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Receipt of Gifts or Benefits
Impartiality may not be compromised by acceptance of gifts or benefits
The Public Service Act, 1999 specifies that a public servant must not take advantage, or seek to take advantage, of their official position in order to obtain a benefit for either themselves or someone else. Benefits that may compromise the ethics of a decision maker include:
- sponsored travel;
- frequent flyer benefits;
- airline lottery type prizes;
- substantial hospitality;
- car hire discounts; and
Secretary may approve acceptance of gift
A gift may only be accepted with the express written approval of the Secretary. However, the Secretary may specify the conditions under which a gift or benefit may be accepted without seeking written approval.More ?
Factors taken into account when assessing acceptability of gifts
Some of the factors which are taken into consideration when assessing whether a gift or benefit should be accepted include:
- whether acceptance of the gift would give rise to, or appear, to be a conflict of interest;
- the possibility of a continuing relationship with the donor;
- the value of the gift; and
- whether refusal of the gift would have possible adverse consequences to the Commonwealth.
Acceptance of bribes and solicited gifts are offences
Any acceptance of a benefit or gift which could be defined as a bribe would not result in disciplinary action under the Public Service Act 1999, but is an offence under the Crimes Act 1914. It is also an offence to solicit a gift in return for the public servant either performing, or refraining from performing, a specific action.More ?
APS Values and Code of Conduct in practice - Chapter 12: Gifts and benefits
DVA Guidelines for the Acceptance of Gifts and Benefits (internal/DVA staff link)
Acceptance of gifts or benefits refer to the Public Service Act, 1999