IT Outsourcing Contract Tender Process And Ethics

Background

Q1)

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In December 1999, IBM-GSA was one of three tenderers for the IT outsourcing contract for the Departments of Health, Aged Care and the Health Insurance Commission (the Health Group), along with CSC and EDS. During the tender process, IBM-GSA was supplied with computer disks containing critical information relating to final pricing of their rival tenderers. IBM-GSA subsequently revised its tender after the due deadline and the minister announced they were the successful bidder.

At the time, the Office of Asset Sales and Information Technology Outsourcing (OASITO) described giving IBM-GSA details of their rival’s bids as an ‘inadvertent error’. The minister dismissed the Opposition’s call for an immediate halt to the tender process. Three years later, the minister, now retired, admitted that the $350 million tender should have been cancelled. He told the Audit Office in September 2002:

“When the disc containing all three bids was delivered to IBM GSA in error my reaction on being informed directly by OASITO was to cancel the tender. I could not see that a tender process with integrity could continue. At the conclusion of the tender I was both disappointed and annoyed at the limited role of the Probity Auditor and the absence of a separate report on the issue.”

Not only did the tender continue, with IBM-GSA being awarded the contract, but the minister’s claim that the Probity Auditor’s role was limited was contradicted by evidence provided by OASITO to a Senate Estimates hearing on 8 February 2000. OASITO representatives told Senate Estimates that the management of the tender:

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“…was conducted in accordance with the advice from both the probity auditor and our legal advisers engaged for the initiative. All parties concurred at the time that the process could continue unchanged [OASITO] briefed the probity auditor in person [who] immediately came back to us with a proposed course of action…We engaged the probity auditor to participate in all of our discussions to make sure that he fully witnessed the nature of the discussions…and he was happy that we had delivered the messages in accordance with his proposed course of action.” 

Inadvertent Sharing of Critical Information

Q1. What’s going on?  (2 marks)

The main thing which is seen in the scenario is that IBM –GSA had changed their final pricing of the tender after receiving the pricing of the tender from other organisation. The other organisation in this context were the department of health, health insurance commission and the aged care. A disk was given to the IBM-GSA relating to the all the pricing which was involved into the concept.

Q2. What are the facts?  (2 marks)

The main fact which is seen in the scenario is that due to the fact of changing of pricing the tender had been allocated to the IBM –GSA. This event according to the Office of Asset Sales and Information Technology Outsourcing (OASITO) was described giving all the details of the tender as a result of which they altered the bit and finally got the tender.

Q3. What are the issues (non-ethical)?  (2 marks)

The main issue which is faced is that the handing over of the pricing to the organisation before the vent of the tender. This is very much an issue due to the factor that it is very much unethical to give over the tender report to other organisation.

Q4. Who is affected?  (2 marks)

The other organisation who fill up the tender are directly responsible for the event. This is due to the factor that most of the organisation tend to achieve a standard which is related to the aspect. This can directly hamper the overall working of the organisation.

Q5. What are the ethical issues and implications?  (3 marks)

The ethical implication which is majorly seen is in the sector of the achieving of the standard of the organisation. Some of the organisation tend to achieve a standard of working by means of putting a tender into the form.

Q6. What can be done about it?  (3 marks)

            The main thing which can be done in this context is that the tender should be given to the organisation who is legally valid for achieving the tender.

Q7. What are the options?  (3 marks)

Impact on Tender Process Integrity

The main option is to ignore the quote of the organisation and give the tender to some of the organisation who deserve the tender.

Q8. Which option is best – and why?  (3 marks)

The best option would be to put all the other tender into scrutiny so that it can be given to organisation who directly deserve to get the tender. 

Q2)

Anna is a young ambitious programmer working for a small company developing software for web based services in the health area, with a focus on support to remote aboriginal communities. To further her career Anna undertakes additional tertiary study, with support from her manager, Brian. This study includes topics covering computer ethics, and issues relating to the impact of ICT on different communities.

On her current project, Anna develops a new user interface, which has a strong focus on accessibility for remote communities, especially considering the type of technology likely to be used. She also pays special attention to the use of cultural images in the interface, to avoid those which may be distressing or offensive to aboriginal users.

The new system is a great success and Anna’s contribution is recognised by her company, through an Employee of the Month Award. The company also receives a national business award for its contribution to the positive use of ICT in aboriginal communities. Brian takes all of the credit for this, and Anna receives no acknowledgement for her efforts. 

