Legislative actions from the 2015 General Assembly session resulted in additional statutory restrictions prescribed in the Code of Virginia that affect the procurement ethics and actions of public employees and private entities (suppliers) alike. In addition, the Appropriations Act contains language that directly addresses the solicitation and acceptance of gifts, grants and contracts by an agency at any time.
It is important to remember that § 2.2-3101 of the Code of Virginia defines "gift" very broadly:
"Gift" means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, or other item having monetary value. It includes services as well as gifts of transportation, local travel, lodgings and meals, whether provided in-kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred.
"Gift" shall not include:
The Appropriations Act addresses the solicitation and acceptance of donations, gifts, grants and contracts by state agencies:
§ 4-2.01 (a) Nongeneral Fund Revenues of the Appropriations Act contains the following language:
§ 4-2.01 NONGENERAL FUND REVENUES
a. SOLICITATION AND ACCEPTANCE OF DONATIONS, GIFTS, GRANTS, AND CONTRACTS:
1. No state agency shall solicit or accept any donation, gift, grant, or contract without the written approval of the Governor except under written guidelines issued by the Governor which provide for the solicitation and acceptance of nongeneral funds, except that donations or gifts to the Virginia War Memorial Foundation that are small in size and number and valued at less than $5,000, such as library items or small display items, may be approved by the Executive Director of the Virginia War Memorial in consultation with the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security. All other gifts and donations to the Virginia War Memorial Foundation must receive written approval from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security.
2. The Governor may issue policies in writing for procedures which allow state agencies to solicit and accept nonmonetary donations, gifts, grants, or contracts except that donations, gifts and grants of real property shall be subject to § 4-4.00 of this act and § 2.2-1149, Code of Virginia. This provision shall apply to donations, gifts and grants of real property to endowment funds of institutions of higher education, when such endowment funds are held by the institution in its own name and not by a separately incorporated foundation or corporation.
3. The preceding subdivisions shall not apply to property and equipment acquired and used by a state agency or institution through a lease purchase agreement and subsequently donated to the state agency or institution during or at the expiration of the lease purchase agreement, provided that the lessor is the Virginia College Building Authority.
4. The use of endowment funds for property, plant or equipment for state-owned facilities is subject to § 4-2.03 Indirect Costs, § 4-4.01 Capital Projects-General and § 4-5.03 Services and Clients of this act.