Themain ethical issue in the case study is the bid rigging that took place betweenthe two southern states and the repercussions of the unethical act.
Bidrigging, otherwise known as Complementary Bidding is when two or morecontractors work together to determine who is going to bid what, basically”rigging” the bid. The reason this is so unethical and illegal in manycountries around the world, is because all the bidders who are not involved inthe scheme are cut out of any chance of winning that award. The contractordesignated to win the bid would put his bid in as other contractors would putin a bid that was either way it high or came with unrealistic expectations. Itwould 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 notinvolved with the rigging will lose any chance they may have of getting thejob. The people that participated inthis process are the ones responsible for any bad situation that both theparticipants – if caught by the government- and non-participants are into. Theissue is that the contractors didn’t do the bidding fairly or ethically, aswell as adding pressure to the other bidders to participate in the scheme.
Doing this scheme allowed the participants to give short shrift quality andprice and increase their profit without the threat of losing the award to thecompetitors offering better terms. If I was one of the paving contractors,and I was offered another chance to participate again, I would decline theoffer and report the complementary bidding practice to the client. My reasoningfor this is because I believe it would save lot of people from experiencing thesame dishonesty, as well as helping the client build a bond with a loyal,reliable and trustworthy contractor. Participatingagain and knowing what the schemers hard done would mean participating knowingthat the likelihood for another scheme to happen would be present, as well asany trouble if they were to be caught. Not to mention, it is a clear violation ofCanon 5 and 6 of the code of ethics.
Canon five; reputation by merit and Canonsix; upholding profession honor (ASCE). Participatingwould 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 toparticipate again is simple; the other participants has lost any trust thatanyone may have had for them. The understanding of the rules was neversomething that changed; it was something they chose to ignore whilst makingtheir unethical choice.
Declining the invitation to participatewas an obvious, ethical answer. However, still independently bidding for thesame position, with the same client and the same competitors would not proveworth my time, or of those who had no chance to begin with. That is when leftme with the decision to decline and report the ones who committed the act.
Bydoing this, I would be following the Code of Ethics and helping to put an endto bidding misconduct. It would also provide opportunity to help establish newprocedures to prevent this in the future.