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The ban on gifts isn’t ironclad

USPS can make an exception if an offer is ‘necessary or convenient’ for business

A woman opening the package and reading the card from a gift sender
Do you know the Postal Service’s rules on accepting gifts?

Federal regulations generally prohibit the Postal Service and its employees from accepting gifts of monetary value from anyone outside the organization.

However, these regulations also give USPS the authority, on a case-by-case basis, to accept a gift that would normally be prohibited if doing so is deemed “necessary or convenient” to the organization’s business.

This power is referred to as the agency gift acceptance authority.

For example, an employee might receive an invitation to attend a conference free of charge.

If the conference offers educational or networking opportunities that may benefit both the employee and the Postal Service, the organization could exercise its agency gift authority to allow the employee to accept the gift of free attendance, including any meals offered.

Employees should email the Ethics and Legal Compliance team or call the ethics helpline at 202-268-6340 if they have been offered a gift that they believe could be of benefit to the organization.