Gifts, benefits and hospitality

Vetboard Victoria's gifts, benefits and hospitality policy is intended to support individuals and the Veterinary Practitioners Registration Board of Victoria (Vetboard Victoria) to avoid conflicts of interest, maintain high levels of integrity and public trust and behaviour, and to support behaviour consistent with the Code of Conduct for Victorian public sector employees.

This policy applies to all Vetboard Victoria executives, board members, employees, applicable contractors and consultants, and any individuals or groups undertaking activity for or on behalf of Vetboard Victoria.

The policy requires that:
  1. While individuals may accept token offers of gifts, benefits and hospitality (valued up to $50) without obtaining approval or declaring the offers, individuals must refuse token offers, other than token hospitality such as sandwiches at a meeting, if they are made:
    • by a current or prospective supplier, or
    • during a procurement or tender process by a person or organisation involved in the process.
  2. Individuals must refuse all non-token offers of gifts, benefits and hospitality (valued at $50 or more) if they are:
    • likely to influence them, or be perceived to influence them, in the course of their duties; or raise an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest
    • from a person or organisation about which they will likely make a decision
    • likely to be a bribe or inducement to make a decision or act in a particular way. (The policy requires that any such circumstance be reported to nominated persons and/or bodies.)
    • that extend to their relatives or friends
    • with no legitimate business benefit
    • of money, or used in a similar way to money, or something easily converted to money
    • where, in relation to hospitality and events, the organisation will already be sufficiently represented to meet its business needs
    • where acceptance could be perceived as endorsement of a product or service, or acceptance would unfairly advantage the sponsor in future procurement decisions
    • made by a person or organisation with a primary purpose to lobby Ministers, Members of Parliament or public sector agencies, and
    • made in secret.
  3. With prior approval, individuals may accept non-token offers if there is a legitimate business reason for doing so and there is no conflict of interest or potential to bring the individual, VPRBV or public sector into disrepute.
  4. Individuals are to declare all non-token offers (valued at $50 or more), whether accepted or declined; and all such offers must be recorded in the VPRBV’s gifts, benefits and hospitality register.

Gifts benefits and hospitality register

 Date offered  Offered to  Offered by  Description  Reason offered   Estimated value   Decision Details of outcome  Reference 
30-Jan-2021 Finance & Business Systems Manager Supplier $35 Woolworths gift card Prize won during product briefing $35 Declined  Offer respectfully declined by email on 2 February 2020.  FY21-02
21-Aug-2020 Acting Investigations Officer Complainant $100 gourmet basket gift card Complainant satisfied with investigation outcome $100 Declined  Offer respectfully declined by email on 21 August 2020.  FY21-01