Derbyshire Constabulary GIFTS, GRATUITIES AND HOSPITALITY GUIDANCE POLICY REFERENCE 12/311. This guidance is suitable for Public Disclosure

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1 Derbyshire Constabulary GIFTS, GRATUITIES AND HOSPITALITY GUIDANCE POLICY REFERENCE 12/311 This guidance is suitable for Public Disclosure Owner of Doc: Head of Department, Professional Standards Date Approved: July 2012 Review Date: April

2 INDEX Heading Page No 1. Guidance Identification Page Legislative Compliance Introduction Key Principles Register of Gifts and Hospitality Considerations Monitoring and Review Appeals

3 1. Guidance Identification Page Guidance title: Gifts, Gratuities and Hospitality Guidance Registry Reference number: 12/311 Guidance implementation date: July 2012 Guidance review date: April 2019 Department / Division responsible: Guidance owner: Professional Standards Head of Department Last reviewed by: Ch. Insp. Smith Date last reviewed: April 2017 Impacts on other policies / guidance / documents (list): None Disclosable under FOI Act? YES Guidance to be published on Intranet? YES Is the guidance suitable for Public Disclosure and publication on the Force Website? YES 3

4 2. Legislative Compliance This document has been drafted to comply with the principles of the Human Rights Act. Proportionality has been identified as the key to Human Rights compliance, this means striking a fair balance between the rights of the individual and those of the rest of the community. There must be a reasonable relationship between the aim to be achieved and the means used. Equality and Diversity issues have also been considered to ensure compliance with the Equality Act 2010 and meet our legal obligation in relation to the equality duty. In addition, Data Protection, Freedom of Information and Health and Safety Issues have been considered. Adherence to this policy or procedure will therefore ensure compliance with all relevant legislation and internal policies. 3. Introduction This guidance provides police officers, special constables and police staff with an ethical framework in which to determine the boundaries of acceptability around gifts and hospitality and should be used where necessary for dealing with gifts, gratuities and hospitality. The acceptance of gifts or hospitality can undermine personal and professional integrity and to reinforce the importance of preventing allegations of corrupt practices or improper relationships with any member of the public or corporate body arising from the offer or acceptance of any gift, gratuity or hospitality, it is necessary to demonstrate transparency where this process takes place. The responsibility for determining the acceptability or otherwise of any gift, gratuity and hospitality is a matter for Line Management, supported by analytical review by the Counter Corruption Unit. It is important that high quality customer service is provided as part of the Gifts, Gratuities and Hospitality Guidance and the standards specified in the Customer Service Policy apply throughout this document. 4. Key Principles Police officers, special constables and police staff are subject to standards of professional behaviour and the Code of Ethics, chief amongst which is that which relates to honesty and integrity. This standard specifically states that officers and staff are honest, act with integrity, do not compromise or abuse their position and makes it clear that officers and staff should never solicit the offer of any gift, gratuity, favour or hospitality in any way connected to or arising from their role within the police service, whether on or off duty. As a further guiding principle, police officers, special constables and staff should not accept the offer of any gift, gratuity, favour or hospitality as to do so might compromise their impartiality or give rise to a perception of such compromise. Offers of a gift, gratuity or hospitality vary widely according to the circumstances and will range from readily identifiable examples of criminality (such as a breach of the Bribery Act 2010) through to instances of entirely appropriate and reasonable extension of gratitude and 4

5 common courtesy which do not amount to any suggestion of any breach of integrity of any party. The provisions of the Bribery Act 2010 contains two general offences covering the offering, promising of giving of a bribe (active bribery) and the requesting, agreeing to receive or accepting a bribe (passive bribery) at sections 1 and 2 respectively. The provisions of the Act extend the definition of bribery to include seeking (or agreeing) to bring about improper performance of duties which includes a public function such as policing. Improper performance amounts to any breach of an expectation that a person will act in good faith, impartiality, or in accordance with a position of trust. The Act does not prohibit reasonable and proportionate hospitality and promotional or other similar business expenditure intended to improve the image of a commercial organisation, to better present products and services, or to establish cordial relations. It is, however, clear that hospitality and promotional or other similar business expenditure can be employed as bribes. Considerations in this regard will include the degree of lavishness of a gratuity or hospitality connected to the business in question. The existence or otherwise of previously offered or accepted gratuities or hospitality may also be relevant. During the course of their duties in the community, police officers, special constables or staff may well occasionally be offered gifts or hospitality which do not in any circumstances amount to any breach of integrity on the part of either party. Examples of such include the provision of light refreshments as a common courtesy in line with policing duties, inexpensive promotional products from partnerships or conferences, or discounts aimed at all members of the wider police service. Officers and staff should be aware that at times a refusal to accept such an offer may cause unnecessary offence or might hinder productive working relationships. Equally, to accept such an offer may be misinterpreted and could lead to inaccurate expectations of favour or service. Where doubt exists, advice should be sought from the Counter Corruption Unit. Where it does not prove possible to tactfully refuse or return any offered gratuity or hospitality the recipient should ensure they complete force form 55 - Gifts, Gratuities and Hospitality Form, which can be accessed via the Counter Corruption Unit website or Force Forms. 5. Register of Gifts and Hospitality The Counter Corruption Unit will maintain a corporate Register of Gifts, Gratuities and Hospitality under the direction and control of the Head of Professional Standards, who will ensure scrutiny, auditing and governance of the Register in line with wider corporate governance or matters of integrity and counter corruption. As a minimum, entries should include the nature of the offer, the surrounding circumstances in which the offer was made, the estimated value of the gift, gratuity or hospitality and whether permission to accept any such offer was granted or not by Line Management. Declarations of offers of gifts, gratuities or hospitality, irrespective of whether accepted or rejected by the recipient, should be made to ensure integrity and particularly in instances where there is concern over the motivation behind the offer of the gift, gratuity or hospitality. Exemptions from any requirement to record should generally extend only to those instances of impromptu and unforeseen provision of light refreshments in line with policing duties, 5

