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Hanscom Legal offers holiday gift, ethics guidance

HANSCOM AIR FORCE BASE, Mass.  – Ethics counselors from the 66th Air Base Group Legal Office are offering guidance for rules that govern holiday parties and gift giving within the Department of Defense.

Some of the key rules are:

  • Gifts from subordinates are limited to non-cash items, worth $10 or less even when pooling contributions.
  • There is no limit on the value of a gift from a supervisor to subordinates, but the gifts must be in good taste and avoid any appearance of favoritism.
  • Holiday gifts between co-workers do not have a monetary limit, but must be appropriate and in good taste.
  • Many contractors have ethics rules and policies that are similar to the federal rules.  Personnel should be mindful of such rules before offering contractor-employees gifts or opportunities they may be precluded from accepting.
  • Federal personnel may accept non-cash gifts from contractor-employees as long as the value is $20 or less, with a $50 annual cap per contractor company. 

If you have been invited to attend a holiday party or reception this year, on or off base, or hosted by contractors, please contact the Legal Office for advice on attending. 

For further information or questions regarding ethics during this holiday season, please contact the Hanscom Legal Office at (781) 225-1410 or send us an email at 66ABG.JA.Ethics@us.af.mil.