Gift Disclosures

A gift is anything of value that the recipient has not paid for. Examples include tickets or passes to events, entertainment performances and charitable galas, holiday baskets, flowers, lodging, meals, beverages, rebates or discounts, if not also offered to the general public.

To satisfy the requirements for filing financial disclosure under the County Code, County and municipal employees and advisory board members must file a:

The Source of Income Statement should not be used as a substitute for State Form 1 for those required to file under state law. This form, which must be filed by July 1st of each year, discloses income from the previous year.

Most people associate gift giving with good will, especially during the holiday season. However, County officials and employees may never accept gifts intended to influence their official actions or decisions. Gift regulations help government workers maintain their independence of judgment and treat all citizens impartially. Even lawful, well intentioned gifts can create an appearance of impropriety and contribute to the erosion of the public’s trust.

Below are questions County employees frequently ask about accepting gifts. If you have additional concerns, please contact the Miami-Dade Commission on Ethics.

  • What is a gift?
    • A gift is something of value that you’ve been given and haven’t paid for.
  • What are some examples of gifts?
    • In the office, gifts may include holiday baskets, flowers, or food trays. At conferences and meetings, gifts of travel, lodging, meals, beverages or souvenirs may be offered. Tickets or passes to parks, sporting events, entertainment performances and charitable galas are also gifts. Rebates or discounts may qualify as gifts, too, but not when the rebate or discount is made in the regular course of business to any member of the public.
  • As a County employee, may I accept a gift?
    • You may never accept a gift intended to influence you in making an official decision or in taking an official action. You may never accept a tip or gratuity for performing your public duties. If a citizen is pleased with your service, the citizen may write a letter of commendation to your supervisor. Even if no influence is intended, accepting a gift may create the appearance of impropriety.
  • What is the best way to prevent an appearance of impropriety regarding gifts?
    • Many individuals and departments donate gifts they receive to nonprofit organizations and then send letters to the donors stating how they’ve disposed of the gifts.
  • May my department accept a holiday food basket intended to be shared?
    • If the gift is sent with no intent to influence official actions, some departments allow food baskets to be shared among workers. Check first with your department supervisor to be sure that no specific restrictions apply to your department. Again, donating the gift to a charity is always a good option.
  • Are any gifts absolutely not allowed?
    • Yes, gifts from County vendors related to travel may not be accepted. This means that a County vendor may not pay for your transportation, lodging, meals, registration fees or incidental expenses associated with travel. The prohibition does not apply to travel expenses paid by other governmental entities or by organizations that the County has joined, if the travel is related to the County’s membership in the organization.
  • Is the value of the gift important to know?
  • Are there any situations when a gift need not be reported, regardless of its value?
    • Yes, the following is a list of gifts that are not required to be disclosed:
      • Political contributions specifically authorized by state law
      • Gifts from relatives or members of one’s household
      • Awards for professional or civic achievement
      • Materials such as books, reports, periodicals, or pamphlets that are solely informational or promotional in nature
      • Gifts solicited for use solely in conducting official County business
  • May I ask for or accept a gift to be used solely by the County?
    • Yes, you may ask for or accept gifts if they will be used solely for conducting official County business.
  • As a County employee, may I ask for a gift to benefit a good cause?
    • Only County Commissioners and their staffs may solicit gifts on behalf of nonprofit organizations. The gift must be used solely by that organization and neither the Commissioner nor his or her staff may receive any compensation as a result of the solicitation.