University of Technology Sydney UTS: Rules, Policy and Legislation


The information in this site is maintained by Governance Support Unit

Act
By-law
Rules
Delegations
Policies
A-Z
by classification
What's new in policies?
Standing Orders
Faculty Management
Controlled Entities and Commercial Activities
Legislation, Rules
and Policies home


GSU home
Gifts and Benefits Policy

Purpose

Scope

Principles

Policy statements

Policy ownership and support

Definitions

Approval information

PDF version

References

1. Purpose

1.1 The Gifts and Benefits Policy (the policy) establishes the principles to use to determine the appropriateness of accepting gifts and benefits. The policy defines the conditions for accepting, rejecting and disclosing of gifts and benefits, as well as appropriate disclosure reporting requirements.

2. Scope

2.1 This policy applies to all UTS staff and affiliates, including service providers (hereafter staff).

2.2 This policy covers all gifts and benefits received by staff in the course of their official duties. It also covers activities such as work-related functions, travel, conferences and other circumstances when a staff member is representing UTS.

2.3 This policy also applies to immediate family members, or close associates, of a staff member who receive a gift or benefit that can be reasonably attributed to the staff member’s official duties or association with UTS.

2.4 This policy does not apply to:

  • gifts and benefits provided by UTS to staff
  • gifts and benefits received by staff as a result of undertaking outside work (refer to the Outside Work Vice-Chancellor’s Directive)
  • staff performing duties listed under statement 4.2
  • honorariums from an individual organisation that do not exceed a total value of $500 in a single year, unless any single gift has a fair value of $200 or more
  • philanthropic gifts made by individuals, corporations, foundations or legal entities to assist the university in the pursuit of its vision (refer to the Philanthropic Fundraising Policy).

3. Principles

3.1 The key principles for managing gifts and benefits are integrity, disclosure and transparency.

3.2 UTS requires its staff and affiliates to act with the highest degree of professional independence and integrity.

3.3 UTS expects current and prospective suppliers to act in accordance with the Procurement Policy and provide better service and more competitive products to the university rather than offer personal benefits to staff.

4. Policy statements

What is a gift or benefit?

4.1 The following constitute a gift or benefit:

  • general gifts (eg flowers, wine, chocolates, gift baskets, lucky door prizes)
  • gift vouchers
  • corporate merchandise
  • products (eg promotional products, samples)
  • souvenirs
  • entertainment (eg dinners, theatre, sporting events, conferences)
  • travel (eg a third party paying for or subsidising flights, accommodation, meals)
  • sponsored and corporate events (eg a third party paying travel costs for a conference).

4.2 The following do not constitute a gift or benefit:

  • travel or conference attendance that is aligned with the terms of a research grant funded by a recognised government funding body (eg the Australian Research Council or National Health and Medical Research Council)
  • travel or conference attendance that is paid for by another university (or similar institution) for work falling within the normal teaching or research duties (eg thesis marking) of an academic staff member
  • travel or conference attendance where the staff member is presenting within their discipline or area of expertise at the conference of a learned society (or other professional association), and funded by the learned society (or other professional association), and is approved by UTS
  • travel or conference attendance awarded as a prize for an academic achievement

The above activities must be undertaken in accordance with the Staff Travel, Expenses and Credit Card Policy and with the full prior knowledge of the staff member’s supervisor (or equivalent).

4.3 A gift or benefit that falls under statement 4.1 might still be accepted, but it must be disclosed and dealt with in accordance with this policy.

4.4 All significant and major gifts and benefits (see statement 4.17) given to staff in the course of their official duties are the property of UTS (unless approved otherwise as per 4.17).

Assessing the appropriateness of a gift or benefit

4.5 A gift or benefit must not be accepted if it will influence, or have the potential to influence, staff in such a way as to compromise, or appear to compromise, integrity and impartiality.

4.6 A gift or benefit must not be accepted if any reasonable observer would think that the staff member may be obliged to act in a particular manner.

4.7 A gift or benefit must not be accepted if it will affect, or be seen to be likely to affect, the performance of a staff member’s official duties.

4.8 A gift or benefit must not be accepted if it will create a real or perceived conflict of interest (refer to the Code of Conduct for definitions and required actions).

4.9 A gift or benefit must not be accepted if it is related to advice or decisions about, but not limited to, awarding contracts, facilitating academic assessment, academic credit or awards, or giving approvals.

4.10 A gift or benefit must not be solicited either directly or indirectly.

4.11 A gift or benefit must not be accepted if it is offered in monetary form or as anything convertible to money.

4.12 Any obligation or potential obligation implied in accepting a gift or benefit of a greater than nominal value (see statement 4.17) must be assessed and determined by a supervisor as not compromising the integrity and impartiality of the university.

Accepting a gift or benefit

4.13 Accepting or rejecting a gift or benefit must be managed in a transparent manner with probity.

4.14 Staff should discuss gifts and benefits with their supervisor to ensure there is no real or perceived conflict of interest (refer to the Code of Conduct) or breach of this policy.

4.15 Gifts and benefits received by a staff member must be disclosed as indicated in statement 4.17.

4.16 Depending on the value of the gift or benefit (see statement 4.17), staff may need to complete the gifts and benefits declaration form (Word) (declaration form).

