US firms place no limit on maximum value of gifts

13 December 2011

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13 December 2011 | Adam Leach

Just 38 per cent of US companies specify the maximum value of a gift that can be accepted by buyers, according to research.

While 98 per cent of respondents to Benchmarking Report: Business Gifts and Entertainment Policies said they had to adhere to a written policy designed to limit any “inappropriate influences” on the supply process as a result of gifts or hospitality being given, just under two-fifths actually indicated a dollar limit on gifts or entertainment above which a person was required to refuse.

The study surveyed 140 purchasers in September and the results were published last week by CAPS Research.

Of those respondents that did have a monetary ceiling, more than half set it at between $10 to $50 and 30 per cent at between $51 to $100. The average limit was $84. The ceiling was higher for entertainment, with the average threshold reported as $152.

Meanwhile, 60 per cent of those who did not have a formal limit were allowed to only accept gifts of a nominal or reasonable value and 10 per cent were required to seek managerial approval. In addition, 12 per cent were not able to accept any gifts whatsoever and 6 per cent had no restrictions.

Under the CIPS Code of professional ethics, members commit to “not accept inducements or gifts, other than items of small value such as business diaries or calendars”.

☛ The Supply Management Readers LinkedIn group is currently discussing the issue of accepting Christmas gifts from suppliers. Click here to have your say.

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