Gift Policies

Often, in the context of professional relationships, there are users, suppliers or other people who relate to public servants who offer gifts or other benefits, which can become private interests that influence professional judgment and therefore generate , situations of potential conflict of interest.

The aim of a gift policy is that, given the offer of a gift or other non-monetary benefits, people who are part of a public institution know without a doubt what obligation they have as public servants and what procedures they must follow.

Gifts and other non-monetary benefits can be offered from gratitude and with the will to recognize a job well done, especially in certain cultures. But they can also be offered as a subtle way of influencing, creating a favorable impression or gaining preferential treatment. How can we be sure that the gratitude that the person who has accepted a certain gift or benefit will feel, such as a discount or advantage for the acquisition of goods and services or an offer of hospitality (a meal, an invitation for an event sports or a fair, or any coverage of travel expenses, etc.), will not create a sense of obligation or simply a different predisposition when evaluating future proposals or requests of who has offered the gift?

The gifts or benefits can, therefore, place a public servant in a situation of conflict of interest, because the gratitude derived from the acceptance of the gift can influence the future independence and impartiality of the recipient public servant. And this is precisely the difference between the gift (a corruption risk classifiable as a conflict of interest, relevant enough for the legislator to regulate in article 422 of the Criminal Code, also known as improper bribery) and bribery (an act of corruption where the purpose is to obtain a decision favorable to private interests in exchange for what is offered).