Ethics and Investigations
I work for a governmental organization, in the department of purchasing and supplies. The department does the procurement services on behalf of the company and meets the needs of the users in the organization. There have been reports and accusations in the firm pertaining malpractices in the department. It was reported that personnel were not following the guidelines set for them while undertaking their duties. The firm has been recording over commitment of the allocated funds and this raised the eyebrows of the chief executive officer. The chief executive officer called me in his office and from the look in his face it dictated that something somewhere was going wrong. I found two other colleagues, whom we worked together with. Tension filled the whole office, as numerous questions rolled in my brain traffic, as I wondered what he had in mind. He handed me a booklet with a brief description on the ethics of investigative practices in the firm and requested me to conduct a thorough enquiry on the activities in the purchasing and the supply department.
The ethics stated that the investigator should adhere to the rules of the company and treat all the people with equal respect no matter the appointment (Yeschke, 1965). Moreover, one should keep the information achieved from the research confidential and not to receive any favors from the people under examination. He should not use force in acquiring information from the sources, as well as should not tell the time or date of the inquiry. Coordination with other investigators should always be encouraged; an investigator should conduct himself or herself with integrity and only the truth should be reported regardless of opinion. In addition, he should avoid criticizing other investigators in public. After reading the memorandum, he gave us the order to start the work.
The offices under investigation were located in the same officeblock, but in the different rooms, so it facilitated confidentiality. We divided the offices among ourselves and I was in the department of records. Starting with manager’s office, because I chose to follow the hierarchy downwards, I found myself at his door step. With utmost courtesy I went to his office and after being cleared by the secretary, I was there revealing the surprise to the manager. He ushered me into his cabinet, where files were arranged in a systematic manner. Before I started, I assured him that the information I retrieve from his office was going to be confidential. Inside the files on quotations sent to the various suppliers, there was evidence that numerous alterations were done on the figures quoted; the names of the right supplier to supply several items had signs of being erased severally.
The suppliers chosen to supply the expensive items were not given an open tender to the public. When open tendering was made, they chose the supplier with the highest prices; letters written to suppliers informing them on the prices should have been quoted. In addition, the letters had to have been sent to the manager indicating the amount of money deposited by the supplier in the manager’s account. Now it came time to look into his computer. When I was about to touch one of his computers, he started trembling with fear holding some money on his hand. Pretending that I was not cognizant with what was in his mind, I continued with the task with the values prohibiting favors constantly snapping in my mind. As I was perusing through the emails, he placed the money on the table and told me not to be injudicious, the money on the table was worth my annual salary, and that he was able to feed my family throughout our lifetime. Luckily enough, my clandestine camera was switched on and it received the whole drama. I politely told him that it was against the values and my conscious cannot let me take the golden chance.
The manager abruptly stopped me and chased me out of the office. Bearing in mind that I should not forcefully get information, I did not counterattack him. Before I was unceremoniously chased out, I had stolen glances at the email sent to his subordinate advising him to select a specific merchant and I nippily put it on record without his knowledge. I went swiftly straight to the subordinate bearing in mind that they might communicate and create a barrier to my process. I received a warm welcome from the subordinate, who was in charge of keeping all other records. I kept the values of respecting him despite his appointment. I informed him the essence of my presence that changed his moods to sulks. He instructed me not to touch anything, but ask him everything I wanted, because he claimed all was in his mind. I convinced him how significant it was to permit me to do my job and what it might cost if he repudiated the idea. He advised me to give him some minutes to make some things up-to-date, but the principle of not disclosing the time to the person to be investigated clicked in my mind, so I rebuffed to the suggestion. He eventually allowed me, as I was in progression, he started asking me about how I thought about the behavior of my fellow investigator, but I courteously requested him that my profession does not allow the dialogue (Michiel, 2011).
During my inquiries, I noted the email that he received from the manager, various letters written to suppliers on the prices to quote; figures written in pencil with the evidence of being erased; a large chunk of money in the drawers. He tried to convince me to leave him alone, because he was forced to be unethical by the manager. He gave me several scenarios truly explaining that it was not his fault. My evaluation was that he was innocent, but I recalled that it was my opinion according to my personal judgment, but not the one according to the company’s values.