Analysis of Procurement Ethics in the Workplace
Rendon, Rene G.
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In 2017, the DoD obligated more than $330 billion in contracts for mission-critical supplies and services. This includes the planning, awarding and administering of more than three million contract actions (USA Spending, 2018). DoD contracting officers play a critical role in the contracting process. Contracting officers are the only individuals authorized to award and administer contracts and make related determinations and findings (FAR, 2018). Additionally, contracting officers serve as the primary focal point for contractual issues, managing horizontal interfaces with external organizations, as well as vertical interfaces with internal organization (Rendon & Wilkinson, 2016). This role places contracting officers, in comparison to other members of the DoD workforce, in a challenging position from the perspective of ensuring contracts comply with laws, codes, and regulations. The DoD has established ethical codes of conduct to be observed by every member of the defense workforce. Additionally, the National Contract Management Association (NCMA) has also established a code of ethics for the members of the contract management profession. However, not everyone in the DoD, including senior government officials, or members of the acquisition workforce, may be aware, knowledgeable, or even in compliance with established ethical standards of conduct (Rendon & Rendon, 2015, 2016; Whitely et al., 2017). Thus, contracting officers face additional ethical challenges in ensuring contract management processes are performed in an ethical manner, compared to other members of the DoD workforce. The purpose of this research was to explore ethics and compliance strengths and challenges in the contract management workforce (Rendon & Wilkinson, 2016, pp. 49ﾖ50).
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NPS Report NumberSYM-AM-18-147
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