As a clear basic principle, public employees are not allowed to accept gifts or other benefits from citizens or enterprises in connection with their work.
The concept of gifts and other benefits must be understood in a broad sense, covering both physical items, such as chocolate, wine and books, and non-physical items, such as offers of discounts, paid travel, courses or meals. The decisive factor is that the gifts and benefits – regardless of the gift’s value and the motive behind the gift – are offered to the particular employee by virtue of their position in the public sector.
It is normal custom for public employees to be able to accept small gifts from, for example, foreign visitors who are on an official visit (gifts offered to hosts). Similarly, public employees are permitted to accept similar gifts from the host country in connection with public employees’ official visits abroad.
Example: An employee of a ministry that receives a delegation from a foreign public authority is given a small gift, such as a book on the particular country.
The employee can accept the gift.
Gifts in connection with presentations, lectures and similar appearances: Public employees often acquire substantial knowledge about a particular subject within their professional field, and it is therefore natural that they will find themselves being invited to give lectures or presentations.
Example: An employee is invited as part of their official function to give a lecture or presentation to a private organisation and afterwards accepts 2-3 bottles of wines in gratitude. In general, such appreciation can be accepted. This is standard practice.
Gifts and other benefits given within the workplace to the employee fall outside the scope of the description in this section. This could, for example, be a contribution from the management towards subsidising a summer party or a Christmas gift.
For further information, including examples, please see the guidelines on Gifts and other benefits in the Code of conduct in the public sector published on the website of the Agency for Modernisation:
These AAU rules are an excerpt of the ‘Code of conduct in the public sector’ published by the Agency for Modernisation.
Being a credible and neutral institution is crucial to Aalborg University (AAU). The purpose of the present rules is to ensure that Aalborg University’s impartiality is never called into question, damaging the university’s reputation; furthermore, the rules aim at protecting the individual staff member.
If you have questions regarding the procedure, please contact academic clerk Bjarki Johannessen, Specialistcentret, HR-afdelingen: mail: firstname.lastname@example.org, phone: 9940 7433