Glenn P. Strehle, vice president for finance and treasurer, and Diane Shea, director of purchasing, issue this reminder to department heads, lab directors/account supervisors, administrative officers, requisitioners, purchasing personnel and others who are involved in procurement:
Institute and federal policies prohibit the acceptance of gifts or gratuities from vendors, subcontractors and contractors (suppliers). The Institute policy is found in Policies and Procedures, section 5.60. The text includes the following:
"It is the Institute's objective to award business to suppliers on the basis of considerations such as quality, service, competitive pricing and technical abilities. Acceptance of personal gifts or gratuities from suppliers that could be construed as a means of inducing business with the Institute is totally inconsistent with this objective.
"Institute policy prohibits employees from accepting personal gifts or gratuities of any kind from suppliers. This includes the use of property or facilities, gift certificates, entertainment or other favors of value extended to employees or their families."
Federal rules on procurement under contracts and grants also prohibit kickbacks, defined as "any money, fee, commission, credit, gift, gratuity, thing of value or compensation of any kind that is provided by a supplier, directly or indirectly, to any employee for the purpose of improperly obtaining or rewarding favorable treatment in connection with procurement under a federal contract or grant."
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on December 16, 1998.