This 30-page report on Ethics in Procurement prepared by the Ethics Alliance examines the ethical issues and tensions that arise in payment of suppliers, and provides a framework for ensuring fair transactions.
This guidebook came together after a series of interviews with members and a follow up roundtable discussion that explored both systemic and principle-based solutions. It examines some of the procurement-based issues identified through that process, looking at the causes of ethical tension and offering frameworks for each stage of the procurement process.
Formulated as a practical solution, the paper considers common challenges including:
- Should companies have an open tender and invite all to bid, or save time and money by targeting known suppliers?
- Should companies accept the cheapest complying bid, or pay more to a company that distributes a proportion of its profits to a good cause?
- Should companies be transparent in their dealings with suppliers, or will this open them up to disputes?
- Is it reasonable for companies to impose a significant administrative burden in the first round of a tender process by asking for information which is not directly relevant to the project in question?
Plus, it provides a framework to make payment processes fair, practical and ethical.