Acceptance of Gifts

Policy Prohibiting The Solicitation And Acceptance Of Gifts

Section 100. General Policy
It is the policy of the Zion-Benton Public Library District to comply with the State Gift Ban Act (the Act) (5 ILCS 425/1 et seq.) through the promulgation of this policy. Neither the Open Meetings Act nor the Freedom of Information Act nor the policies of the Zion-Benton Public Library District in furtherance of those Acts are applicable to proceedings, meetings or documents exempt from such Acts.

Section 101. Adopting of Act
The State Gift Ban Act (5 ILCS 425/1 et seq.) is adopted as required by Section 83 of the Act and all terms and conditions of the Act are adopted.

Section 102. Scope
The solicitation or the acceptance of gifts prohibited to be solicited or accepted under the Act is prohibited by any elected or appointed official or any employee of the Zion-Benton Public Library District. All non-salaried appointed or elected officials (which include the Library Trustees) are exempted from the Act and the provisions of this policy as permitted by the Act.

Section 103. Exceptional Gifts
The restrictions in this Policy do not apply to the following:

  • Anything for which the employee pays market value or anything not used and promptly returned to the donor or given to an appropriate charity;
  • A contribution lawfully made under the Election Code or attendance at a fund raising event sponsored by a political organization;
  • A gift from a relative as defined in the Act;
  • Anything provided by an individual on the basis of personal friendship unless there is reason to believe that, under circumstances, the gift was provided because of the employee’s position and not because of personal friendship;
  • A commercially reasonable loan evidenced in writing with repayment due by a date certain made in the ordinary course of the lender’s business;
  • Payments to a legal defense fund established for the employee that is otherwise lawfully made;
  • Intra-office and inter-office gifts meaning gifts from an employee of the library to and employee of the Library;
  • Food, refreshments, lodging, transportation and other benefits resulting from outside business or employment activities if they have not been enhanced by the position of employment with the Library and are customarily provided to others in similar circumstances or in connection with bona fide employment discussions by a prospective employer or provided in connection with a fund raising or campaign event sponsored by the organization; #Pension and other benefits resulting from continued participation in an employee welfare and benefits plan maintained by a former employer;
  •  Informational materials sent to the employee in the form of books, articles, periodicals, other written materials, audio tapes, video tapes, or other forms of communications;
  • Awards or prizes that are given to competitors in contests or events open to the public, including random drawings;
  • Honorary degrees (and associated travel, food, refreshments and entertainment provided in the presentation of degrees and awards);
  • Training (including food and refreshments furnished to all attendees as an integral part of the training) if the training is in the interest of the Library;
  • Educational missions, including meetings with government officials intended to educate them on matters of public policy;
  • Bequests, inheritances and other transfers at death;
  • Anything that is paid for by the federal government, the State or the library or secured by the government under a government contract;
  • A gift of personal hospitality of an individual other than a registered lobbyist or foreign principal including hospitality extended for a nonbusiness purpose by an individual at their personal residence or facilities owned by that individual or the individual’s family;
  • Free attendance at a widely attended event permitted under Subsection 24 below;
  • Opportunities and benefits that are available to the public or to all employees whether or not geographically restricted, offered to a class of members which is unrelated to employment or official positions, offered to members such as an employee’s association or credit union, offered to a group that is not defined in a manner that specifically discriminates on the basis of branch government or type of responsibility or on the basis that favors those of higher rank or pay, in the form of loans on terms generally available to the public or in the form of reduced membership or other fees for participation in organization activities offered to all government employees;
  • A plaque, trophy or other item that is substantially commemorative in nature and that is extended for presentation;
  • Golf or tennis, food or refreshments of nominal value and catered food or refreshments, meals or beverages consumed on the premises from which they were purchased;
  • Donations of products from an Illinois company that are intended primarily for promotional purposes and are of minimal value;
  • An item of nominal value such as a greeting card, baseball cap or T-shirt;
  • Attendance at events: an employee may accept an offer of free attendance at a widely attended convention, conference, symposium, forum, panel discussion, dinner, viewing, reception, or similar event provided by the sponsor of the event if the employee participates as a speaker or panel participant or by performing a ceremonial functional appropriate to their employment or position or attendance at the event is appropriate to the performance of civic affairs in Illinois or the official duties of the employee.

The acceptance of a sponsor’s unsolicited offer of free attendance at such an event may include an accompanying individual. An employee may accept a sponsor’s unsolicited offer of free attendance at a charity event except reimbursement for transportation and lodging may not be accepted in connection with the event. This “free attendance” may include waivers of all fees and unless otherwise stated the provision of transportation, food, refreshments, entertainment and instruction materials but does not include entertainment collateral to the event or food or refreshments taken other than in the group setting with substantially all of the attendees except as permitted under Subsection 21 above.

Section 104. Ethics Officer
The President of the Board of Library Trustees is authorized to appoint an Ethics Officer as required by the Act. The Ethics Officer’s duties shall be to review Statements of Economic Interests and disclosure forms for members, officers and employees before they are filed and to provide guidance in the interpretation and implementation of the State Gift Ban Act. The Ethics Officer may seek the advice of the library’s Attorney as and when necessary to aid in the execution of said duties.

Section 105. Complaints
All complaints for violations of the State Gift Ban Act and this Policy shall be filed with the State Legislative Ethics Commission created by the Act.

Adopted 6/29/99