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Conflict of Interest Law Regulations and Exemptions relating to Gifts and Gratuities

930 CMR 5.08: Gifts Worth $50 or More and Related to Official Action or Position: Exemptions

(1)   A public employee is not prohibited from accepting a gift worth $50 or more where the gift is related to the public employee's official action or position, without violating M.G.L. c. 268A, §§ 3, 23(b)(2), and 23(b)(3), if the gift falls within one of these exemptions, and if the public employee complies with all requirements imposed by the exemption.  Nothing in 930 CMR 5.08 authorizes a public employee to accept any gift by a lobbyist that is prohibited by M.G.L. c. 268B, § 6, or M.G.L. c. 3, § 43, last paragraph.  Gifts from lobbyists prohibited by those statutes may be accepted only in accordance with 930 CMR 5.09.

(2)   Travel Expenses 930 CMR 5.08(2) relates to payment of travel and related expenses for a public employee where the purpose of the travel is to engage in an activity that serves a legitimate public purpose.  Payment of such expenses by one's employing agency is not a prohibited gift and does not require an exemption.  Nothing in 930 CMR 5.08 authorizes a public employee to accept any gift by a lobbyist that is prohibited by M.G.L. c. 268B, § 6, or M.G.L. c. 3, § 43, last paragraph.  Gifts from lobbyists prohibited by those statutes may be accepted only in accordance with 930 CMR 5.09.

(a)   Definitions.  For purposes of 930 CMR 5.00:

1.   Travel Expenses.  Travel expenses are necessary and reasonable expenses incurred by a public employee in order to engage in an activity that serves a legitimate public purpose, including air, train, bus, and taxi fare, rental car hire, the cost of meals and lodging, and expenses related to attendance at an event including costs of registration, admission, tickets, food, refreshments, instruction, materials, and entertainment.

2.   Legitimate Public Purpose.  An activity has a "legitimate public purpose" if it is intended to promote the interests of the Commonwealth, a county, or a municipality.  Examples of activities with legitimate public purposes include, but are not limited to, the following:

Example:  Activities that promote tourism, economic development, charitable, public health, environmental, or educational goals;

Example:  Attendance at training and educational events and conferences designed to improve the efficiencies and effectiveness of public services, or to enhance the knowledge and skills of public employees relative to their official duties;

Example:  Business travel necessary to make informed purchasing decisions, selections, and inspections;

Example:  A class field trip that will enable students in a government class to observe proposed legislation being debated, or that will enable students in a Spanish class to hear the language spoken by native speakers;

Example:  Any purpose defined by an agency's enabling legislation;

Example:  Any purpose defined as a legitimate public purpose by the agency's governing body or, absent a governing body, chief executive officer, that is in furtherance of the agency's mission.

(b)    Family Members.  930 CMR 5.08(2) does not authorize acceptance by a public employee of reimbursement, waiver, or payment of travel expenses for a family member or friend accompanying the public employee.  Others may accompany a public employee accepting reimbursement, waiver, or payment of travel expenses only at their own expense, and may share the public employee's accommodations if that does not increase the expense, or if they pay any additional cost.

(c)   Travel Expenses Paid by Domestic Public Agency.  A public employee is not prohibited from accepting reimbursement, waiver, or payment of travel expenses of substantial value, provided by any domestic public agency at the federal, state, county,  municipal level, for any purpose in furtherance of the employing public agency's mission, and in accordance with the procedures of the employing agency.  No disclosure is required.  This exemption does not apply to payment of travel expenses by foreign governmental entities, and federally recognized tribes which is permitted, subject to compliance with 930 CMR 5.08(2)(d).

Example:  A District Attorney sends employees to a training conference concerning sexual offenses against children.  The District Attorney's sex offense unit typically works with an employee of the state Department of Children and Families (DCF) when it prosecutes such cases.  The DCF employee may accept payment of her travel expenses by the District Attorney so that she may attend the conference.  No disclosure is required.

Example:  A law enforcement officer travels out of state to bring a fugitive back to the Commonwealth.  The officer's travel expenses may be paid by a prosecutor's office.  No disclosure is required.

(d)   Travel Expenses Paid by Non‑public or Foreign Entity or Federally Recognized Tribe.  A public employee is not prohibited from accepting reimbursement, waiver, or payment of travel expenses of substantial value, provided by a non-public or foreign entity or federally recognized tribe, if a prior written determination is made as set forth in 930 CMR 5.08(2)(d)1. or 2. that such acceptance will serve a legitimate public purpose, and that such public purpose outweighs any special non‑work related benefit to the employee, or to the person providing the reimbursement, waiver, or payment.  Payment of travel expenses by domestic public agencies is permitted pursuant to 930 CMR 5.08(2)(c).

