When vendors offer purchase incentives/gifts (free items) with any University purchase, the free item becomes the property of the University of Washington. If an employee keeps the free item, they are violating University policy and the Washington State Ethics Law.
Examples of purchase incentives/gifts include:
  • A free $100 gift card with the purchase of a computer
  • A free I-POD with the purchase of a computer
  • A free I-PAD with the purchase of a piece of equipment
  • Free software with the purchase of a spectrometer

Note: Employees that participate in contractual (procurement) matters are further restricted from accepting anything of value except as noted in RCW 42.52.150 (4).

There are also federal laws pertaining to the acceptance of gifts, kickbacks, or other “remuneration” that influence or appear to influence purchases in the healthcare setting.  These laws prohibit any payment or receipt of things of value to the potential purchaser of healthcare items that would/could induce such purchases or referrals.  Violation of these laws can result in civil and criminal penalties for those involved. 


Internal Audit’s Ethics training materials (Slide 21 of the Ethics-training.pptx discusses which gifts can be accepted and speaks to a $50 single source limit per calendar year)

Gifts to the University - Overview

A gift is considered equipment if it meets the equipment definition (value greater than $5,000 and a life expectancy of more than one year).  University departments are responsible for approximating the fair market value of a gift at the time of receipt.  If the approximate fair market value is $5,000 or more and the life expectancy is more than on year, then the gift must be tagged and inventoried.


  • Department receives a gift (in-kind donation).
  • Department determines the fair market value of the gift.

Within 3-7 days after receipt (unless prior arrangements are made with EIO), department tags asset and enters it into OASIS as a "T" status asset.  The item should be treated the same as a newly purchased piece of equipment.  Please see this page for details on the tagging process. For the Requisition Number use '0000000'. For the Acquisition Method use 'GF' for Gift.

For more information on gifts to the University of Washington, see this page.


Gift Transmittal Form

Optional - UW Equipment Information Form


Updated 18 March 2019