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    Does the FAR prohit the Federal Gov from accepting gifts or donations from a contractor? I could find nothing in the FAR or DFARs that specifically outlawed it. I found FAR 31.205-8, but I am not sure that is applicable to this situation. I also found this from GAO at: http://www.gao.gov/special.pubs/appforum2008/nocostcontracts.pdf


    Answer

     I agree, I don't see anything in the FAR/DFARS that prohibits the Federal Government from accepting gifts/donations from contractors.  The U.S. Government has been accepting donations from citizens since the 1840's.(http://www.fms.treas.gov/faq/moretopics_gifts.html)  That being said, accepting gifts from contractors has a different connotation than accepting gifts from citizens.  In the absence of specific regulatory guidance, I'd encourage you to run the details of your scenario through both legal and ethics channels within your agency.
     
    Background:  The legal perspective of your situation can be better understood by looking at GAO decision B-324214.(http://www.gao.gov/assets/670/660395.pdf)  There is a risk that the contractor could later come back and require compensation from the Government for work or supplies that where initially offered as a gift/donation.  GAO recommends an advanced written agreement waiving the contractor's right for future claims against the Government.
     
    The ethical concern in this issue can be captured in the risk that the Government will lose impartiality toward a contractor that provides gifts/donations.  Our ethical regulations even warn against the appearance of partiality. (FAR 3.101 and http://www.oge.gov/Topics/Financial-Conflicts-of-Interest-and-Impartiality/Financial-Conflicts-of-Interest---Impartiality/)  Although the Joint Ethics Regulations (JER) and FAR Part 3 primarily look at ethics from an individual perspective, the principles are also applicable to the Government as an entity. 
     
     
    Matter of: Department of the Treasury--Acceptance of Voluntary Services
     
    File: B-324214
     
     
    , JER sec 2-100
    http://www.osec.doc.gov/opog/dmp/daos/dao202_311.html - http://www.osec.doc.gov/opog/dmp/daos/dao202_311.html

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