Hospitality Policy

Published: 27 May 2024
Freedom of information class: About Registers of Scotland

RoS Hospitality Policy

1. Purpose and Scope

1.1  This policy sets out RoS stance on whether hospitality can be accepted or offered.

1.2  This policy applies to all colleagues.

1.3  This policy covers accepting hospitality and gifts, alcohol consumption and purchase, and providing hospitality.

2. Guiding Principles

2.1  The principles of the policy are to help colleagues answer the following questions in relation to accepting or offering hospitality: Will it help the business and our corporate objectives?

  • Will accepting place an obligation on you, colleagues and RoS?
  • Could your acceptance be perceived as affecting your ability to uphold The Seven Principles of Public Life or your ability to display the highest standards of honesty, integrity, impartiality and objectivity?
  • Could it be challenged by the Scottish Parliament or the media?
  • Do the risks outweigh the benefits?

3. The Policy

Accepting hospitality

3.1 RoS recognises that at times colleagues will be offered hospitality. Hospitality should only be accepted if it can be justified and satisfies the principles outlined above. It should never be accepted if it will in any way potentially damage the reputation of RoS or compromise an individual. If in doubt you should consult your line manager.

3.2  All hospitality must be approved in advance at the appropriate level and details submitted to RoS secretariat to be recorded and published on the hospitality register, including where the hospitality is declined.

3.3 Invitations to events such as the theatre or sporting events are not acceptable and should be declined. Meals provided as part of packaged conferences or working lunches are not deemed as hospitality.

3.4 The register is published internally and externally for full transparency.

Providing Hospitality

3.5 All levels of hospitality offered should be appropriate to the size and scale of the event and for an organisation within the civil service. If the hire of a venue is required avoid 5-star or luxury venues.

3.5.1 Organisations making bookings on RoS’ behalf should be made aware of this.

3.6 On the rare occasions when alcohol is provided either in one of our buildings or externally, approval must be given by a member of EMT in advance. The quantity of alcohol offered should not be excessive and appropriate for the numbers attending.

3.7 Where catering is required for meetings in RoS buildings this should be booked through the contracted caterer if possible. This is not considered hospitality. Where no in-house caterer is available lunch may be purchased from an external vendor with prior approval using the appropriate payment method. Again, it should be appropriate to the event and is not considered hospitality.

Gifts

3.8 Gifts with no re-sale value such as promotional items may be accepted and do not have to be recorded on the register.

3.8.1 Gifts with a commercial value should be declined and or returned. Careful consideration should be given as to whether to accept or decline any gift. In most cases politely declining is advised and only in exceptional circumstances should they be accepted.

3.8.2 All gifts with a commercial value whether they are accepted or not should be recorded  in the register.

4. Roles and Responsibilities

4.1 EMT is responsible for the content of this policy, its approval and review. They are responsible for ensuring its implementation in practice and for monitoring this over time. They are responsible for ensuring that appropriate procedures, guidelines or standards as are required to support this are maintained and ownership for these assigned appropriately.

4.2 Further guidance covering the use of GPC can be found in Section 12 of the Finance manual.

4.3 This policy will be regularly reviewed along with the hospitality register and published internally. A redacted version will be published on ros.gov.uk.

5.  Approval and Review

5.1  This policy will be reviewed and approved by EMT and ARC annually.

AuthorHead of External Communications and Engagement
Reviewed Head of Communications & Engagement
Cleared Director for Customer and Business Development
Approval EMT Approval date May 2024
Policy version V 2.0  
Review responsibility EMT Review date January 2025
Suitable for publication Yes
Contact secretariat@ros.gov.uk