Attachment 1

Gift Policy for Elected Members

 

gift policy FOR ELECTED MEMBERS 

 

1.    POLICY STATEMENT

Elected Members will seek to promote the highest standards of ethical conduct.  There is the possibility that the acceptance of gifts, favours and hospitality could be construed as a bribe or perceived as undue influence.  Elected members need to treat with caution any offer, gift, favour or hospitality made to them personally, to avoid the risk of damage to public confidence in local government.

Elected Members cannot solicit, demand or request any gift, reward or benefit by virtue of their position.

2.    PURPOSE

       This policy clarifies how gifts received by elected members are managed.

3.    SCOPE

       This policy applies to all elected members of Hutt City Council.

4.    PRINCIPLES

As a general rule, gifts should not be accepted (whatever its nature or value) if the gift could be seen by others as either an inducement or a reward which might place the elected member under an obligation to a third party.

Elected members may be hosted for sports/cultural/entertainment events.  Such customary business dealings do not require declaration in the Gifts Register, provided that they are not excessive in frequency or amount and do not otherwise create the appearance of impropriety, in which case the offer should be declined or self-funded.  A ‘ticket’ in excess of $100 to attend such events may be acceptable providing:

§            There is clear benefit in building relationships

§            That the event does not alter impartiality

§            That the host is not in an “active” or soon to be active tender situation.

       To prevent any misunderstanding, further guidance is available from Council’s Risk and Assurance Manager.

       Elected members must:

·                  Report to the Chief Executive if any gift, reward or benefit to the value of $100 or more are accepted; and

·                  Disclose acceptance of any gift, reward or benefit to the value of $100 or more in the Gifts Register, which is maintained by Council’s Risk and Assurance Manager.


Name of Person Receiving Gift

Position

Approximate Value of Gift

Description of Gift

Name of Company giving gift

Date Gift Received 

Manager informed
Yes/No

Comments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       Any failure by elected members to comply with the above principles represents a breach of the Code of Conduct.  Refer Sections 10 and 12 of the Code of Conduct for Elected Members.

5.    CIVIC GIFTS

       This policy does not include business meals or the like which are considered to be part of the usual process of doing business; Sister City gift exchanges or other official proceedings where refusal to accept is likely to cause offence.  Such gifts are considered to be gifts to the Mayor’s Office or Council and will be the property of Council rather than to the individual member.  It is also recognised that it is appropriate to elected members to accept small gifts made to them personally for example in appreciation for home hosting delegates from a Sister City.

DISPLAY

Wherever possible civic gifts should be put on display.

6.      Koha

Koha is an unconditional gift and given with the intention of aroha – kindness, goodwill, support and/or appreciation of the occasion.  Council acknowledges the important practice of koha as a taonga and integral part of Tikanga Maori, under the Treaty of Waitangi.  Any koha given on behalf of Council should be reflective of the occasion and more importantly the prestige of the Council in its relations with Tangata Whenua.

If there is a group or collective of elected members, only one koha should be given which represents the entire group or collective.  The amount of koha should reflect the occasion, the mana and the prestige of elected members in attendance, eg if the Mayor and/or Councillors are attending a hui, then a koha which is befitting their status should be given.

Further guidance is available from Council’s Kaitakawaenga Kaupapa Maori.

 

RELATED POLICIES

Elected Members Code of Conduct

Members Interest Register

Sensitive Expenditure Policy