The ethics of conflicts

Thursday 24 June, 2021
by Anonymous

You’re leading an important project to secure a tender worth a significant amount of money to your financial institution.

You receive information from a member of the project team about what they think would ensure the deal being agreed to by the client. Their advice is that if you add X, Y and Z to the proposal, the client may find it more appealing.

It is very specific detail that only somebody working within the tendering organisation would know. The person who provided this advice later confides in you that they worked there a year ago.

What would you do?

  • Is this an actual, potential or perceived conflict of interest?
  • Is there a conflict of interest policy in place?

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Comments

There are 3 comments for The ethics of conflicts.

Re: The ethics of conflicts

Friday 25 June, 2021
by Rohan
I think at the least this is an actual conflict and could be perceived or potential conflict too. The thing is to find out. I'm not sure that even the perception of a conflict is not enough to be transparent and not use the information received. This is a tricky area. There was a time you only needed to be transparent and to mitigate any issues, now I think you have to completely remove yourself from any suggestion of a conflict.
I'd love to hear other people's thoughts on this.

Re: The ethics of conflicts

Friday 25 June, 2021
by Angus
Tricky. You can't really forget what you've heard or forget what you know, but there is an actual conflict on interest here. You have a former employee on the team, and many organisation will disqualify you from the tender on this fact alone.
Get them off the team.
Consult the terms of the tender an act accordingly.
I'd consider using the information, but not verbatim and not without some research. After all the information has aged a year.

Re: The ethics of conflicts

Friday 2 July, 2021
by Andrew Murphy
I would be open to the client and let them know that a previous employee is in your project team, but will be excluded from working on this tender.

I would put in the tender, but exclude the information provided by employee.

I would speak to the employee in your project team about the importance of conflict of interests. Explain why you need to ignore the information they have provided, and work out a way to keep them away from this project.

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