Answer ... The granting of benefits is not classified as corruption if the benefits are not granted in expectation of consideration and are socially adequate. As no injustice exists in such cases, gifts, entertainment, invitations and expense allowances may be permitted in individual cases.
The decisive factor is that the gift is both socially customary and generally approved. Against this backdrop, the donation of cash is prohibited.
The assessment of the social adequacy of the benefit depends in particular on the role of the beneficiary, the relationship between the giver and the beneficiary, the procedure of the giver and the nature, value and timing of the gift.
If the beneficiary is a public official, a stricter measure of social adequacy applies. Under no circumstances may a gift convey an impression of the public official’s bias or purchasability towards third parties. The hierarchical position of the beneficiary can also provide clarification on whether a gift is admissible. For example, invitations of representatives are more socially adequate than invitations of simple administrators.
The admissibility of a gift may be contradicted by enduring points of contact between the parties involved. In addition, a clandestine approach by the giver indicates the inadmissibility of the gift.
As far as the admissibility of gifts is concerned, low-value gifts are generally admissible, although different value limits may apply in this regard.
The admissibility of dinner invitations or event invitations depends on the value, the specific relation to the invited person and other particular circumstances of the case.
Other contributions, such as donations and sponsorship, frequently give rise to an unspecified presumption of undue influence on the beneficiary’s decisions. To avoid this, companies should allow such support only on the basis of clear guidelines. In particular, the donation should always be transparent to the public.