IntegrityStar UCF Compliance & Ethics Newsletter UCF Compliance & Ethics Newsletter

In each IntegrityStar edition, we will highlight some frequently asked questions. In this second edition, we offer the following questions and answers related to gifts. Please note there are a number of circumstances under the Florida Code of Ethics that prohibit some employees from accepting certain gifts or expenditures, namely Reporting Individuals (RI) and Procurement Employees (PE), collectively known as RIPEs. Specific guidance for RIPEs is available through the new online Web course Gifts and Honoraria 2016.

The following FAQs provide general guidelines for all other employees. When in doubt, the advice we offer is don’t accept the gift. For more specific guidance, please do not hesitate to contact University Compliance, Ethics, and Risk (UCER) at 407-823-6263 or

What is the basic gift rule for state employees?

  • You may not solicit or accept anything of value including a gift, loan, reward, promise of future employment, favor, or service based on the understanding that your official action will be influenced thereby.
  • You may not accept any compensation, payment, or thing of value when you knew, or with the exercise of reasonable care, should know that it was given to influence your official action.
  • Additional rules apply to RIPEs and those are detailed in the online Gifts and Honoraria 2016 training.

What is a gift?

  • Anything you receive for which you do not pay within 90 days. This includes, but is not limited to food or beverage, membership dues, transportation and lodging, use of property, forgiveness of a debt, entrance or admission fees, tickets to events, or services for which a fee is normally charged.

A vendor would like to discuss new products on campus and bring lunch to the employees, is this okay?

  • Vendors can speak to employees about new products and provide training but employees should not accept any gift (lunch, in this case) from the vendor.

I sometimes receive discounted or free registration to attend conferences from vendors. If my supervisor approves my attendance, is it okay for me to accept the offer?

  • You will more than likely be allowed to accept a discounted registration but complimentary attendance offered by the vendor would meet the definition of a gift and may be prohibited. For these situations, the best thing to do is to contact UCER for guidance prior to accepting a potentially prohibited gift.

We are having an employee appreciation event and would like to ask vendors to contribute small items for us to raffle off to give to our employees. Is this allowed?

  • Generally speaking, the answer is no. There is a section in state statute that prohibits this activity in most circumstances. Soliciting gifts for students and for charitable reasons, however, is not prohibited.

A vendor at a conference I am attending has invited me and a few other people from another university out to dinner, may I accept?

  • You may accept the dinner invitation if you pay for your own meal.