Authority and conditions for accepting a gift or benefit

4.17 The following table outlines the authority and conditions for accepting a gift or benefit.

Category of gift or benefit Authority and conditions of accepting gift or benefit Disclosure required
Nominal: fair value of less than $200. Staff member can accept the gift or benefit subject to verbally informing their supervisor (and where the gift or benefit meets the standards of appropriateness as detailed in statements 4.5 to 4.12). Verbal.
Significant: fair value of between $200–$500.

With their supervisor’s approval, a staff member may choose to:

  • keep the gift or benefit
  • give it to a university-related project, or
  • keep it for the benefit of the faculty/unit or university.

Whatever is chosen, it must meet the standards of appropriateness as detailed in statements 4.5 to 4.12.

Completed declaration form assessed and signed by the supervisor.
Major — single: fair value of single gift greater than $500.

With the head of unit’s approval, a staff member may choose to:

  • keep the gift or benefit
  • give it to a university-related project, or
  • keep it for the benefit of the faculty/unit or university.

Whatever is chosen, it must meet the standards of appropriateness as detailed in statements 4.5 to 4.12.

Completed declaration form assessed and signed by the supervisor and head of unit.
Major — cumulative: total value of multiple nominal or significant gifts received by a staff member in one calendar year from the same organisation that is in excess of $500.

With the head of unit’s approval, a staff member may choose to:

  • keep the gift or benefit
  • give it to a university-related project, or
  • keep it for the benefit of the faculty/unit or university.

Whatever is chosen, it must meet the standards of appropriateness as detailed in statements 4.5 to 4.12.

Completed declaration form assessed and signed by the supervisor and head of unit.

Register of significant and major gifts and benefits

4.18 The register of significant and major gifts and benefits records the details of significant and major gifts and benefits that are offered, accepted or rejected by the university. The Director, Governance Support Unit (GSU) (or nominee) maintains the register and any associated procedures and forms required to track and record this information.

Monitoring and quality assurance

4.19 The Director, GSU (or nominee) develops and implements quality assurance procedures to monitor compliance with this policy. This includes monitoring the declaration forms received, investigating declarations that do not comply with this policy and, where appropriate, referring matters to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services).

4.20 Deans and directors must confirm compliance with this policy through the annual management sign-off process.

Breaches

4.21 All suspected breaches of this policy should be reported directly to a nominated public interest disclosure officer designated in Schedule 1 of the Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Public Interest Disclosures Guidelines.

4.22 Breaches of this policy are considered a failure to comply with the Code of Conduct and will be dealt with under the code. This includes the right of UTS to notify a relevant statutory authority and/or agency where there is a breach of legislation.

5. Policy ownership and support

5.1 Policy owner: The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Corporate Services) is responsible for the enforcement, compliance and review of this policy.

5.2 Policy contact: The Director, GSU (or nominee) is the primary contact for advice on implementing, administering and monitoring compliance with this policy; and for establishing and maintaining the official file.

6. Definitions

The following definitions apply for this policy and the declaration form. These are in addition to the definitions outlined in Schedule 1, Student Rules.

Affiliate includes honorary appointees, emeritus professors, contractors, volunteers, agency staff, members of university/faculty committees (excluding UTS Council and its committees), and any other person appointed or engaged by UTS to perform work, duties or functions for UTS.

The declaration form is the UTS gifts and benefits declaration form (Word).

Fair value means:

  • the domestic recommended retail price (if known), or
  • the monetary value set by a licensed valuer (eg for antiques or jewellery), or
  • the monetary value that has been mutually agreed by the supervisor/head of unit and the Director, GSU.

Gift or benefit means both tangible and intangible items received by staff in the course of their official duties.

Head of unit means the dean or director (or equivalent) of the faculty or unit (or equivalent) of the staff member. Where the recipient of a gift or benefit is a dean, director or higher-level position, the supervisor fulfils this function.

Honorarium means a gift for a voluntary service or a professional service for which no fee is charged, set or agreed on in advance. Honorariums include ‘thank you’ gifts (eg to a speaker or presenter) and may be paid as money or property, as outlined at the Australian Taxation Office: Honorariums.

Official duties means any university function for which a staff member has influence or is employed or contracted to carry out at any time or location.

A reasonable observer means a fair-minded person in possession of the facts.

The register of significant and major gifts and benefits is the official register maintained by GSU and used to record details of significant and major gifts and benefits. Details stored in the register are treated as confidential information.

Staff means any person employed by UTS, including professional, academic or senior staff, either full-time or part-time, permanent, casual or on a contractual basis.

Supervisor means the supervisor of the staff member being offered, accepting or rejecting a gift or benefit.

Approval information

Policy contacts Director, Governance Support Unit
Approval authority Vice-Chancellor
Review date Three years post approval
File number UR20/1244
Superseded documents UTS Gifts and Benefits Vice-Chancellor’s Directive (UR05/883-2)

Version history

Version Approved by Approval date Effective date Sections modified
1.0 Vice-Chancellor 21/07/2020 11/08/2020 New policy.

PDF version

Gifts and Benefits Policy (PDF 177KB)

References

Code of Conduct

Fraud and Corruption Prevention and Public Interest Disclosures Policy and Guidelines

Gifts and benefits declaration form (Word)

Outside Work Vice-Chancellor’s Directive

Philanthropic Fundraising Policy

Procurement Policy