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May 11, 1983

COMPTROLLER'S MEMORANDUM NO. 20 (1982-83)

SUBJECT: TRAVEL - PROMOTIONAL ITEMS


Various companies periodically offer sales promotions to increase business volume. This has been particularly frequent since the deregulation of the airline industry. Comptroller's Memorandum No. 24 (1979-80) dated January 2, 1980, discussed the distribution of cash and discount coupons by a particular airline. Since then several airlines and rental car firms have participated in some type of promotional activity.

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide agencies with guidelines to use in determining whether to require employees to submit to the agency promotional items that they receive while performing official State business.

Promotional items which can be used for lawful public purpose by the employee's agency or another State agency should be submitted to the agency which paid for the ticket. Also, promotional items such as coupons which can be redeemed for cash should be submitted to the agency. However, if the agency has several coupons that can be exchanged for a gift of greater value than the cash value of the coupons and the gift can be used by the agency for lawful public purpose, it is recommended that the agency accept the gift rather than the cash refund.

If the promotional items have no useful purpose for the agency or State (such as free food or beverages on an airline, etc.) the item may be used by the employee.

At the present time Hertz is offering gift coupons to its customers. Effective immediately through July 31, 1983, Hertz will refund to each State agency $2.50 per gift coupon which is turned in to Hertz. It is the agency's responsibility to communicate with its renters, accumulate the coupons from its renters, and turn them in once a month to the Hertz Sales office as follows:

Mr. W. D. Morrison
1200 Ford Road
Suite 136
Dallas, Texas 75234

Hertz is requiring that the coupons be remitted on an agency basis only and not by district or division. The refunds should be handled by the agency as a current year cash refund or prior year cash refund depending on the circumstances.

Please contact the Bureau of Auditing at 410-9194, Suncom 210-9194, if you have any questions.