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Reminder: Gifts from vendors are prohibited

Diane Shea, director of procurement, has issued the following reminder to department heads, lab directors/account supervisors, administrative officers, requisitioners, procurement personnel and others who are involved in the acquisition process.

Institute and federal policies prohibit the acceptance of gifts from vendors, subcontractors and contractors (suppliers). The Institute policy is found in Policies and Procedures, section 7.9 (web.mit.edu/policies/). The text follows:

"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 regulations, which govern procurement under contracts and grants, impose a like prohibition mandated by Public Law 99-634, known as the Anti-Kickback Enforcement Act of 1986. Kickback is 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 21, 2005 (download PDF).

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