What if the agency had awarded your company the contract in July, and the football tickets are intended as a polite, after-the-fact "thank you"? Although the sanctions may not be as severe as gifts motivated by an effort to obtain favorable treatment, after-the-fact gifts can still result in significant penalties.Just because you may be able to offer a gift without fear of criminal penalties does not mean that the government employee is free to accept it.
When holidays and birthdays come around, a business owner may send a bottle of wine or a fruit basket to a valued customer. For government contractors, giving gifts to federal employees can result in fines or even jail time.Every government contractor should understand and follow the government's rules on gifts.According to a Career Builder survey, interoffice dating has a fairly high success rate--of the 38% of people surveyed that dated a co-worker at least once, 31% went on to marry that co-worker! If you believe the stats of new employees entering the workforce, it might seem so.But a lot of companies don't let the rank and file decide--they adopt policies that ban or limit workplace dating--all in the name of lowering liability.Essentially, any relationship between two people that could have a negative effect on the company if things sour, or if one party is able to improperly influence the other would fall under the policy.
One last generally acceptable rule: If you have a "C" (think CEO, CFO, COO) or VP in your title, you should always think twice about dating anyone in the workplace, even if he or she is not a direct report or within your chain of command.The government strictly limits the ability of its employees to accept gifts from so-called outside sources, such as you and your company.If you determine that a gift you wish to give is not based upon improper motives, you should next consider whether the federal employee is permitted to accept the gift." The federal bribery statue prohibits giving anything of value to a federal employee with the intent of obtaining a contract award, the exercise of an option year on an ongoing contract, or any other favorable treatment.For example, assume your company has submitted a bid on a federal procurement, and you know the procuring agency is busy evaluating competing offers.Before giving anything of value to a government employee, learn the rules below.