Definition of Solicited or accepted because of official position

Solicited or accepted because of official position means that the gift is from a person, other than an employee, and would have not been solicited, offered, or given had the employee not held the status, authority, or duties associated with his or her Federal position. "Indirect gift" is a gift given with the employee's knowledge and acquiescence to the employee's parent, sibling, spouse, child or dependent relative because of the relationship to the employee or is given to another person, including a charity, on the employee's designation, recommendation, or other specification.CFR 2635.203. Exceptions: The following are the exceptions to the gift prohibition. (Note that the regulations prohibit employees from accepting gifts from the same source so frequently that a reasonable person would be led to believe the employee is using public office for private gain. Even though a gift may be accepted legally, "it is never inappropriate and frequently prudent for an employee to decline a gift offered from a prohibited source or because of his official position.") 1. Gifts of $20 or less. Employees may accept unsolicited gifts having a market value of $20 or less per occasion, but may not accept gifts with a value of more than $50 from a single source in a calendar year. This exception does not authorize the acceptance of cash or investment interests, such as stocks, bonds, or certificates of deposit. (Note that an individual NRC licensee or contractor and all of its employees would be considered the same single source.) If a gift exceeds $20 in value, the employee cannot pay the excess value over $20 in order to accept the gift. If more than one gift offered on a single occasion exceeds $20 in aggregate value, the employee may decline any distinct item in order to accept those items aggregating $20 or less. 2. Personal gifts. Employees may accept gifts that are clearly motivated by a family relationship or personal friendship rather than the employee's position. (Meals or gifts funded from corporate expense accounts are not personal gifts.) 3. Discounts. Employees may accept reduced membership or other fees from professional organizations for participation in their activities, if the offer is available to all government employees and the only restrictions on membership relate to professional qualifications. Employees may also accept opportunities and benefits, including favorable rates and commercial discounts, that are: * Offered to members of a group or class in which membership is unrelated to Government employment; * Offered to members of an organization, such as an employees' association or credit union, in which membership is related to Government employment if the same offer is available to large segments of the public through similar organizations; * Offered by a non-prohibited source to any group or class not defined in a manner that specifically discriminates among Government employees on the basis of official responsibility or favors those of higher rank or pay. However, employees cannot personally accept any benefit to which the Government would be entitled because of the use of Government funds, such as a free gift resulting from the agency's purchases from a vendor. December 2009
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