6 inexpensive promotional products from partnerships or conferences, or discounts aimed at all members of the wider police service. 6. Considerations The following considerations should assist police officers, special constables and staff in determining the boundaries of acceptability of any gift, gratuity or hospitality: - Genuine: Is this offer made for reasons of genuine appreciation for something I have done? Why is this offer being made, what are the circumstances, have I solicited this officer in any way or does the donor feel obliged to make this offer? Independent: Would the officer or acceptance be seen as reasonable in the eyes of the public? Would a reasonable bystander be confident I could remain impartial and independent in all of the circumstances? Free: Could I always feel free of any obligation to do something in return? How do I feel about the propriety of the offer? What are the donor s expectations of me should I accept? Transparent: Would I be comfortable if my acceptance of this offer was transparent to my force, colleagues and to the public or was reported publicly? What could be the outcome for the force if this offer was accepted or declined? To assist individual police officers, special constables and police staff, line managers, heads of professional standards and chief officers to reach a consistency of approach in applying the considerations listed above; the following cases provide additional guidance. A Gift may be accepted if it is: Of a trivial or inexpensive nature (for example, diaries, calendars, stationery or other small items offered during a courtesy visit or conference); A small commemorative item from visiting overseas law enforcement of governmental agencies or similar organisations; A bona fide, unsolicited and inexpensive gift of thanks from members of the public or victim of crime offered to individual officers or teams in genuine appreciation of outstanding levels of service and where the offer of such a gift or hospitality cannot be courtesy refused in a manner that does not cause offence or embarrassment to the organisation or individual making the offer. All such gifts should nonetheless be subject of a declaration through completion of a Gifts, Gratuities and Hospitality form. A Gift should not be accepted if it is: Gifts of alcohol will not be accepted unless to do so would cause embarrassment. If accepted in these circumstances, the alcohol will be passed on to a suitable community organisation or charity. No alcohol will be retained by police officers or staff. Particular care should be taken in identifying the charity to donate alcohol to as some charities will not feel it appropriate to accept it due to religious, cultural or other reasons. From external contractors or companies tendering for work with the force or wider service; A cash payment (other than donations to specific police charities or police supported charities); 6

7 A financial reward resulting from the publication of articles relating to the intended recipient s role or duties as a member of a police force. All such gifts should nonetheless be subject of a declaration in the register. A Gratuity may be accepted if it is: An offer or discount negotiated through the Police Federation, The Superintendents Association, or other staff association or trade union; A discount to public service workers including members of the police service offered on the basis that the organisation in question has a large customer base of trivial or inexpensive nature (and the force has given explicit approval for such an offer); Free travel arrangements for officers and staff on active duty if approved and formally negotiated through the force. There should be no requirement to declare any such gratuity on a Gift, Gratuities and Hospitality Form. Gratuities which amount to individual gain from a points scheme when purchasing services, items or fuel are not acceptable. Hospitality may be accepted if it: Extends to the impromptu provision of light refreshments during the course of policing duties; Is a conventional meal provided during the course of a working day by another police force or partner agency in either law enforcement or community safety; In either case, there should be no requirement to declare any such hospitality on a Gifts, Gratuities and Hospitality Form. Hospitality may also be accepted if it: Is a conventional meal and may extend to the limited consumption of alcohol commensurate with the occasion and is in accordance with the recipient s duties, for example attending a meeting, seminar or conference organised by an external body; the annual dinner of a representative association of local authority which is limited to isolated or infrequent occasions and can be demonstrably in the interests of the force to attend. Such an offer of hospitality should be declared on a Gifts, Gratuities and Hospitality Form. Hospitality will not be acceptable if it: Amounts to regular free or discounted food or refreshments on duty, or off duty where the hospitality offered is made because the recipient is a police officer or member of police staff; Includes a degree of lavishness which is outside of the industry norm or is beyond any sense of common courtesy or reasonableness. This is particularly relevant to any more than the minimal consumption of alcohol in a casual or informal setting. Such offers of hospitality should be declared in the register. 7

8 7. Monitoring and Review The monitoring and implementation of this guidance is the responsibility of the Head of Department, Professional Standards. The guidance will be reviewed bi-annually and the outcome of the monitoring process will inform this review. 8. Appeals If a member of staff has an issue with the content of this guidance they should raise this in the first instance with their Line Manager. Members of the public who take issue with the guidance have recourse to the police complaints system. 8

9 9

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