Article 10 of the Ethics Act requires employees of IMSA or any state agency, as well as their immediate family members living with them, to not accept or solicit gifts from prohibited sources, unless the gift meets one of the exceptions defined in the law and is not further restricted by Illinois Executive Order 15-09 (EO 15-09) or IMSA’s Ban on Receipts of Gifts Policy.
Prohibited Sources and Gifts Defined
- Current vendors, along with their spouses and immediate family members living with those vendors
- Any individual or entity that conducts or seeks to conduct business with IMSA or any other state agency.
- Those seeking official action or who have interests that may be substantially affected by the performance or non-performance of the official duties of an IMSA employee or the academy.
Per IMSA’s Ban on Receipts of Gifts Policy, this includes current and prospective parents and students.
Gifts are defined as gratuities, discounts, entertainment, hospitality, loans, forbearance, items with monetary value, and honoraria received in connection with IMSA employment.
Please Note: Gifts given to employees that are not from a prohibited source are not restricted under the Ethics Act. Only those gifts received from a prohibited source are affected by the gift ban provisions of the Ethics Act. Employees should consult IMSA policies to determine if there are additional restrictions regarding gift acceptance. The strictest requirement must be followed.
Actions to Take
It is important to recognize the gift ban applies to you as an employee, in addition to immediate family members living with you.
To avoid violating the gift ban, employees who unintentionally accept a gift from a prohibited source that does not fall within an exception should promptly take one of the following actions:
- Return the gift to the prohibited source
- Make a monetary contribution to a 501(c)3 charitable organization equal to the market value of the gift and keep the gift
- Donate the gift itself to a 501(c)3 charitable organization
Though it is not required for employees to provide proof of their compliance with the law, it is a good practice to maintain a copy of the donation receipt, cancelled check, or other form of support in the event your compliance ever comes into question.
Exceptions to the Gift Ban
There are exceptions to the Ethics Act’s gift ban that allow for employee solicitation or acceptance of a gift from a prohibited source. They include:
- Opportunities, benefits, and services available on the same conditions as for the general public
- Anything for which the employee pays market value
- Any contribution lawfully made under the Election Code or activities associated with a fundraising event in support of a political organization or candidate
- Educational materials and missions. This exception is further defined by Illinois Executive Order 15-09, Administrative Rule 1620.700 and requires approval by the Executive Ethics Commission. The approval has been delegated to IMSA’s Ethics Officer and the Gift Ban Exception Form should be completed. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with further questions.
- Travel expenses for meetings to discuss state or IMSA business
- Gifts from a relative
- Anything provided by an individual on the basis of personal friendship, unless the employee has reason to believe the gift was provided because of his or her official position or employment and not because of the personal friendship
- Food, refreshments, lodging, transportation, and other benefits resulting from outside business or employment activities of the employee or his/her spouse
- Bequests, inheritances, and other transfers at death
- An intra-governmental or inter-governmental gift