impartiality may consider, among other relevant factors, whether:

(i) The gift has a high market value;

(ii) The timing of the gift creates the appearance that the donor is seeking to influence an official action;

(iii) The gift was provided by a person who has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's official duties; and

(iv) Acceptance of the gift would provide the donor with significantly disproportionate access.

(3) Notwithstanding paragraph (b)(1) of this section, an employee who accepts a gift that qualifies for an exception under § 2635.204 does not violate this subpart or the Principles of Ethical Conduct set forth in § 2635.101(b).

(4) Employees who have questions regarding this subpart, including whether the employee should decline a gift that would otherwise be permitted under an exception found in § 2635.204, should seek advice from an agency ethics official.

Example 1 to paragraph (b):
An employee of the Peace Corps is in charge of making routine purchases of office supplies. After a promotional presentation to highlight several new products, a vendor offers to buy the employee lunch, which costs less than $20. The employee is concerned that a reasonable person may question her impartiality in accepting the free lunch, as the timing of the offer indicates that the donor may be seeking to influence an official action and the company has interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or nonperformance of the employee's duties. As such, although acceptance of the gift may be permissible under § 2635.204(a), the employee decides to decline the gift.

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 5 - APPENDIX
U.S. Code: Title 5 - GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES
Presidential Documents

Executive Order ... 12674

Executive Order ... 12731