Guidelines relating to Official Gifts for presentation by Ministers

ROLE OF THE MINISTER'S OFFICE

1  Official Gifts Background

1.1  Although Australia is not traditionally a gift giving country, other countries’ customs, good manners and goodwill may necessitate the presentation of gifts.

1.2  Whilst under the direction of the Protocol and International Visits Branch (PIV) of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C), the responsibility for the supply of official gifts for presentation has been outsourced to Intandem Holdings Pty Ltd (Intandem). Intandem utilises the services of its nominated sub-contractor, National Mail and Marketing (NMM). NMM provides physical storage of products, online ordering, gift wrapping, packaging, local (Canberra) delivery services and national/international distribution services as required. Under the terms of the contract, official gifts are supplied by Intandem.

2  Eligibility to Present Official Gifts

2.1  Official gift givers who are eligible to use this service are the Governor-General, the Prime Minister, Ministers, Parliamentary Secretaries and official Parliamentary Delegations. For the purpose of these guidelines, the word ‘minister’ is inclusive of all/any of these eligible users.

2.2  The service should only be used by ministers undertaking overseas travel approved by the Prime Minister; ministers hosting a Guest of Government visit or a visiting foreign official; and official Parliamentary Delegations approved by the Prime Minister. 

3  Australia’s Gift Policy

3.1  The Government’s policy of being a non-gift giving country should be made known to representatives of foreign governments at the time visits are being planned. This should encourage a more modest approach to such exchanges.

3.2  The decision to present a gift is always at the discretion of the minister. To assist with this, planning for any official overseas visit by the minister, or an official visit to Australia by a Guest of Government or a foreign official, should include a request for advice from the relevant Australian Embassy or High Commission about known gift giving customs and requirements (including any cultural or religious sensitivities). In Australia, PIV officers escorting Guests of Government will advise if the visitor is presenting a gift. For Guest of Government visits the host minister will present a gift on behalf of the Australian Government.

4  Official Gifts Contract

4.1 PM&C manage an open approach to market for the provision of Government Gifts for Official Presentation. The current Deed of Standing Offer arrangement is with The De Saumarez Group Pty Ltd (Trading as Intandem).

4.2  All non-corporate Commonwealth entities may use the Deed of Standing Offer arrangement and costs associated in procuring gifts through this contract are the responsibility of the procuring agency

5  Procedure for procuring Official Gifts through the Deed of Standing Offer

5.1  Agencies can procure services through the execution of an Official Order. The Official Order is a contract and if above $10,000 must be published on AusTender by the procuring agency.

5.2 For new Official Orders and log ins, contact Intandem to provide assistance with accessing the contract, including the provision of log in and password details and a ‘how to’ guide. Intandem can provide one-on-one remote training as needed. A new order will be required for each gift giving occasion (ie. each overseas visit by the minister, or official visit to Australia involving the giving of a gift by the minister).

5.3 If it is considered that there is a gift requirement, an order should be completed online using Intandem’s website. The official gifts site will allow the user to view the products listed in the catalogue, or with the appropriate permission, allow you to log in and place orders.  

5.4 For the most efficient and appropriate selection of gifts it is important that Intandem is given as much information as possible about gift recipients, including advice received from relevant DFAT posts overseas, and any particular emphasis the visit may have or known cultural/religious sensitivities. The notice given should allow sufficient time for considered selection and quality presentation.

6  Choice of Gifts

6.1  Where required, Intandem staff will provide advice and assistance, but the choice of gifts, subject to certain financial limitations, is made by the minister or his/her agent.

5.2 PIV has requested Intandem sort gifts into the following categories based on value and appropriateness of the gift for the level of recipient. Suggested maximum values should be:

  • Heads of State/Heads of Government $500-$750
  • Government to Government up to $300
  • Senior Minister up to $250
  • Junior Ministers/Officials up to $150
  • Protocol up to $30
  • Drivers, security staff, etc up to $25.

6.2  The dollar amount assigned to each listed category by Intandem, in consultation with PIV, is indicative. Discretion and judgement may be required in relation to the status of some gift recipients. While the choice of gift should not exceed the recommended upper limit of the relevant category, there may be occasions where a gift of lesser value from another category will be appropriate.

6.3  Where there is a separate gift to a spouse of an overseas host/visitor, its value should be equivalent to or less than the value of the gift to the principal.

6.4  There may be other recipients who do not fall into the listed categories such as institutions, overseas schools, hospitals, etc. The gift chosen should be appropriate to the occasion.

6.5  It is not considered appropriate to make official gift presentations to Australian Government employees or their families.

7 Gift Acquittals

7.1  Upon receipt of the gifts from Intandem, the accompanying gift order and packing slip must be signed. From that time until the acquittal is completed online and any unused gifts are returned to Intandem, the care and control of the gifts are the responsibility of the minister’s office or procuring agency.

7.2  For each gift presentation, the gift order and packing slip must be annotated by the responsible staff member, recording the recipient’s name and title, or, for minor gifts, the category of recipient, and in all cases, the presentation date.  These fields are mandatory.

7.3  In the case of gifts not being presented, this should be reflected in the online acquittal eg in the column titled “Qty to be returned” insert 1.

7.4  The acquittal should be completed online by the ordering officer and any gifts not presented, should be returned to Intandem within twenty (20) working days of presentation and/or return to Australia

7.5  As part of the acquittal process, any comments on the gifts or service can be emailed to Intandem to ensure the service continues to meet the minister’s needs.

ROLE OF THE GIFTS SUPPLIER

8  Intandem

8.1  Under the direction of PIV, Intandem provides a wide selection of Australian made and crafted items, purchased from sources throughout Australia, in a range of values that are suitable for presentations as official gifts.

8.2  Intandem staff will be available to provide advice on choice, local custom and protocol relating to the presentation of official gifts. If selecting gifts electronically, this protocol information is available on request from Intandem. A database maintained by Intandem records gifts presented on previous occasions so that duplication is avoided.

8.3  Whilst there will be a large stock from which gifts can be selected, any special requests for particular gifts should be discussed with Intandem allowing enough time to source items should they be appropriate.

8.4  The selection of gifts will be listed, clearly identified and packaged for presentation and travel.

8.5  After gifts have been presented, acquitted and returned to Intandem, data base records will be updated to ensure presentation information is current.

ROLE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

9  Protocol and International Visits Branch Responsibilities:

9.1  It is the role of PIV to manage the contract with Intandem and oversee all aspects of the official gifts service.

9.2 Any enquiries regarding the contract or these guidelines should be directed to:

Protocol and International Visits Branch
Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
One National Circuit

BARTON   ACT   2600
Phone: (02) 6271 5130
Email: AOG@pmc.gov.au

Intandem Contact Officer:

Cheryl Webb, Accounts Manager
Intandem
Phone:  03 9417 0707
Fax:  03 9417 0556
Email: gifts@intandem.com.au

Intandem Mailing Address:

PO Box 7028
CANBERRA BC  ACT  2601

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