1.   Non‑elected Public Employees.  A non‑elected public employee is not prohibited from accepting reimbursement, waiver, or payment of travel expenses of substantial value, provided by any person other than a public agency or a lobbyist, if the public employee makes a prior written disclosure to the employee's appointing authority, and the appointing authority, or designee, determines in writing and prior to the date of any travel or attendance both that acceptance of such reimbursement, waiver, or payment of expenses will serve a legitimate public purpose, and that such public purpose outweighs any special non‑work related benefit to the employee or the person providing the reimbursement, waiver, or payment.  Such a disclosure must be made on a form prescribed by the Commission and as provided by 930 CMR 5.07(2).

2.   Elected Public Employees.  An elected public employee is not prohibited from accepting reimbursement, waiver, or payment of travel expenses of substantial value, provided by any person other than a public agency or a lobbyist, if the elected public employee determines in writing prior to any travel or attendance both that acceptance of such reimbursement, waiver, or payment will serve a legitimate public purpose, and that such public purpose outweighs any special non‑work related benefit to the employee or to the person providing the reimbursement, waiver, or payment.  Such a disclosure must be made on a form prescribed by the Commission and as provided by 930 CMR 5.07(2).

3.   If the value of travel expenses accepted by a public employee exceeds what was previously disclosed by $50 or more, the public employee shall submit a reconciliation statement within two weeks after the travel is completed, in the same manner as the original disclosure was made, on a form prescribed by the Commission.

4.   In addition to the disclosure required at the time of acceptance of any such reimbursement, waiver, or payment, if a particular matter involving the giver comes before the public employee during the six months following such acceptance, the employee must make a written public disclosure pursuant to M.G.L. c. 268A, § 23(b)(3).

(e)    In‑state Travel for Educational Purposes.  Except where the giver is a lobbyist, a public employee is not prohibited from accepting reimbursement, waiver, or payment of expenses of substantial value related to the public employee's attendance or participation, including as a panelist or speaker, at in‑state educational programs involving professional or other continuing education, including in‑state educational, training and planning sessions required by state or federal law, when the public employee has a good faith belief that his or her attendance will serve a legitimate public purpose, as defined in 930 CMR 5.08(2)(a)2., which outweighs any special non‑work related benefit to the employee, or to the person providing the reimbursement, waiver, or payment.  Educational events involving out‑of‑state travel are addressed in 930 CMR 5.08(2)(c) and (d).  No disclosure is required, except that if a particular matter involving the giver either has come before the public employee in the six months prior to such acceptance, or comes before the public employee during the six months following such acceptance, the employee must make a written public disclosure pursuant to M.G.L. c. 268A, § 23(b)(3).

Example:  Police, fire, and public works employees who would be first responders to emergency incidents involving natural gas may attend in‑state training sessions sponsored by the natural gas companies, and may accept payment of travel expenses and hospitality of substantial value.  The public employees are only required to make a disclosure if a matter involving the sponsoring utility has come before them in the six months prior to the training, or comes before them in the six months following the training.

(3)   Incidental Hospitality That Serves a Public Purpose.  Elected public employees, and their staff members, are not prohibited from accepting payment or waiver of expenses of substantial value (including cost of admission, refreshments, and transportation within the Commonwealth) related to attendance by the elected public employee or staff member at weekday informational programs during regular daytime business hours at which incidental hospitality is provided, as set forth in 930 CMR 5.08(3)(a).  Elected and non‑elected public employees are not prohibited from accepting payment or waiver of such expenses related to attendance at events at which their attendance serves a legitimate public purpose, as set forth in 930 CMR 5.08(3)(b).  930 CMR 5.08(3) does not authorize acceptance of gifts from lobbyists, which are treated separately below in 930 CMR 5.09, and it also does not eliminate any requirement imposed by M.G.L. c. 3.  A disclosure is required in the circumstances set forth in 930 CMR 5.08(3)(b).  Nothing in 930 CMR 5.08 authorizes a public employee to accept any gift by a lobbyist that is prohibited by M.G.L. c. 268B, § 6, or M.G.L. c. 3, § 43, last paragraph.  Gifts from lobbyists prohibited by those statutes may be accepted only in accordance with 930 CMR 5.09.

