August 16, 2010 DEC/EC Meeting Cases Studies – Answer Guide

FACTS:  four intramural employees are to meet with four University researchers to discuss a potential collaboration.  Since the meeting will begin at 5:30pm, the University said it will provide dinner.

Is it a gift? -- Look at exclusions to the definition of a gift – 2536.203(b)

If it is a gift, is it a prohibited gift (because given by a prohibited source or due to the employee’s official position)? 

If yes, look at exceptions to the gift prohibition under 2635.204

Even if permissible, perhaps should not accept

FACTS:  an employee is told by her alma mater that a lecture hall is being named after her to recognize her prior service and achievements.  Her alma mater is an SRI.

Is it a gift?

Other issues?

Fundraising – was the employee’s title or position used in connection with fundraising by the University

FACTS:  an employee is notified that he has been selected as the Association’s 2010 awardee.  As the awardee, the employee will receive a $2,500 cash prize and the Association will make a $2,000 contribution to an organization of his choosing.

Is it a gift?

Is it prohibited? 

Can it be accepted?

But what is the gift being offered?

FACTS:  employee is asked by Elsevier Publishing to be the Editor-in-Chief of its new journal, The Journal of Microbiology.  Elsevier will compensate the employee $25,000 for her services. 

Is the activity prohibited? 

Next step?  Is the activity prohibited under 2635.802 – if the employee would engage in the activity, would it require the employee to be disqualified from a matter so central or critical to the performance of employee’s duties.

Posted 8/18/10