Gifts

With precise and comprehensive regulation of the acceptance of gifts, there is less opportunity for groundless attacks on and doubts in the honesty of officials as they perform their public function. On the other hand, a public official may refer to the provisions of the law to avoid possible embarrassment and misunderstanding regarding the acceptance of gifts as part of ceremonial, diplomatic or other custom when the public official or their function are honoured and celebrated by means of occasional or other gifts.

The handling of gifts and the maintenance and content of gift lists are laid out in the Rules on the Restrictions and Duties of Officials Regarding the Acceptance of Gifts (published: Official Gazette of the Republic of Slovenia nos. 53/10 and 73/10; hereinafter: Rules) but the rule of thumb is that an official may not accept gifts or other benefits in relation to the performing of their public function with the exception of protocol gifts and occasional gifts of small value (no single gift may exceed € 75 in value, and the total value of all gifts received from the same person in a single year may not exceed € 150). In no circumstances may money, securities or precious metals be accepted as a gift of small value. All gifts received, with the exception of gifts not exceeding € 25 in value, and their values must be recorded on the gift list; state- and other bodies must forward the lists to the Commission to be included in the public catalogue of accepted gifts, published yearly on the Commission’s website.

Restrictions on the acceptance of gifts apply to:

  • officials;
  • state bodies;
  • local communities;
  • holders of public authority.

Legal provisions

Article 30

(Prohibition and restrictions with regard to the acceptance of gifts by officials)

(1) An official may not accept gifts or other benefits (hereinafter: gifts) in connection with the discharge of the duties of the office, the exceptions being protocol gifts and occasional gifts which are small in value.

(2) Protocol gifts are gifts given to officials by representatives of other State bodies, other countries and international organisations and institutions on the occasions of visits, guest appearances and other occasions, and other gifts given in similar circumstances.

(3) Occasional gifts of small value are gifts given on special occasions that do not exceed EUR 75 in value, and a total value that does not exceed EUR 150 during a particular year when they are received from the same person. In no circumstances may money, securities or precious metals be accepted as a gift of small value.

(4) An official may not accept gifts that have affected or might affect the objective and impartial discharge of the duties of his office, irrespective of their value.

(5) The prohibition and restrictions referred to in this Article shall also apply to the official’s family members.

Article 31

(Gift list)

(1) The body or organisation in which an official who has accepted a gift holds office shall put descriptions of the gifts accepted on the gift list and indicate their value.

(2) Gifts shall not be included on the gift list referred to in the preceding paragraph if less than EUR 25 in value.

(3) Protocol gifts and occasional gifts with a value greater than EUR 75 shall become the property of the Republic of Slovenia, local community or organisation in which the official holds office.

(4) If the Commission establishes that the value of the accepted protocol or occasional gift exceeds the amount referred to in the preceding paragraph, or in the case referred to in paragraph 4 of the preceding Article, the gift shall, pursuant to the decision of the Commission, become the property of the Republic of Slovenia, local community or organisation in which the official holds office.

(5) The official shall give the gift referred to in paragraph 3 of this Article to the body or organisation in which he holds office to manage. If the gift no longer exists physically, or cannot be given to the body or organisation in which the official holds office to manage for other reasons, the official shall pay the amount of the value of the gift into the State or municipal budget pursuant to the decision reached by the Commission.

(6) The Commission shall define the manner in which gifts accepted by officials in connection with the discharge of the duties of their office are handled and managed, and the content of the list of these gifts, and shall address other issues relating to the implementation of prohibition and restrictions with regard to the acceptance of gifts and the duties of officials in this respect.

Article 32

(Forwarding gift lists to the Commission)

(1) State and other bodies and organisations that are obliged to keep gift lists, shall forward the copies of the lists for the previous year to the Commission by 31 March of the current year.

(2) If, upon examining a list, the Commission establishes any departure from the statutory criteria set out in Article 30 of this Act, it shall inform the body or organisation from which the list was received.

(3) On the basis of the information collected, the Commission shall prepare a public catalogue of gifts accepted in the previous year and publish it on its website.

Article 33

(Gifts and objective discharge of the duties of office)

(1) In monitoring the implementation of the provisions of this Act relating to the acceptance of gifts, the Commission shall assess whether a particular official has accepted gifts or obtained benefits that have affected or might affect the objective and impartial discharge of the duties of his office.

(2) If the Commission considers that a particular official has accepted gifts or obtained benefits that have affected or might affect the objective and impartial discharge of the duties of his office, it shall immediately inform law enforcement authorities and, if necessary, other competent authorities.

(3) If the Commission establishes that an official has accepted gifts that have affected or might affect the objective and impartial discharge of the duties of his office, the gifts shall become the property of the Republic of Slovenia or the local community pursuant to the decision of the Commission.

Article 34

(Gifts to State and local bodies and holders of public authority)

(1) State bodies, local communities and holders of public authority may accept gifts only in cases and under conditions laid down by law.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of other Acts, State bodies, bodies of local communities and holders of public authority may not accept gifts that affect or might affect the legality, objectivity and impartiality of their work.

(3) State bodies, bodies of local communities and holders of public authority shall forward to the Commission the gift list accepted under paragraph 1 of this Article, along with the gift list referred to in paragraph 1 of Article 31 of this Act. (4) If the Commission establishes that a State body, local community body or holder of public authority has accepted a gift that affects or might affect the legality, objectivity and impartiality of its work, the gift shall become the property of the Republic of Slovenia or the local community pursuant to the decision of the Commission.