Tired of getting those questions about contractors participating in holiday office parties and what kind of gifts can be exchanged between and among employees?
Here’s one scenario:
If a contractor employee is having a personal party and invites Government personnel, normally Government personnel must decline, since the food, drink, and entertainment is a gift from a prohibited source. Several exceptions may permit attendance, however. Under the $20 rule, if the average cost per guest does not exceed $20, Government personnel may accept. (However, if the cost per guest is $40, the “I won’t eat more than $20 worth of food.” defense will not work.) [emphasis added]
But don’t be confined by the guidance if your situation doesn’t mesh with what’s in the memo. Big Santa’s holiday missive ends on this cheery note:
Have a wonderful holiday season. Please remember that this guidance only highlights common questions, and does not cover every situation. If you are unsure, contact your ethics counselor.