Q1. What’s going on?  (2 marks)

The main thing which is shown in the scenario is that a young ambitious programmer is working for a small developing software organisation for the aspect of web based service with a focus of supporting remote aboriginal communities.

Q2. What are the facts?  (2 marks)

The main fact which is seen in the scenario is that Anna is looking to undertake additional tertiary studies with the support of the manager, Brian.

Q3. What are the issues (non-ethical)?  (2 marks)

The main ethical aspect which is seen in the case is that the training of the tertiary study was conducted by her with the help of the manager.

Minister’s Admission

Q4. Who is affected?  (2 marks)

The main affected area in this scenario are the other workers of the organisation who did not get a chance to showcase their interest in the field.

Q5. What are the ethical issues and implications?  (3 marks)

The ethical issue which is seen in the case study can be considered in an area which denotes that the other workers cannot indulge into the different activity of the organisation due to the prioritization of Anna by the manager.

Q6. What can be done about it?  (3 marks)

The main thing which can be done in this context is that other employee should be given equal chance so that they can directly enhance their skills and become a part of the organisation and helping them to excel in different area of field.

Q7. What are the options?  (3 marks)

The main option which can be stated here is that the manager can also help other members so that they can indulge into the different activity of the organisation. This would be directly beneficial for the organisation so that they can easily indulge into the different activity of the organisation.

Q8. Which option is best – and why?  (3 marks)

The best option in this context can be in the field of enhancing the personal skills of the employee who are involved into the various activity of the organisation. The manager in this context should have a role to play which would be creating a mentality of the employee so that they can advance their skills in different sectors. 

Q3)

Andrew, a highly qualified and experienced software developer, has just started work with a government health department on a project that has been underway for about 9 months. He is replacing a novice developer who has decided to move on to a new project with another organisation. Even though the current system is incomplete, it has is being used with ‘live’ data. On analysing what’s been done so far, Andrew discovers that the system is poorly designed and is riddled with bugs due to the former developer’s lack of expertise, and that the choice of technologies are incompatible with the department’s infrastructure, leading to corruptions and loss of financial data on a daily basis.

Contradicting Statements

In fact, much of Andrew’s time is initially spent unsuccessfully attempting to recover corrupted data. His vast experience leads him to the conclusion that the system is so unstable that it will eventually corrupt beyond repair and that all its data will become unrecoverable. He therefore advises the supervisor of his findings and recommends that the system be redeveloped using appropriate technologies and quality control measures. He indicates that the entire redevelopment effort will take less than 6 weeks. The supervisor rejects Andrew’s recommendation, stating that their IT Department will not agree to a change in technology, and directs Andrew to complete the project using the existing technologies. What should Andrew do? 

Q1. What’s going on?  (2 marks)

The main thing which is seen in the aspect is that a system which is not completed is being implemented with live data. It can be seen that the system is not very much secured and would be directly involving the loss of the data.

Q2. What are the facts?  (2 marks)

The main fact which is seen is in the sector of the scenario is that a system would is incomplete according to the developers is feed with the live data. There can be different types of problem which can be seen in this context which would be focused on the loss of the security of the data.

Q3. What are the issues (non-ethical)?  (2 marks)

The main issue which is seen that a system which is not properly tested and completed cannot be feed by live data. This is majorly done due to the activity of the developers.

Q4. Who is affected?  (2 marks)

The affected area due to the event is the people whose data are stored in the system. They would be directly affected because the data can consist of different types of data which may be personal.

Q5. What are the ethical issues and implications?  (3 marks)

The main ethical issue which is seen in the case is that when live data is feed into a unsecured system it could directly affect the overall functionality of the data which would be involved into the concept.

Role of Probity Auditor

Q6. What can be done about it?  (3 marks)

The main thing which can be done in this context is that the system should be secured in different manner. Security should be implemented in the sector of the working in the functionality of the process which is involved into the aspect.

Q7. What are the options?  (3 marks)

The main option should be to secure the system before making the system feed with live data. This would be beneficial in a way by which the data would be secured and would be keeping the system also secured.

Q8. Which option is best – and why?  (3 marks)

The main option would be to complete the process of encryption in the data and after that helping the system to be developed and then feeding the system with live data.

