Recognize and Avoid Conflicts of Interest

Gifts & Entertainment

Our team is attending a training session hosted by a supplier to learn about a new item the supplier is launching. The supplier said we will each get a free t-shirt for attending the training. Can we accept the t-shirts?

No. Because the t-shirts are coming from the supplier and are not related to the product team gaining an understanding of the product, the team should not accept the t-shirts. Politely decline the t-shirts and explain our standard on gifts and entertainment to the supplier.  

I have been requested to speak on a panel at an event sponsored by a supplier. The supplier has offered to pay for all expenses incurred for all speakers. Is it appropriate for a supplier to cover my expenses?

No. Due to our business relationship with the supplier, Walmart should incur the costs associated with the event to avoid a conflict of interest.

One of my suppliers has offered to give me two tickets to an upcoming sporting event. Should I accept the tickets? Should I offer to buy the tickets?

No. To ensure that you treat all of your suppliers fairly and make objective business decisions, you should not accept free tickets or purchase tickets from your suppliers. Accepting free tickets from your supplier would be considered a gift. If you buy the tickets at face value, you may not be paying the actual fair market value of the tickets. The difference in the face value and the fair market value would also be considered a gift. Even if you paid fair market value for the tickets, you have access to the tickets because of your business relationship with the supplier; therefore, it would not be acceptable to buy the tickets from your supplier.

When visiting my supplier, can the supplier provide transportation for me?

In some instances, it may be more cost effective and sustainable for associates to ride with a supplier while conducting business. If it’s necessary to travel with the supplier, you should pay your portion of the travel expenses (e.g. half the taxi fee, half the cost of gas, etc.). If these situations arise, talk to your manager.