Actions Recommended to Make the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act More Effective

ID-77-31: Published: Jun 23, 1977. Publicly Released: Jun 23, 1977.

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A followup review was made of the Secretary of State's implementation of recommendations made in 1975, which were designed to strengthen the administration of the Foreign Gifts and Decorations Act of 1966. The act prohibits U.S. Government employees from soliciting gifts and decorations from foreign governments and discourages the acceptance of unsolicited gifts and decorations. Where refusal might embarrass the donor or adversely affect U.S. foreign relations, the item(s) may be accepted. They may be retained by the individual if less than $50 in value; if their value is more than $50, they must be turned over to the Government.

The status of the Department of State's actions on the recommendations was: (1) definitive procedures for handling foreign gifts received by the President and members of his family had been developed; (2) the Department of State does not plan to implement the recommendation that Federal Agencies and U.S. Missions report gifts or decorations received in excess of minimal value by Federal employees; (3) no additional steps are being taken by the Office of Protocol to publicly disclose gifts reported; (4) no action has been taken in terms of providing comprehensive and overall guidance concerning the act; (5) no action has been taken to note and document gifts received but not reported or deposited; (6) new criteria were developed, but not formalized in writing, as to followup on gifts retained for official use; and (7) no new blanket concurrences to the Armed Forces for badges and medals have been granted.

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