(a)   Elected Public Employees and Their Staff:  No Disclosure Required for Attendance at Weekday Informational Programs at Which Incidental Hospitality is Provided An elected public employee, and the staff of an elected public employee, are not prohibited from accepting payment or waiver of expenses of substantial value  (including cost of admission, refreshments, and transportation within the Commonwealth) related to attendance at a weekday group program during regular daytime business hours, the primary purpose of which is to give the elected public employee or staff member information concerning current issues in the Commonwealth, and at which any related hospitality provided is incidental to the primary informational purpose, comparable to the examples below.  No disclosure is required.

Example:  A State Representative attends monthly Chamber of Commerce breakfast meetings in his district so as to keep informed about issues of interest to business owners in his district.  Attending the meetings has substantial value because a number of small meetings sponsored by the same entity are aggregated.  The Representative may accept the cost of refreshments at the breakfasts, and no disclosure is required.

Example:  A legislative aide to a State Senator regularly attends State House programs sponsored by a variety of different groups, including constituents, business associations, and nonprofit organizations.  Some or all of these groups may have an interest in legislation before the Senate.  Pastries, sandwiches, drinks, and other refreshments are provided.  The value may or may not be substantial.  The aide attends these programs in order to be informed about the views of various entities on matters that may come before her Senator.  The aide may accept the cost of refreshments at the State House programs, and no disclosure is required.

Example:  Members of a legislative caucus are offered bus transportation to a manufacturing site, lunch, and a tour of the site.  The purpose of the tour is to inform the members of the circumstances of a Commonwealth industry.  The transportation, lunch and tour are of substantial value.  The members may accept the costs of the transportation, lunch and tour, and no disclosure is required.

Example of What is Not Permissible:  An individual legislator is invited to lunch by a partner at a law firm who is not a personal friend of the legislator.  The cost of the lunch exceeds $50.  The two spend the majority of the time discussing pending legislation in which clients of the lawyer have an interest.  This example does not fall within this exemption because it is a lunch, not a group informational program.  The legislator may attend the lunch but must pay for his own lunch.

(b)   Non‑elected and Elected Public Employees:  Disclosure Required for Attendance at Events Where Attendance Serves a Legitimate Public Purpose.  Non‑elected and elected public employees are not prohibited from accepting payment or waiver of expenses of substantial value (including cost of admission, refreshments, and transportation within the Commonwealth) related to attendance at an event to which the public employee has been invited, if there is a written determination that attendance at such event serves a legitimate public purpose as defined in 930 CMR 5.08(2)(a)2., and that such public purpose outweighs any special non‑work-related benefit to the employee, or to the person providing the payment or waiver of expenses.  The determination of legitimate public purpose must be made on a form prescribed by the Commission, and filed as set forth in 930 CMR 5.04.  An appointed employee must obtain such a determination from his or her appointing authority prior to attendance at any such event.  Elected public employees, and public employees without an appointing authority, may make such a determination for themselves, and for their staff members, prior to the event or within ten business days after the event.

Example:  A legislator is invited to attend a fundraiser dinner for a charitable organization.  She is not asked to make the $250 contribution that would otherwise be required for attendance at the dinner.  The legislator is not certain until the day of the event whether her other commitments will permit her to attend, but she does in fact attend the dinner.  Several days after the dinner, the legislator fills out the disclosure form required by 930 CMR 5.08(3)(b), in which she makes the determination that her attendance at the event will increase public awareness of the cause assisted by the charity, and that this will serve a legitimate public purpose.  The legislator may accept the waiver of the attendance fee.

Example:  A city councilor directs his aide to attend a basketball game to which the councilor has been invited, and for which an admission fee of $75 is being charged to raise money for a local Boys & Girls Club.  The fee is waived for the councilor and/or his aide.  The councilor makes a written determination in advance of the event that the aide's attendance at the event will increase the visibility of charitable activities promoted by the Boys & Girls Club, and that this will serve a legitimate public purpose.  The aide may attend the event, and may accept waiver of the admission fee.