Reference: Australian Computer Society (2012). ACS Code of Ethics Case Studies & Related Clauses to the Code of Conduct Website:  

Q4)

According to Sisela Bok (2003) whistle blowing concerns an individual who makes revelations meant to call to attention to negligence, abuses or dangers that threatens public interest. Essay topic: Whistle blowing is an unethical activity and employees undertaking such behaviour should lose their jobs.

Answer:

Introduction

In this aspect it is taken into consideration that the aspect which is related to the whistle blowing is an unethical practise. The main fact which is seen the case of the whistle blowing is that the member of the organisation try to indulge themselves into different activity of the organisation which can be considered as unethical. The main unethical issue which is seen is that sometimes the crucial data of the organisation may be leaked which can directly impact the overall working of the organisation. It can be stated here that the information of the organisation can be considered very much vital. So it can be stated here that the data should be kept secured all the time. The affected area in this context are the organisation.

Ethical issue

Sometimes very crucial information of the organisation are leaked by many of the employee which are very much unethical activity which can hamper the overall functionality of the organisation. The main ethical issue which is seen is that different activity of the organisation which form a basic of the operation if goes into the hand of other organisation, it can affect the overall working of the organisation. The main thing which should be done is to take into consideration that the ethical information of the organisation are kept secured so that it does not go into the hand of another person.

Management of the Tender

Conclusion

The main option can be implement security aspect in the data and other vital information of the organisation. The best option is to implement security implication into the system of the working of the organisation. This would be beneficial in a way which would be directly enhancing the working of the organisation. 

Q5)

Penetration testing is also known as ethical hacking. Distinguish white, grey and black hat hackers, from the professional, ethical hacker. In your answer state the extent to which ethical hackers might be the same as or different to white hat hackers.

Answer:

Introduction

The main thing which is seen in the scenario is that how the aspect of the ethical hacking is done in different scenario and to what extend ethical hackers might be same or different to white hat hackers. The main fact which is taken into consideration in the scenario is whether the aspect which is related to the unethical aspect of the hacking and how they would be implemented into the different scenario.

The main issue which is seen is that the hackers can easily indulge into the different aspect of the data of the system. The data can be very much important. The affected area are the common people whose data are involved into the scenario. The data can be used by different means by the hackers. The black hat hackers can use the data on a wise manner but on the other hand the white hacker can directly indulge into different unethical activity.

Ethical issue

The main ethical issue which is seen is the leakage of the data of the customer or the user and usage of the data for personal use. The main thing which can be done is the securing of the data from the hackers. The main functionality which should be implemented is that unethical activity cannot be done on the data.

Conclusion

The main options would be to restrict the hackers from getting indulged into the data so that they would not get the access to the data of the system and use the data for personal gain. The main thing which should be done is that the data should be kept secured as well as the system should have the necessary means of securing the data.

Ethical Considerations

Q6)

Decision-making assisted by algorithms developed by machine learning is increasingly determining our lives. Can transparency contribute to restoring accountability for such systems? Arguments for and against include issues such as the loss of privacy when data sets become public, the perverse effects of disclosure of the very algorithms themselves (which can lead to ‘gaming the system’), the potential loss of competitive edge, and the limited gains in answerability to be expected since sophisticated algorithms are inherently non-transparent. It is concluded that transparency is certainly useful, but only up to a point: extending it to the public at large is normally not to be advised. Do you agree?

Answer:

Introduction

There are loss of privacy due to the aspect of the decision making in the sector of the algorithm development in the sector of the decision making. This is directly included into the aspect of the decision making for system. The main fact which is seen is that due to the factor of decision making assistance by the algorithm there can be implication in the sector of the security of the data. In most of the cases it can be seen that the data should be secured in different manner so that the privacy aspect of the data of the personal user is kept secured.

Ethical issue

The main issue which is seen is the dispatch of the personal data which is saved in the system. Sometimes it can be stated that the personal data which are saved in the system are very much important for the organisation. On the other hand the algorithm would be involved into the decision making aspect. The main area which would be affected would be the people who would be involved into the process. It can be majorly seen that system would be directly helping to make decision making with the help of algorithm as a result of which the data would be exposed. The main ethical issue which is seen is the exposure of the personal data and the main implication which is seen is in the sector of the usage of data for different types of unethical activity. The security aspect of the data should be taken into consideration while making decision with the help of algorithm involved into the concept.

Conclusion

The main option would be to implement different types of software’s which would be directly securing the system and helping them to achieve a greater system of functionality. The best option would be keep the data of the user secured by means of implementing encryption into the process which would be helping to keep the data safe from intruders.