Microsoft is currently offering a “
I have been to Microsoft events in the past where every attendee gets a free gift. Except for government/public sector employees who have to pick up their name badges and walk away empty handed. And I once sent a small year-end gift to all our clients, but one client at a municipality returned the gift with a polite note that it could not be accepted.
This prompted me to do some research about why public sector companies cannot accept gifts.
According to Wikipidia the Public Sector, sometimes referred to as the state sector is a part of the state that deals with either the production, delivery and allocation of goods and services by and for the government or its citizens, whether national, regional or local/municipal. Examples of public sector activity range from delivering social security, administering urban planning and organizing national defenses.
A booklet called “
Basically the reason for this rule is simple - gifts could be used as bribery.
But what is considered a gift? It seems that this is not always a black and white issue. The definition of what is acceptable varies state by state and even state agency by state agency.
The state of Connecticut “
Of course the main way to determine if something is a gift is the perceived monetary value. Each state agency has a policy on a specific dollar amount that defines what is considered acceptable.
So some agencies can accept a box of chocolates if they feel they are worth less than say, $25. While other agencies cannot. I found out that the states of Massachusetts and Connecticut have a gift limit of $50.
An additional consideration is whether the gift it is a single occurrence or one of a series. A series of small gifts or benefits, even with nominal value (like pens or baseball caps) may have a combined value that exceeds the agency’s stipulated maximum.
But just when you thought you understood the rules, the rule book makes the point that the dollar amount is not ALWAYS the deciding factor.
What do you think, can a government employee could accept a gift in this scenario below?
Example: You are in the process of reviewing a bid for work at your agency. The contractor submitting the bid provides you with a gift certificate for $45 to a popular West Hartford eatery for you to use on your own. You have not previously received anything of value from this individual.
Answer: No. Even though the certificate is under the permissible $50 food and beverage limit, this gift is not allowed because the contractor or his/her representative will not be in attendance while the food and beverage is being consumed.
Other examples of prohibited "gifts" include: sports tickets, costs of drinks and meals, travel expenses, conference fees, gifts of appreciation, entertainment expenses, free use of vacation homes and complimentary tickets to charitable events.
So what should a state employee do if they receive an illegal box of chocolates? The state of MA rule book
Two Microsoft Dynamics ERP licenses are certainly worth more than $50. So a public sector company cannot accept them for free. However, they can purchase a Microsoft Dynamics ERP software system at 67% off the list price. (
But the same fine print applies in either case. Read: Eligibility & Exclusions for the Microsoft Dynamics ERP “Buy 1, Get 3″ Sales Offer: Understanding the Fine Print. And remember, free or discounted, this offer expires on June 24, 2011.
For full information visit the
If you are a Connecticut or Massachusetts Public Sector company that is interested in Microsoft Dynamics GP
By CAL Business Solutions,
(Note: this information in this post is based solely on my research and novice interpretation. I have never worked for a public agency and make no guarantee that the info here is accurate or complete)