In this section
The purpose of this procedure is to
This is to support behaviour consistent with the Codes of Conduct for Victorian Public Sector
Employees. All RCH employees are required under clause 1.2 of the Code to comply.
What information does this procedure cover?
This procedure sets out how employees are to demonstrate integrity and impartiality in relation to the acceptance and the giving of gifts, benefits and hospitality. It also provides guidelines for disclosure and for accepting and rejecting offers of gifts, benefits and hospitality.
Who does this procedure apply to?
This procedure applies to all RCH board members, managers and employees, prospective employees, contractors, honorary employees, students, volunteers and affiliates.
Employment in the public service requires employees to carry out their duties with impartiality and integrity in order to maintain public trust.
In the course of employment, employees of RCH may be offered gifts, benefits or provided with hospitality in association with their work. It is important to recognise that accepting gifts, benefits or hospitality can give the impression that an employee may favour a
particular person or organisation when making decisions or taking action, even when this was not the intention of the employee or offeror of the gift.
To ensure that the impartiality of RCH and its employees is not comprised, this procedure has been developed to provide guidance to employees on how to deal with an offer of a gift, benefit or hospitality from a third party during the course of their employment.
Employees mustreport any gifts, benefits or hospitality which give rise to a potential or real conflict of interest, or which have a value of more than $50.
When giving gifts and hospitality, employees need to ensure that resources are used prudently and in accordance with this procedure, that there is a clear legitimate business purpose and a clear benefit to the RCH, and that it does not compromise the real or perceived integrity of recipients.
Tea or coffee offered in the course of a business meeting at the organisation's premises may be accepted. These will have been offered as a courtesy and to make guests feel welcome. Similarly, light refreshments such as finger food at an conference and training. or sandwiches
at a conference or training may be accepted.
Modest hospitality offered as part of official business is not reportable.
The hospitality can be accepted as long as it does not present a perceived conflict of interest.
In all cases, the hospitality must be proportionate to the occasion. If the hospitality offered is lavish or above the nominal value then it becomes a reportable item. Examples may include the offer of free accommodation and travel or the upgrading of travel or accommodation
A breach of this procedure may constitute a breach of the RCH
Code of Conduct, and misconduct, or serious misconduct and may be subject to action, including disciplinary action in accord with the
RCH Performance Management & Disciplinary procedure.
benefits and hospitality
All employees should
The RCH Gift, Benefits or Hospitality declaration form (available
) aims to capture the following information:
There are limited circumstances in which a gift, benefit or hospitality of above the nominal value (>$50.00) may be accepted, and only if it complies with all of the following principles:
It does not influence, or have the potential to influence, an employee in such a way as to compromise or appear to compromise integrity and impartiality or to create a conflict of interest or reasonable perception of conflict of interest.
It is normal in the donor's or recipient's culture and rejection of or not offering the gift or benefit could cause offence. Advice on conforming to international or cultural practice may be obtained through Executive Director of Communications.
It is received in the course of the employee's duty and relates to the work of the employee or has a benefit to the RCH and RCH community.
An employee is required to exercise particular care in accepting gifts, benefits or hospitality if:
the employee can keep the gifts, benefits and hospitality events of
<$50.00 on the approval of the Director / Manager. In this case, the declaration need not be recorded on the register.
The employee must compete the declaration form for any subsequent gift/s, even if
<$50.00, from the same donor or organisation within the 12 month period.
Employees must decline offers of gifts, benefits or hospitality that fall outside the principles for accepting gifts, benefits or hospitality, by courteously explaining that acceptance would be against RCH policy.
The gift, benefit or hospitality must not be accepted if any of the following situations apply:
The question of whether there is a conflict of interest should be examined in terms of the public perception. To avoid damage to the RCH's or employee's reputation the gift, benefit or hospitality should be rejected if acceptance could be viewed unfavourably.
