- The State Department released a record of gifts given to government employees over the last several years.
- The gifts range from the minimum required value for reporting of $415 to over $10,000.
- The CIA’s section of the record includes over a dozen items listed as “destroyed”.
Foreign governments and the US officials often exchange expensive gifts as a traditional part of international relations, but not all of the gifts can be kept by the people and departments receiving them.
The State Department published its record of gifts given to US officials last week, and it includes hundreds given to President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and dozens of other government employees over the last several years.
Gifts valued above $415 must be reported to the employee’s agency, and many of the items listed in the report became official government property by being transferred to the National Archives, or the General Services Administration.
Many gifts are put on display, but several others, including clothing and watches valued as high as $10,000, are listed as “destroyed” in the section of gifts that were given to employees of the Central Intelligence Agency.
The gifts span a wide variety, from furniture and books to valuable pens, jewelry, and clothing worth several thousand dollars. They also were gifted across different government agencies, and many of the employees who received them or the country where the gift originated are not specified in the report.
“When an agency receives foreign government gifts, there are several options for disposing of the gift permissibly,” a CIA spokesperson told Fox Business.
“When an employee receives a foreign government gift exceeding minimal value, the agency may make official use of the gift or may display it. Examples of official use could include using a gift for artistic display, re-gifting to authorized recipients or otherwise using a gift in an official function. The agency may sell the gift to the employee. Or an agency may dispose of the item as excess property.”
While government employees are required to report the gifts and handle them in a specific way, they are not allowed to refuse gifts above a certain value because of the chance it “would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. Government,” according to the rules listed in the record.