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Gifts and benefits

The offering and acceptance of gifts represents a considerable corruption risk. For example, gifts may be offered for the purpose of developing a favourable relationship that can be unduly exploited by the giver at a later date.

There are specific risks related to public officials accepting gifts and benefits from third-parties, such as suppliers, recipients of services, or individuals and entities that are regulated or licensed by the NSW Government and local councils. Stringent controls on the acceptance of gifts and benefits, such as a blanket prohibition on the acceptance of any type of gift offered by a supplier or an applicant, should apply to public officials working in regulatory and procurement roles.

Conferring gifts and benefits

The ICAC investigated corrupt procurement practices at a public sector agency. In addition to making findings about procurement practices, the investigation identified that a number of public officials had engaged one of the agency’s suppliers to perform minor works and renovations at their homes. In one case involving the construction of a swimming pool, a significant discount was given, which the Commission found to be a corrupt payment and created a significant corruption risk because the practice may constitute an actual or perceived corrupt payment. Additionally, a sense of obligation or friendship could arise between a contractor and a public official, resulting in the public official improperly favouring the supplier in the exercise of his or her public functions.

Source: Investigation into the conduct of a former NSW Department of Justice officer and others, August 2017.

Updated November 2018

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