• Acceptance of Promotional Benefits - August 2006

    The State Supply Commission is aware that the issue of public sector employees accepting promotional benefits in connection with the supply of goods and/or services has once again been raised.

    All public sector employees must be aware of their responsibilities in relation to this.

    Promotional benefits are essentially gifts. As such, they must be treated in accordance with the government’s established policy for managing any offer of gifts or other benefits to a public sector employee.

    The Western Australian Public Sector Code of Ethics requires all public sector employees to act with honesty and integrity. In particular, the Code specifically outlines a requirement for all public sector employees to:

    • behave honestly in all dealings; and
    • ensure that their position as a public sector employee is not used for personal profit or gain.

    Compliance with the broad requirements of the Public Sector Code of Ethics is expressly reinforced in the State Supply Commission’s Integrity, Ethics & Probity Policy and associated guidelines. This policy requires that all officers or employees of public authorities observe the highest standards of integrity, ethics and probity in undertaking any procurement activity. This includes acting in a manner that does not compromise the standing of government or public confidence in the government’s procurement processes.

    In the context of promotional offers, these ethical standards require that public sector officers or employees do not accept, individually or on behalf of any other person, any article of monetary value in exchange for any act or omission in the performance of a procurement function. As a matter of best practice, all prospective suppliers, including suppliers offering promotional benefits, should be advised that the provision of gifts or any other non-requested benefit is actively discouraged and will not influence the evaluation of bids for government contracts for goods or services.

    Public authorities’ accountable officers have a responsibility to implement clear and consistent protocols for all employees to follow in the event that a gift or benefit is offered.

    These principles and standards of behaviour must be observed and enforced through all stages of the procurement process. This is to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of all parties and the proper expenditure of public monies based on achieving value for money.

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    Published date: 01 August 2006