Purpose: To establish Trident Technical College's (TTC) procedure for honorariums, gratuities, and gifts.
TTC employees work hard, and it is understandable that citizens and businesses may want to show gratitude for a good working relationship or a job well done. Acceptance of these gifts by TTC employees, however, has the potential to create real or perceived favoritism toward particular customers, vendors, or businesses, undue influence, or a real or perceived conflict of interest. Thus, the best practice is to avoid this situation.
State employees cannot accept additional compensation from any individual, group or organization to whom professional services is rendered during the hours the employee is working for the state. Whether in-state or out-of-state, an employee should not accept an honorarium or similar gift for services rendered on state time or at state expense. However, an employee may accept amounts awarded in appreciation of help and services provided, such as honorariums or amounts for miscellaneous expenses from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and similar organizations, with prior approval of the President. To obtain approval, employees should submit the invitation to participate in the accreditation review from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and similar organizations, including documentation of the honorarium or miscellaneous expense amount, along with the travel request to the internal auditor and President.
TTC prohibits acceptance of gifts from sales representatives, vendors, or business organizations wishing to acknowledge or attract favorable relationships, whether such gifts are tendered at the College or elsewhere.
Gifts that include travel, lodging and/or meal expenses paid for on behalf of an employee to participate in a work-related event, that could otherwise have been paid for by TTC, is a gift to TTC, not the individual employee, and is not prohibited with the following two exceptions: (1) a state agency may never receive a gift from a lobbyist; and (2) a state agency may receive a gift from a lobbyist principal up to the amounts prescribed by the State Ethics Commission. The employee must obtain appropriate prior approval and should never accept any type of monetary instruments such as cash, checks, or gift cards of any type.
The Ethics, Government Accountability and Campaign Reform Act of 1991 and Trident Policy 8-9-0 explains these issues in more detail. Refer any questions concerning this matter or any potential conflict of interest in writing to the College's Internal Auditor.
The Ethics Act does not prohibit employees summoned to jury duty from accepting pay in accordance with SBTCE Procedure 8-3-103.1, "Jury Duty, Grievance, and Court Leave."