Gifts and benefits
The ICAC is currently revising its advice on gifts and benefits. In the interim, enquiries can be made at the following agencies:
- the NSW Audit Office, Managing Gifts and Benefits
- the Public Service Commission (currently developing guidance for state agencies arising from the Auditor-General's report at the above link)
- the Division of Local Government of the Department of Premier and Cabinet (recently issued new model code of conduct which deals with gifts and benefits and sets minimum standards for councils).
Gifts and benefits have been at issue in ICAC inquiries and there have been some recommendations made.
In its report, Investigation into allegations that staff from a number of local councils and other public authorities accepted secret benefits from suppliers (Operation Jarek), 22 employees or former employees of 14 local councils and another public authority in NSW were found to have engaged in corrupt conduct by accepting gift vouchers and other gifts from suppliers as an inducement to continue placing orders with the suppliers or as a reward for placing orders with the companies.
The Commission recommended tighter controls on gifts and benefits in the high-risk area of procurement, namely that councils ensure that their policy provides that all staff who hold financial delegations are prohibited from receiving gifts of any kind.
The 2009 report Attempts to improperly influence a Ku-ring-gai Council officer (Operation Capella) also makes recommendations regarding gifts.