(4)   Legitimate Speaking Engagements.  A public employee who is invited to participate in a legitimate speaking engagement, as defined in 930 CMR 5.08(4)(a), in whole or in part because of his official position or actions, is not prohibited from accepting reimbursement, waiver, or payment of reasonable travel expenses for the public employee and any staff necessary to carry out the speaking engagement.  The travel expenses may cover only the day or days on which the public employee is actually speaking and the days on which the public employee must travel to the conference and return to the Commonwealth.  A public employee who speaks only on the first day of a week‑long conference can accept travel expenses in connection with the other days only subject to compliance with 930 CMR 5.08(2).  Nothing in 930 CMR 5.08 authorizes a public employee to accept any gift by a lobbyist that is prohibited by M.G.L. c. 268B, § 6, or M.G.L. c. 3, § 43, last paragraph.  Gifts from lobbyists prohibited by those statutes may be accepted only in accordance with 930 CMR 5.09.

(a)    A legitimate speaking engagement means giving a speech or serving on a panel where the speech or panel:

1.   is formally scheduled on the agenda of a meeting, conference, or event;

2.  is scheduled in advance of the speaker's or panelist's arrival at the meeting, conference, or event;

3.   is before an organization that would normally have speakers or panelists address its members at such meeting, conference, or event; and

4.   significantly contributes to the meeting, conference, or event, taking into account such factors as the length of the speech or presentation, the expected size of the audience, and the extent to which the speaker is providing substantive information or commentary.

(b)   Travel expenses include the expenses set forth in 930 CMR 5.08(2)(a)1. and, in addition, the provision of refreshments, food, and drink at the legitimate speaking engagement.

(c)   Honoraria.  A public employee who is invited to participate in a legitimate speaking engagement in whole or in part because of his official position or actions, is not prohibited from accepting an honorarium, (that is, a voluntary, unsolicited payment) customary to the practice of the entity awarding the honorarium only if:

1.   delivering the speech is not part of the public employee's official duties;

2.   public resources are not used in the preparation of the speech;

3.   public time is not taken for the preparation or delivery of the speech; and

4.   neither the sponsor of the address nor the source of the honorarium is a person or entity with whom the public employee has had or reasonably expects to have dealings in his or her official duties; and

5.   the public employee makes a prior written disclosure concerning the honorarium.

A public employee who may not accept an honorarium may request that the donor instead give it to charity, but may not identify any particular charity.  If the public employee makes such a request, this exemption does not eliminate any possible tax consequences.

(5)   Honorary Degrees.  A public employee is not prohibited from accepting an honorary degree from a public or private educational institution given in whole or in part for the employee's official actions or position, provided that the degree does not include a monetary award of substantial value. The public employee who is receiving the degree may also accept payment or reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses related to any conferral ceremony given to the employee and guests accompanying the employee in accordance with the criteria and policies of the  educational  institution.  If  a  particular matter involving the giver came before the public employee during the six months prior to such acceptance, or comes before the public employee during the six months following such acceptance, the employee must make a written public disclosure pursuant to M.G.L. c. 268A, § 23(b)(3).

(6)   Awards for Meritorious Public Service or Lifetime Achievement.  A public employee may accept an award for meritorious public service or lifetime achievement based in whole or in part on work done as a public employee, provided that the award is part of a program that makes such awards on a regular basis pursuant to established standards developed by the awarding entity.

The public employee who is receiving the award may also accept payment or reimbursement of reasonable travel expenses as defined in 930 CMR 5.08(2)(a)1. in connection with his or her attendance, and the attendance of his or her guests, at any award ceremony, and may accept any display item related to the degree or award (such as a trophy, plaque, bowl, desk ornament, or certificate) in accordance with the criteria and policies of the degree or award program.  A public employee receiving an award pursuant to this exemption may accept a monetary award or stipend only if the public employee has not had, and does not reasonably expect to have, official dealings as a public employee with either the awarding entity or any sponsors of the award.  If a particular matter involving the awarding entity, or a sponsor of the award, comes before the public employee during the six months following such acceptance, the employee must make a written public disclosure pursuant to M.G.L. c. 268A, § 23(b)(3).  930 CMR 5.08(6) does not authorize acceptance of testimonial dinners that would be prohibited by M.G.L. c. 268, § 9A.  Nothing in 930 CMR 5.08 authorizes a public employee to accept any gift by a lobbyist that is prohibited by M.G.L. c. 268B, § 6, or M.G.L. c. 3, § 43, last paragraph.  Gifts from lobbyists prohibited by those statutes may be accepted only in accordance with 930 CMR 5.09.

(7)   Public Employee Discounts and Waived Membership Fees.  A public employee may accept a public employee discount of substantial value, if the discount is available to a class consisting of all public employees, or to a class consisting of all public employees from a city or town, county, or state, or to a geographically defined class of public employees.  A public employee may accept a reduced or waived membership fee offered by a professional organization, of substantial value, if the reduced or waived fee is available to a class of similarly situated public employees of that profession.  A public school teacher may accept a discount available to teachers for purchase of items to be used for educational purposes.

