This document is part of the Induction resources for board directors resource.

Your obligations

If you accept gifts from a person or organisation, you may give the impression you’ll favour them with board decisions.

To help you, we’ve listed your minimum accountabilities.

Your board may wish to adopt stricter guidelines.

Your minimum accountabilities

You must not seek gifts, benefits and hospitality for yourself or others.

You must refuse all offers of gifts, benefits and hospitality that:

  • are money, items used like money, or items you could convert to money
  • cause an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest
  • may affect your standing as a board director
  • may bring your organisation or the public sector into disrepute
  • are non-token offers without a real business benefit

You must also:

  • refuse all bribes or inducements
  • report inducements and bribery attempts to the board’s chair

How to accept and offer gifts, benefits and hospitality

Token offers

Token offers are of little value to you and the person making the offer.

Token offers cannot be worth more than $50.

You can accept them if they don’t create a conflict of interest or reputational damage. Examples of token gifts are:

  • promotional items, such as pens
  • modest hospitality, such as light refreshments

Non-token offers

Non-token offers include anything worth more than $50.

Examples of non-token offers include:

  • tickets to events not related to your duties
  • non-token hospitality you get with new products or services
  • offers worth more than $50

You can only accept non-token offers if they help your organisation, the public sector or the Victorian government achieve its goals.

Offering gifts, benefits and hospitality

You can offer gifts, benefits and hospitality:

  • when you welcome guests
  • to help you develop business relationships
  • to achieve your organisation’s goals
  • to celebrate achievements

If you want to offer gifts, benefits or hospitality, you must follow the Code of Conduct for Directors of Victorian Public Entities.

This means your gifts, benefits or hospitality must:

  • be offered for a business reason
  • have proportionate costs to the benefits Victorians will gain
  • not give rise to an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest

How to declare and record gifts, benefits and hospitality

For all non-token gifts, benefits and hospitality, you must:

  • declare and record any accepted or declined non-token offers on your organisation’s register
  • if you’re on more than one board, declare non-token offers on the register of the board to which the offer relates

Use your organisation’s form or process to do this.

If your board doesn’t have its own form, you can use our declaration of gifts, benefits and hospitality form.

If you breach your minimum accountabilities

If you breach your minimum accountabilities, you could face criminal charges or disciplinary action.

If you see corrupt conduct, report this to your board’s chair.

You can also make a public interest disclosure to the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC).

Further reading

As a board director, we recommend you read the Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Policy Guide.