Cisco tech conference door prizes create stink with $10M in state contracts

Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry
Cisco has $10.1 million in contracts with the State of Pennsylvania. So after five state employees returned from a Harrisburg, PA tech conference with door prizes sponsored by Cisco (an iPod, $50 gift cards and free software), they were told to return the gifts. The State of Pennsylvania has a management directive regarding gifts:
Employees and the families of employees shall not directly or indirectly solicit, accept or agree to accept any gift of money or goods, loans or services for personal benefit under any circumstance which would influence the manner in which employees perform their work, make their decisions or otherwise perform their duties.

The above directive appears to undermine official Cisco policy:

Cisco policy allows gifts to be awarded to government employees if distributed as door prizes in a random drawing.

Do YOU agree with the State of Pennsylvania that Cisco door prizes give the appearance of impropriety?

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