Alabama DOT forbids gifts for contractors, highway workers

Contractors, employees and construction workers affiliated with the Alabama Department of Transportation can no longer accept gifts like season tickets to games or expense-paid trips due to a new ethics policy.

According to DOT Assistant Director Dan Morris, the new policy is unusual for the state of Alabama. He said he doesn’t know if such policies exist in other states.

The 13-page policy was adopted in an attempt to increase fair treatment of employees working with the state’s transportation department. The 13-page policy will be sent to contractors, road builders and asphalt and concrete dealers who work on state projects.

In the past, the Alabama DOT had problems with employees receiving large gifts.

“We have had some incidents of people here having made expense-paid trips at the expense of suppliers and that is not going to happen while I’m here,” DOT Director Joe McInnes told the Associated Press.

Under the new rules, workers are not allowed to solicit or accept gifts, entertainment, services, travel or lodging from outside sources that do business with the department. Employees can accept small novelties, such as coffee cups and calendars, as long as their total value isn’t more than $50. The amount for the small gifts cannot exceed $100 within a year period. Employees can accept entertainment as long as it is business related and is infrequent. Any entertainment that requires travel or lodging is not allowed under the new policy.