The council expects all staff to display high standards of integrity in their relationships with third parties.
Gifts, hospitality or other benefits offered to council staff or their families by a third party could, or could be seen to, compromise their personal judgement or integrity and might appear to place the member of staff under an obligation. This is particularly the case where the gesture or offer could be interpreted as being made in an attempt to influence decision-making.
It is not possible to be prescriptive and define every eventuality where council staff should not accept gifts and/or hospitality, but council staff should remember the need to be seen to display the core public sector principles of selflessness, integrity, objectivity and honesty at all times.
If a staff member is unsure as to whether or not it is appropriate to accept a gift and/or hospitality, even after consulting this procedure, then, ultimately, the best advice is “If in doubt, decline”.