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The ethics of procurement.. what would you do?

Wednesday 26 May, 2021
by Anonymous

You are the Head of Procurement at a health insurance company and Ingrid – a high performing employee who has been in her role for two months and reports to you - has come to you to make you aware of some action she took recently to secure a contract. Ingrid is a great cultural fit and gets on well with stakeholders across the organisation.

Ingrid has come to you to acknowledge she has breached compliance, but only realised this morning upon completing her compliance training as part of her induction that is required in the first 90 days of starting a new role.

Ingrid advises she forged a client’s signature on a contract based on their verbal permission because it was on deadline and they were unable to sign in person or fax a copy through in time.

When you ask Ingrid why she did it, she says it was common practise in her former organisation and she didn't think twice about it until today. Ingrid points out that at the time her reasoning was based on getting the contract signed in time to deliver the best results, and it was in the client’s interests so she believed it was a value-driven decision.

This behaviour goes against the organisation’s value of transparency and is considered a compliance breach. 

What would you do? 

We challenge you to create a healthy discussion with your colleagues and post a comment below. You could even encourage them to consider taking The Banking and Financial Services Oath!

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Photo by Leon Seibert on Unsplash


There are 3 comments for The ethics of procurement.. what would you do?.

Re: The ethics of procurement.. what would you do?

Thursday 27 May, 2021
by Amber
I can't see how signing on behalf of a client in any situation is ok or ethical! I understand that in this situation the individual hadn't completed compliance training however outside of our work environments when is it ever legal to sign on behalf of another person? To me this is a clear breach irrespective of whether initial training was completed or not.

Re: The ethics of procurement.. what would you do?

Thursday 27 May, 2021
by Angus
Not sure where the dilemma is here. Ingrid employment has probably ended and could be going jail. This is fraud.

Re: The ethics of procurement.. what would you do?

Sunday 30 May, 2021
by Cris
The way o see it, you have 2 options: demonstrate a zero tolerance to unethical behaviour and let Ingrid go ( with ease) as she’s still probably on probation OR send a message to other employees to say ‘ unthinking practices don’t cut it and just because wot was ok in your last place of employment doesn’t mean it’s ok at your current place’
Personally I would use this as an opportunity to demonstrate to other employees what the expectations are, rather than fire or shame Ingrid.
Is this naive?

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