Tricky procurement ethics questions and related answers
Unethical behaviour begins with a choice. But, once begun it is a downhill slide on a slippery slope. Some professionals justify their behaviour by judging themselves against their intentions rather than against their actions. However, a decisive litmus test is whether you would feel comfortable if the press spoke to your suppliers about your relationship with them.
In this month’s SmartProcurement we provide some solutions to a few tricky situations in which procurement professionals will likely find themselves at some point in their careers.
1. What can I do when a bidder suggests a cost savings idea?
You can say:
"Thank you for your idea. However, to have a fair and ethical bidding process, I cannot accept a bid whose specification does not follow the same rules as everyone else.
Therefore, we have two options:
i. We can stick with our original specifications; or
ii. We can amend the request for proposal and give all suppliers a fair and equal opportunity to bid on the revised specifications. However, because the specification revision is your idea, I will not share it with other suppliers without your permission.
Which option can we agree upon?"