Amanda Blount

HI Candace,

I totally agree with your intent of the post. I am so sick of people with no ethical standards.

But, as I was reading your post I found something misleading….

“As a professional in the financial industry for the past three years, I was shocked to learn that current standards for ethical conduct and guidelines for gift giving/ receiving do not exist for contractors and government agencies. Perhaps there are several lessons to be learned from existing FINRA, NASD, and State Department of Insurance regulations which guide and establish annual maximum gift amounts as well as guidelines and reporting standards for “conflicts of interest”.”

We in Government have huge Ethical and Gift Giving regulations! The regulations are so strict, I would not even accept flowers from a vendor (who I knew before I worked for the Government) when my father passed away because the flowers were going to be more than the $50 limit. I never wanted the perception of wrong doing, even at my father’s funeral.

I can find those policies for you. But, trust me when I say, Contracting personnel know those polices like clockwork… some just refuse to follow them.

Bascially the rules are as follows;

No gift over $20 at any one time from one vendor (contractor), no more than $50 total from one vendor in one year. No gift at all if it will give the perception of wrong doing. Occasional food items on holidays for the whole office is ok, but again, do not accept if the food will give the impression of wrong doing. NO one should accept meals just for one person (lunches add up). No one should accept little gifts just for just one person in the office on a constant basis (those pens and hats add up).

There is more – but that is basically the broad stroke of the rules.

BTW – DAU has a FREE Online Ethics class for Government Contracting employees AND Contractors to take. We encourage all our vendors to take the class. This will help them realize we are not being mean when we do not accept gifts, we are being good employees.

Like I mentioned, there are other regs and policies out there. I would need to upload them for you.

Again, some people fail to follow the rules.

I still like your post as it stands on intent! Government employees need to know we set the example, and our behavior is being watched by the citizens (including your co-workers).

If it can’t be published in the Washington Post – Don’t do it!