Doug Chalmers Comments on Georgia State Employee Gift Rules

From the  Savannah Morning News article: “Gift rules for state employees mostly ignored, observers say” – July 11, 2015:

State workers aren’t supposed to accept anything worth more than $25, and companies that do business with the state are supposed to file annual reports of what they spend on the workers — but observers say it’s a largely ignored part of ethics regulation.

Adding to the lack of reporting is confusion about exactly what type of activity triggers a requirement for a company to register because the commission hasn’t had to rule on a case in recent memory about what constitutes the “bona fide salesperson” exception.

Making it clear won’t be easy either, said Doug Chalmers, an attorney with Chalmers Pak & Burch who’s represented clients before the commission for 12 years.

“It’s not always clear when someone is a vendor lobbyist versus a commission salesperson, but it is very difficult to draft the kinds of laws or rules to require disclosure while not also requiring everyone who had dealings with government to disclose,” he said.

Click here to read the full article on