main ethical issue in the case study is the bid rigging that took place between
the two southern states and the repercussions of the unethical act. Bid
rigging, otherwise known as Complementary Bidding is when two or more
contractors work together to determine who is going to bid what, basically
“rigging” the bid. The reason this is so unethical and illegal in many
countries around the world, is because all the bidders who are not involved in
the scheme are cut out of any chance of winning that award. The contractor
designated to win the bid would put his bid in as other contractors would put
in a bid that was either way it high or came with unrealistic expectations. It
would create the illusion of competitive bidding but the winner was set to win.
It is a complete violation of the Code of Ethics according to AIC.
Therefore, any paving constructor not
involved with the rigging will lose any chance they may have of getting the
job. The people that participated in
this process are the ones responsible for any bad situation that both the
participants – if caught by the government- and non-participants are into. The
issue is that the contractors didn’t do the bidding fairly or ethically, as
well as adding pressure to the other bidders to participate in the scheme.
Doing this scheme allowed the participants to give short shrift quality and
price and increase their profit without the threat of losing the award to the
competitors offering better terms.
If I was one of the paving contractors,
and I was offered another chance to participate again, I would decline the
offer and report the complementary bidding practice to the client. My reasoning
for this is because I believe it would save lot of people from experiencing the
same dishonesty, as well as helping the client build a bond with a loyal,
reliable and trustworthy contractor. Participating
again and knowing what the schemers hard done would mean participating knowing
that the likelihood for another scheme to happen would be present, as well as
any trouble if they were to be caught. Not to mention, it is a clear violation of
Canon 5 and 6 of the code of ethics. Canon five; reputation by merit and Canon
six; upholding profession honor (ASCE). Participating
would be going against the Code of Ethics and dealing with any repercussions,
not matter how much later I joined than the other participants had.
The reason I wouldn’t agree to
participate again is simple; the other participants has lost any trust that
anyone may have had for them. The understanding of the rules was never
something that changed; it was something they chose to ignore whilst making
their unethical choice.
Declining the invitation to participate
was an obvious, ethical answer. However, still independently bidding for the
same position, with the same client and the same competitors would not prove
worth my time, or of those who had no chance to begin with. That is when left
me with the decision to decline and report the ones who committed the act. By
doing this, I would be following the Code of Ethics and helping to put an end
to bidding misconduct. It would also provide opportunity to help establish new
procedures to prevent this in the future.