Guidelines for Receiving Holiday Gifts from Vendors
If a salesman gives a holiday fruit basket to a department or pays for the lunch of a prospective customer, such "freebies" will generally not be considered to be inappropriate, even in today's climate of heightened ethical sensitivity. But, there is real concern when vendors offer more valuable items such as free trips or high-priced sporting event tickets. In those situations, it is possible that the gifts could be intended to inappropriately influence business or induce referrals.
So, if you are confronted with an offer from a vendor, and you want to know, "Can I Take It?", we suggest you follow this simple guideline. If by accepting the vendor's offer, you will feel obliged to begin to use or increase our current use of that vendor's products, you should politely refuse the offer.
On the other hand, it is perfectly acceptable for vendors to give charitable donations to nonprofit organizations with which they do business. So, if a vendor who wants to make a contribution to the hospital or the University approaches you, you should suggest that the vendor contact our Development Office.
Remember that the Compliance Officer is available to help in addressing these sometimes "hard to call" situations.