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Federal Gift Giving Do’s and Don’ts – Plus Your Weekend Reads

On the DorobekINSIDER this week:
Training the Next Generation of Government Contractors– Right now 1/3 of the federal acquisition workforce has under 5 years of experience on the job. But the University of Maryland is trying to ease the knowledge gap by launching a new program to train acquisition
experts. We got the inside track from the Former Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Jacques Gansler.

Strategic Sourcing 101 — Reasons Why Your Agency Should Sign On — The age of austerity is here and it’s here to stay. But one potential way for agencies to save is to use strategic sourcing in its acquisitions. But what is strategic sourcing and could it really work at your agency? We get the do’s and don’ts from a strategic sourcing expert.

The CIO Paradox – Battling IT Contradictions — What do you think of the role of the CIO in your office? Is he the tech expert in command of the IT staff or a top executive involved in strategic business decisions (or both)? Is he a peer or a subordinate to the CFO? Does the answer to these questions make a difference? We talk to the author of a new book that explores these issues.

But our issue of the week: looks at how the holiday spirit might get you fired.

‘Tis the season for Secret Santas, white elephant gifts, and good will toward men and women. But if you’re a federal employee, there’s a strict list of who it would be naughty to get a present from or give a present to.
John Mahoney is partner and chair of the federal sector at Tully Rinckey PLLC.


He told Chris Dorobek on the DorobekINSIDER program the do’s and don’ts of gifting.




Federal Scrooges — Why It’s Ok to be Cheap

  • Employee gifts to their supervisors can not exceed $10
  • Gifts between co-workers can not exceed $20
  • Feds cannot receive more than $50 in gifts in a given year

Mahoney says, “as a general rule of thumb, federal employees should refrain from accepting gifts from people who are considered “prohibited sources” or who want to give them something solely because their official position. A prohibited source, as defined by 5 CFR § 2635.203(d), is someone whose gift could create pose a conflict of interest if accepted, namely anyone who:”

  1. wants the employee’s agency to do something;
  2. has an existing or desired business with the employee’s agency;
  3. is regulated by the employee’s agency;
  4. could be impacted by the work the employee conducts; or
  5. is a member of an organization whose members are largely refrained from giving the gift to the employee for the above-stated reasons.

Gifting Could Get You Fired
“Federal employees have been terminated or harshly disciplined for receiving girts and not properly and timely reporting and returning them,” said Mahoney.

Weekend reads

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