(8)   Gifts Among Public Employees.

(a)   Public employees are not prohibited from giving to other public employees who are not their official superiors, and public employees are not prohibited from accepting from other public employees who are not their subordinates, gifts of substantial value,  in recognition of holidays; occasions of religious significance; occasions of personal significance including weddings, engagements, birthdays, the birth or adoption of a child, illness, a relative's illness or death; occasions of professional significance including hirings, promotions, and noteworthy accomplishments or achievements; and occasions that terminate a professional working relationship, such as retirement, transfer, or resignation.

(b)   On an occasional basis, the following individual gifts to an official superior are not prohibited:

1.   gifts other than cash or gift certificates that are valued at no more than $10;

2.   food and refreshments shared in the office;

3.  personal hospitality in the employee's home that is the same as that customarily provided to personal friends;

4.   gifts given in connection with the receipt of personal hospitality that are customary to the occasion, such as a bottle of wine to the host of a dinner party; and

5.   transferred leave, provided that it is done in a way that prevents donors from targeting identified recipients, and recipients from learning the identity of donors.

(c)   On special infrequent occasions a gift appropriate to that occasion to an official superior is not prohibited.  These occasions include events of personal significance, such as marriage, illness, or the birth or adoption of a child, or occasions that terminate the subordinate‑ superior relationship, such as retirement, resignation, or transfer.  Employees may solicit or contribute, on a strictly voluntary basis, nominal amounts of $10 or less for a group gift to an official superior  on a special infrequent occasion, and occasionally for items such as food and refreshments to be shared among employees at the office.

(d)   Notwithstanding 930 CMR 5.08(8)(b) and (c), 930 CMR 5.08(8) does not authorize knowing acceptance of any gift made as a result of coercion or duress, which is never permissible.

(9)   Ceremonial Gifts and Privileges.  A public employee is not prohibited from accepting admission of substantial value to a public event from the sponsor or organizer of the event, where the public employee is expected to perform a ceremonial function.  For purposes of 930 CMR 5.08(9), a ceremonial function means that the public employee will perform some action beyond simple attendance or speech that is integral to the event, and that is different from what is expected of other attendees.  Examples of ceremonial functions include: providing opening remarks to welcome attendees at an event; making scheduled introductions of other persons that are part of the program, throwing the first pitch at a baseball game, cutting a ribbon at the opening of a bridge, turning over the first shovelful of dirt at a public construction project, bestowing wreaths on the winners of the Boston Marathon, and similar actions.  A public employee may accept unsolicited gifts customary to the occasion (such as a baseball when throwing the first pitch, or an engraved shovel when breaking ground for a public project) after performing such a ceremonial function.  Simply saying a few words or introducing oneself is not a ceremonial function for purposes of 930 CMR 5.08(9).  Nothing in 930 CMR 5.08 authorizes a public employee to accept any gift by a lobbyist that is prohibited by M.G.L. c. 268B, § 6, or M.G.L. c. 3, § 43, last paragraph.  Gifts from lobbyists prohibited by those statutes may be accepted only in accordance with 930 CMR 5.09.

Example:  The Governor is invited to attend an evening event for a non‑profit corporation.  The event will honor the retiring director of the non‑profit corporation.  The event is open to the public and tickets cost $100, but the sponsoring non‑profit has offered to waive the cost of admission for the Governor.  When the invitation is extended, the Governor is asked if he is willing to welcome the attendees and introduce the retiring director at the beginning of the event.  The Governor has been asked to perform a ceremonial function, and may accept free admission to the event.

Example:  A biotech firm has a luxury box at Fenway Park.  The firm is hosting employees of a foreign firm with which it hopes to start a new venture.  The biotech firm invites several officials from the town where it hopes to build the new venture to attend a game at Fenway with the foreign firm's employees.  Comparable tickets to the game would otherwise cost $200.  The local officials are not asked to do anything other than be present and chat with the other attendees.  The officials have not been asked to perform a ceremonial function, and should pay the cost of their tickets if they choose to attend.

