Planning, Governance and Compliance

Hospitality and Gifts Register

Modest hospitality is an accepted part of academic and business relationships. However, it is important that no-one should allow themselves to reach a position where they might be thought by others to have been influenced in making an academic or business decision as a consequence of accepting hospitality. It is important, therefore, that the frequency and scale of hospitality accepted should not be significantly greater than the University would provide in return in similar circumstances.

The University’s requirements with respect to hospitality and gifts (whether given or received) is set out in the University’s Anti-Bribery Policy.

All offers of hospitality and gifts (given, received or offered, even if declined) to a value of over £50 must be recorded in the Hospitality Register, maintained by the Planning Governance and Compliance Office. Records should be kept updated by each School or Professional Services Division for annual collation by the Planning Governance and Compliance Office using the Hospitality and Gifts Register Form.

In addition, for any hospitality or gift (given or received) to a value over £50, written permission must be obtained in advance from a Head of School or Director of Professional Service. In the case of Heads of Schools, Directors of Professional Services, and members of the Vice-Chancellors’ Executive Group, written permission must be obtained from the Chief Operating Officer. In the case of the Chief Operating Officer, written permission must be obtained from the Vice-Chancellor.

Any hospitality provided by the University of Sussex is excluded. For the most part, it is likely that it will only be senior academics or senior managers who will encounter situations where a declaration in the Hospitality Register is necessary. Examples of items which might be included in the Register are:

  1. a member of the academic staff is invited to a relatively lavish meal by an industrial partner from whom they have received a grant or from whom they hope to receive some form of support, or for whom they are acting as a consultant (other than where this is in a private capacity);

  2. a manager is invited to join a party attending a social or leisure event, such as Glyndebourne or Goodwood; anyone invited, say, to a Brighton Festival event, other than one sponsored by the University, should include this in the Register if the total cost, including pre-event drinks or meal, is estimated to be £50 or more;

  3. a manager attending a conference is entertained by an executive representing a commercial organisation with which the University has links or with which links may be developed.

The main aim of the Register is to create transparency about hospitality received, so that there are no grounds for suspicion about influence on University decisions as a result of hospitality.

It should be emphasised that no one concerned with tendering may accept any form of hospitality from those involved in the tendering during the tendering process.