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Home > Administration of the civil service >> Conduct and discipline

Acceptance of advantages and entertainment

The Prevention of Bribery Ordinance prohibits bribery in the Civil Service. It is an offence under the Ordinance if a civil servant accepts an advantage without permission; if he solicits or accepts an advantage with abuse of office; or if he maintains a standard of living beyond his means.  Guidelines have been put in place to govern acceptance of advantages and entertainment by civil servants.

General permission has been given under the Acceptance of Advantages (Chief Executive's Permission) Notice for a civil servant to accept advantages from his relatives. He may also accept advantages from his close personal friends under certain circumstances, or advantages from tradesmen and companies if the same are equally available on equal terms to persons who are not civil servants. However, he should not allow himself to be placed in a position of obligation to persons with whom he has official dealings, by accepting gifts, discounts, loans of money, service or other forms of favour.

Whilst entertainment is not an advantage for the purpose of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance, a civil servant must avoid any lavish, unreasonably generous or frequent entertainment that may lead to embarrassment in performing official duties or bring the Civil Service into disrepute.

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