John Davis Quoted Regarding Compliance Concerns During Gift-Giving Season in Compliance Week

"'Tis the Season for Compliance Concerns Over Gift Giving"
Compliance Week
12.03.13In this article, John Davis is quoted regarding regulatory approval and compliance related to giving gifts during the holiday season. According to Davis, the language of the statute and guidance from the DOJ suggest a variety of safeguards for gift-giving to government officials, including complying with local laws; ensuring that gifts and related expenditures are reasonable, transparent, and properly recorded; and making sure that the gifts given are consistent with the policies of the recipient's own organization. Davis noted, "There is a recognition by the agencies that certain levels of small and reasonable gift-giving during the holidays is appropriate...Where people have crossed the line is with very large gifts or patterns of pervasive gift giving that were clearly intended to influence people." Compliance personnel must review gift requests and companies should set specific gift guidelines in order to manage issues, but deciding what is and is not appropriate is not always clearly delineated in agency guidance. Davis noted that even standard corporate gifts can create possible risks. "Those baskets can be expensive once you start getting into artisan quality items," he said, "Pretty soon you are up to several hundred dollars worth of stuff in that basket. In and of itself, is that going to be a problem? Maybe not, but it can raise questions about whether that is too rich."
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Related Links
The FCPA Report - Gifts and Entertainment