In certain circumstances it may be difficult to either return or refuse a gift or benefit, or the giver may ignore the refusal. It may also cause embarrassment to refuse a gift or benefit in circumstances where it may have been offered in a public way, for instance, to a guest speaker at a
conference. If the gift has a nominal value > $50.00, it must be declared and recorded in the Gifts, benefits and hospitality register within 14 days of the offer.
Gifts or benefits must never be accepted in connection with a tender process or a decision over which an employee or the RCH could be perceived to have influence. Please refer to the Procurement and Business Services' contract management toolkit.
The Public Sector Standards Commission has developed a Gift Test to remind employees of definitions to be considered in determining whether to accept an offer of a gift, benefit or hospitality. The Gift Test reminds us to think about:
Where there is no clear public benefit to attending private functions in an official capacity the invitation should be declined. This is especially the case when attendance at the function could be perceived as an endorsement of the company or product.
Employees may keep token gifts or benefits with value of
<$50.00 subject to the verbal approval of their manager. However, gifts of <$50.00 that could be seen as creating a conflict of interest perception must be declared and recorded on the gifts register, with the manager determining
Gifts, benefits or hospitality events of value >$50.00
up to $500
In limited circumstances, employees may be able to keep a gift worth up to $500.
Employees may be able to keep a gift worth >$50, but less than $500 subject to the documented approval of the Executive Director.
All gifts and benefits >$500.00
Gifts worth $500 or more must be surrendered to the RCH in all circumstances in the first instance. In special circumstances the employees may able to keep a gift more than $500 with the RCH Chief Executive Officer's written approval, provided that no other public entity (such as Museums
Victoria) has expressed interest in retaining the gift and it is not of historic or cultural significance.
Gifts worth $500 or more may be donated to The Royal Children's Hospital Foundation.
Valuation of gifts or benefits
The value of a gift or benefit is assessed according to the wholesale price in the country of origin.
Any disputes as to the value of a gift must be resolved in consultant with the employees respective Executive Director.
Ceremonial or other
International delegations may offer ceremonial gifts on behalf of their country or organisation to an employee. These gifts are not to be kept by the employee, must be recorded on the gift register and become the property of RCH.
If the gift is culturally significant, RCH may offer it to an appropriate public institution such as Melbourne Museum, National Gallery of Victoria or similar other organisations. RCH may decide to donate other significant gifts, or proceeds from their sale, to charity.
Representing RCH in
When RCH employees attend an event or conference (in any capacity – as a speaker, participant guest or on the judging panel) or apply for any award in recognition of their public sector work, they represent RCH. Any gifts, benefits or hospitality events (including the expenses for travel,
dining and accommodation) in such situations belong to RCH and must be declared on the gift register, if they exceed the nominal value (>$50.00). This includes any door prizes, speaker fees and financial grants.
Any revenues from fees or grants (>nominal value of $50.00) must be recorded on the gift register.
The Gift Register is to be submitted to the Audit Committee annually for review and monitored by the Executive Committee.
Support and advice
For further information and advice contact your respective Executive Director.
reporting of the register
The RCH Conflict of Interest Committee reviews the register regularly
A summary reported detailing Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality received in the financial year prior will be provided to the August meeting each year of the the RCH Audit & Corporate Risk Management committee. The report includes repetitive trends or patterns,
administration risk analysis, quality control and corrective or preventative actions and risk mitigation strategies.
The RCH gifts register must be published on the RCH website and regularly updated to cover the current and previous financial year, without personal names but with position titles only.
All gifts, benefits and hospitality events are reported annually to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Humans Services by the Chief Executive.
The procedure is consistent with the Charter of Human Rights & Responsibilities Act 2006 (Vic).
RCH Gifts Benefits or Hospitality Declaration Form
This circular details compliance reporting requirements for entities within the health portfolio including RCH specifically:
RCH Gifts Benefits and Hospitality Report - 2014-2017
RCH Gifts Benefits or Hospitality Register - 2017-18