GSA has raised the threshold below which federal employees may personally keep gifts and other items of value from foreign governments or associated foreign entities, a notice that serves as a reminder of that policy.
The “minimal value” threshold for “souvenirs or marks of courtesy” is increasing retroactive to January 1 to $415, reflecting an inflation adjustment since the figure last was increased in 2017.
Employees must report receipt of gifts above the threshold within 60 days of receiving them and turn them over to their agency. The agency in turn may use such an item for official purposes, return it to the donor offer to allow the employee to buy it back, or offer it for public sale.
“Foreign gifts and decorations above the minimal value become the property of the federal government and must be reported to GSA for disposal if not immediately needed by the agency for official purposes,” says a Federal Register notice. “Additionally, those items initially retained by the agencies for official use are reported to GSA upon termination of official use.”
Agencies have discretion to set lower limits for their own employees, it adds.
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