(10)   Retirement Gifts A public employee is not prohibited from accepting gifts of substantial value appropriate to the occasion from members of the public with whom the public employee has worked in recognition of the public employee’s impending retirement, provided that the giver is not a lobbyist, and that such gifts reflect general goodwill toward the retiring employee or recognize the employee's service generally, and are not intended as a reward for any specific past official action.  930 CMR 5.08(10)  does not  authorize  acceptance of testimonial dinners that would be prohibited by M.G.L. c. 268, § 9A.  No exemption is needed for retirement gifts given  after a public employee has retired.  Nothing in 930 CMR 5.08 authorizes a public employee to accept any gift by a lobbyist that is prohibited by M.G.L. c. 268B, § 6, or M.G.L. c. 3, § 43, last paragraph.  Gifts from lobbyists prohibited by those statutes may be accepted only in accordance with 930 CMR 5.09.  No exemption is needed for retirement gifts given after a public employee has retired.

(11)   Unsolicited Perishable Items.  A public employee is not prohibited from accepting unsolicited gifts of items that are perishable or otherwise impractical to return (such as flowers, plants, floral arrangements, and fruit baskets, or boxes of candy) if such item is made generally accessible to other persons in the employee's agency and to the general public to the extent possible, or given to charity.

(12)   Admission to Political Campaign Events for Elected Officials and their Staff Members.  A campaign is not prohibited from giving, and an elected public employee and his or her staff are not prohibited from accepting, admission to an event paid for with campaign funds, when the event is paid for in accordance with M.G.L. c. 55 and no public resources are used.

(13)   Gifts Received and Held Temporarily as Part of Charitable Activities A public employee participating as such in a public agency's charitable activities is not prohibited from receiving from a giver other than a lobbyist, and  temporarily holding, items being collected as part of such effort, provided that the items are turned over to their ultimate recipients within a reasonable time, and that the  ultimate recipient is informed of the source of the donation.  Nothing in 930 CMR 5.08 authorizes a public employee to accept any gift by a lobbyist that is prohibited by M.G.L. c. 268B, § 6, or M.G.L. c. 3, § 43, last paragraph.  Gifts from lobbyists prohibited by those statutes may be accepted only in accordance with 930 CMR 5.09.  No exemption is needed for retirement gifts given after a public employee has retired.

Example:  An office supply company wishes to donate backpacks of school supplies to needy children, and enlists the help of certain legislators in distributing the backpacks.  The legislators may hold the backpacks temporarily while waiting to turn them over to their ultimate recipients, and must inform the ultimate recipients of the identity of the donor.

(14)   Class Gifts to Teachers.  A public school department employee is not prohibited from accepting a gift, or several gifts during the school year, from public school students and/or their parents and guardians, with an aggregated value of up to $150, if the gift is identified only as being from the class, and the identity of givers and amounts given are not identified to the recipient.  Parents may also give gifts to the classroom or the school in accordance with the rules of the school district.  Gifts received pursuant to this exemption are not required to be disclosed because the givers are not identified to the teacher.  Public school department employees must disclose gifts received from individual students, parents, and guardians that are not class gifts as explained in 930 CMR 5.07.

Example:  A teacher has a class with 23 students.  Parents of 20 of the students collect money and give the teacher a $150 gift certificate to a book store, indicating that it is a class gift.  One of the parents who did not contribute to the class gift gives the teacher a $25 certificate to a spa.  The teacher may accept the $150 class gift certificate and no disclosure is required.  The teacher may not accept any other gift from the parents who contributed to the class gift.  The teacher may accept the $25 spa certificate, but must file a disclosure pursuant to M.G.L. c. 268A, § 23(b)(3).

Example:   A teacher has a class with 23 students.  Parents of 13 of the students collect money and give the teacher a $130 gift certificate to a book store, indicating that it is a class gift.  Parents of the other ten students collect money and give the teacher a $100 gift certificate to an office supply store, indicating that the gift is a gift to the classroom and that the teacher should use it to buy necessary classroom supplies.  The teacher can accept the first gift on his own behalf and the second on behalf of the classroom.  He must spend the $100 office supply gift certificate on classroom supplies and should keep receipts documenting those purchases.  Items purchased with money that is a gift to the classroom is the property of the school district.  The teacher may not knowingly accept any additional gift from parents who participated in the class gift.

(15)   Passes to School Events.  An employee of a  public school department, a regional school district, an educational collaborative, or a school committee member is not prohibited from accepting a pass of substantial value given by the district to public school sports and entertainment events of the school district where the employee is employed.

(16)  Drawings.

A public employee is not prohibited from accepting any reward or prize given to competitors or entrants in a random drawing in which the other competitors or entrants are public employees, including a drawing at an event where the public employee's agency paid for the employee to attend the event.

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