Peer responses should had to the classroom discussion, must be a minimum of 110 words and include a direct question.
Original class discussion: Explain the importance of ethical behavior in a contracting environment.
STUDENT 1 (James ):
I have always enjoyed learning about ethics. It has always been something that has piqued my interest, as a kid growing up I was always taught honesty and integrity. It is something that I teach my daughter now. Having the responsibility to act on behalf of the government is a big responsibility to handle, having the correct internal ethics to do so is important. Many people have become negative examples of what not to do when acting on behalf of the government or a branch of the Armed Forces. I do not intend to become the bad example. It is imperative that not only do we act with good ethics in order to not be punished through the law, but also to ensure that we act accordingly in order to not tarnish the view of our positions through the world of contracting.
Another interesting point that I came along while completing the required reading was, waste and abuse. It is something that can be seen in most government offices and the Department of Defense has a whole has programs designed to mitigate the waste and abuse of resources. Always keeping an eye out for these types of projects the create waste can be exhausting, but they are important. Alleviating the need to complete duplicate work is something I have seen in my position. The effort that was done with the first project was either incorrect or not enough to solve the issue at hand, and in doing so the project had to be redone. Making the correct effort and completing project the first time is important in order to stop the waste of taxpayer money.
STUDENT 2 ( William): The two point of interest that I garnered from this weekâ€™s assignment were the Combat Trafficking in Person (CTIP) and Fraud. As a military member I have had the opportunity to work while abroad and I have seen some horrific situation regarding how others are forced to work against their will. This is usually associated with passports being held, people being forced to live where they work and poor recruiting practices, which usually charge an absorbent fee for the dream of a better life. As a Contracting Officer Representative (COR) I have had to report back situations of this type of behavior to the Contracting Officer (KO) during quality assurance inspections and per the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) and Defense Federal Acquisition Regulation Supplement (DFARS) this type of behavior is not tolerated. Companies usually avoid this or try their best to hide these practices due to the money they will be losing however; sometimes due to cultural practices they see no wrong when mentioned. The second point of interest was fraud. I have seen and read articles over the years of how the temptation to defraud the government for money, kickbacks or future jobs has been overwhelming which has led to some serious charges brought against those who have tried which has also implemented changes within the acquisition world. KOs are on the frontlines of negotiations to ensure the government and taxpayer receive the best deal available however; I believe this is where the moral compass and ethical oath contractors are to abide by should keep them on the straight and narrow but like moths attracted to the flame, some are attracted to the temptation to commit fraud and are ultimately burned.
STUDENT 3 (Danisha):
In this weekâ€™s reading, we learned about ethical standards within the contracting environment. Having and following ethical standards is vital to the success of Government Contracting. A contracting officer is the only one who can obligate funds on behalf of the United States Government. Having such great responsibilities can be a great thing but if one does not follow ethical standards within the contracting process, it can be a bad thing when faced with a dilemma. It can lead to many violations such as conflict of interest and violating the acceptance of gifts.
Two points of interest from this reading I will elaborate on are the receiving and gifting of gifts and conflict of interest. The gifting of gifts is usually a sensitive matter. While it is common curtesy in other countries to show their appreciation by gifting someone for their hard work, a CCO or anyone else working on behalf of the CCO cannot just accept a gift. This can be seen as bribery for a current or future obligation. The acceptance of illegal gifts can ultimately lead to jail time if there was an ethical violation.
As the saying goes, do not mix business with pleasure. This statement holds true for contracting officers as well as other contracting representatives. According to acquisition.gov, conflict of interest can occur with family member, employees as well as third party for a financial gain.