Gifts and Hospitality

Guidance for CFOA Members

This Code of Conduct for CFOA Members draws upon the mandatory requirements set out in The Local Authorities (Model Code of Conduct) (England) Order [2001] that lays down the minimum standards of conduct to be observed. One of these requirements relates to the receipt of gifts and hospitality and states:

"A member must within 28 days of receiving any gift or hospitality over the value of £25 provide written notification to the authority’s monitoring officer of the existence and nature of that gift or hospitality."

Failure to comply with this requirement will constitute a breach of the Code.

The Chief Fire Officers Association gives the following guidance to Members on how to deal with offers of gifts and hospitality:

  1. As an Association member, you are personally responsible for all decisions connected with your acceptance of any gift or hospitality and for avoiding the risk of damage to stakeholder confidence in CFOA.
  2. You should treat with extreme caution any offer of gifts or hospitality made to you personally or partners/members of your family. Acceptance of inappropriate gifts or hospitality may lead to you being investigated by a CFOA Standards Board.
  3. Gifts or hospitality of nominal value in the course of CFOA business (eg. lunch/refreshments or a token promotional gift) may be accepted but always consider if they need to be declared.
  4. Tactfully refuse any gift or hospitality, which might be perceived by any stakeholder as influencing your decisions or actions as a CFOA member. If the gifts are sent to you, return them if the sender can be identified. If this is not possible, make arrangements for them to be appropriated to the benefit of the Association or to a nominated charity.
  5. Where the value of any gift or hospitality is over £25.00 you MUST declare receiving it within 28 days.
  6. Where the value of any gift or hospitality is under £25.00 you may wish to declare receiving it.
  7. Where an offer of any gift or hospitality is made but declined, you may wish to declare the offer.
  8. Where the value of any gift or hospitality is substantially higher than £25.00 seek the approval of the CFOA Headquarters Manager before accepting it.
  9. Any cash payments made to you in your capacity as an Association member, eg a token payment following a talk you have given or an appearance at an event, should either be refused or, if intended for charity, paid via the Association. It is not appropriate to make the donation yourself.
  10. Declarations must be made on this form and no other method of declaration is valid.
  11. When making declarations, answer all of the questions on the form.
  12. Forward the completed form to the Membership Officer at Tamworth who will check that it has been properly completed, add a serial number and record it in the CFOA gift/hospitality register. The register is open for perusal by all stakeholders and will be periodically reviewed by the Headquarters Manager, the check being recorded in the said manager’s routine report to the following CFOA Board meeting.
  13. If you are in any doubt about whether it would be appropriate for you to accept any gift or hospitality, decline it or seek the advice of the Business Director on 01827 302317.