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Rey Palma's Forum Award Winning Essay

 

We all have to deal with politicians at one time or another but what if at least one of your Agency's political representatives is also proposing to become your Agency's vendor? To make matters even more difficult, you live in a suburban community - in fact, it's rural - some might say remote. Your Agency is contemplating issuing a solicitation for a fairly substantial piece of work. One of your Agency's Councilors/Board of Commissioners actually owns a company that provides the goods/services in which you are interested. Research determines that your local politician's company is the only one in your area, and for quite some distance, that does provide the goods/services. Can you ethically contract with this company? Highlight the pros and cons and how you propose to proceed.


“A man without ethics is a wild beast loosed upon this world.” - Albert Camus


The ethicalness of the question posed in the situation to be considered for this exercise will test the procurement professionals’ procedural knowledge, legal and policy attentiveness and attention to the political and social aspects of the matter. Personal morals and beliefs and our integrity compass may be temporarily skewed but not loosened from their foundation as we struggle to align the public procurement tenet of “fair and equal treatment for all” with prevalent situational mores as implied. Provisionally we may be limited by political and practical realities and forced to acquiesce to higher powers or diligently work to mitigate negative perceptions. Ultimately, the final decision should not taint our professional and ethical standards. 

 

To read the entire essay click on this link