Assignment 1: Code of Conduct Assessment
Ethics have become a major issue in today’s society. In many businesses and government institutions new clauses are continually being added to ensure company’s and employee’s protection. In contracting, the Contracting Officer (CO) has to be a person of exceptional morals and standards to carry out their job properly. According to FAR 1.6, a Contracting Officer is responsible “for ensuring performance of all necessary actions for effective contracting, ensuring compliance with the terms of the contract, and safeguarding the interests of the United States in its contractual relationships.” With the opening of our new telecommunications company B3 Solutions, we knew we wanted to hire a former CO to be our new Contractor and take our company global. This paper will outline the goods and services offered by B3 Solutions as well as assess ethical conduct and guidelines for our company.
Provide an explanation of the specific goods and / or services the new contracting firm will provide.
Technology is a field that continues to grow and advance yearly and B3 Solutions is here to be the answer to everyone’s needs. B3 Solutions is a privately held telecommunications firm that specializes in cellular products and services. Our company is a provider of broadband, internet, fiber services, business communication solutions, and telecom services. B3 Solutions offers special business services to the federal government and similar agencies. We can provide devices and access to a number of top rated manufactures including Apple, Samsung, LG, etc. B3 will also provide a secure based internet and broadband package that has been tested and designed specifically for government use. B3 Solutions has the technology and capability to securely handle all of the government’s telecommunication needs.
Evaluate the Raytheon Code of Ethics as to whether it is effective in avoiding any conduct that even appears to be unethical in the type of organization you selected for your product.
Raytheon is a major defense contractor corporation with core manufacturing concentrations in weapons and military and commercial electronics and employees over 61,000 individuals worldwide. Raytheon provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration and other capabilities in the areas of sensing; effects; and command, control, communications and intelligence systems; as well as a broad range of mission support services (Raytheon, 2016). At Raytheon, all of their business relationships with customers, shareholders, employees, suppliers and host communities must rest on a foundation of integrity and trust. (Raytheon, 2016). The four core values of Raytheon are people, integrity, commitment, and excellence. Throughout those values and their code of conduct the company addresses laws and regulations, common situations, documentation, and requirements that are set forth for all employees and management.
Although Raytheon’s Code of Ethics cover most core topics that B3 Solutions would need, they do miss the mark in one area, their no retaliation clause. When working in telecommunications you have to have an honest and responsible team in place to ensure your business is operationally sound. One big issue is that it is very difficult for employees to report unethical conduct by another team member when a bulk of telecom work is completed while out of the office. The “No Retaliation” clause Raytheon uses does not fully cover all parties involved in the given type of situation. There is a high possibility that enough evidence may not be collected and if that occurs it is left to the Ethics Committee and Human Resources to deliver an unbiased decision as well ensure no retaliation happens. Raytheon needs to look into finding ways for employees to feel more comfortable about confidentiality and retaliation issues in today’s workplace. B3 Solutions would try to help in this area by adding the use of security cameras in all open work areas. With the added feature of security cameras employees can be assured that the cameras can be used to help with possible inquiries. Installing cameras is truly the only way for all employees to know that fair and honest investigations will be given. For help with out of office jobs, all employees would be notified that any company owned computer, laptop, tablet, and cellular device can be monitored and swept at any given time. This lets employees know that all information needed to accurately conduct an investigation can be retrieved by the company and is required for all employees.
Determine the three (3) most critical clauses in the Raytheon document that aid the company’s avoidance of the appearance of impropriety.
The Raytheon Code of Conduct is a very sound and structured document. The company did a great job with detailing the document to fit the company’s ethical values. Out of the entire document the three most critical clauses that aid in the company’s avoidance of the appearance of impropriety are the no retaliation clause, the financial integrity clause, and the using social media and communicating company information responsibly clause. The no retaliation clause is key because it safeguards employees from any adverse action if they report a fellow employee for violating the company’s ethics and code of conduct. The financial integrity clause is imperative as it pertains to the company’s financial documents and records. For Raytheon to stay a profitable and trusted company they have to hold this area of the code to a very high standard. Lastly, using social media and communicating company information responsibly is critical for keeping confidential information about the company off of social media. Social media is one of the quickest ways to reach today’s society, but employees have to be aware of what information is appropriate to promote socially.
Determine two (2) additional ethics provision that you would include in your company’s Code of Conduct document based on Raytheon Code of Ethics.
Based on the Raytheon’s Code of Ethics the first provision I would include in B3 Solutions Code of Conduct is a change in the culture of ethical behavior. In Raytheon’s code it is all on the employees to “foster a culture of ethical behavior”. Ethical behavior at B3 Solutions will be fostered by employees and managers alike. Managers are the leaders within a company and they have to show the employees that there are no exceptions to the rules for any member of the team. The managers have to lead the employees in fostering ethical behavior. With this change B3 will see a difference in employee and manager interactions. The change will help B3’s managers and employees create an open work environment where employees trust team members and managers alike. Once trust has been established amongst the team a productive culture and greater ethical behavior will soon follow.
The second provision I would make is to extend the clause on social media and communicating company information responsibly. In the telecommunications field your company is constantly dealing with confidential information. When employees are setting up contracts with potential clients or using social media to market the company, they have to be trained on what information can and cannot be shared with individuals outside of B3 Solutions. With our company working on federal government contracts, employees of B3 cannot share any government documentation or information with any person outside of established contractual agreements. It is not just enough to speak with a manager on what information is appropriate to share with members outside of B3 Solutions. B3 will provide training for this during the employee onboarding process. Employees have to know how important it is not to disclose customer information or sensitive company material.
Analyze how your recommended clause sufficiently closes the gap on one (1) potential major ethical breach in the industry to which your product belongs.
I believe that B3’s recommended clause sufficiently closes the gap on confidential information being released without authorization. With B3 offering training sessions during employees onboarding process we will significantly reduce the number of incidents that other telecommunications firms will incur. With this training being offered, B3 is protecting the business and the client. Whether the employee knowingly or accidently exposes sensitive content, the company ultimately is held responsible. Continuous training and an open work environment both help B3 stay on task in ethical behavior. Clients place an extreme amount of trust in our company and employees, we have to continuously earn it by providing them exceptional customer experiences.
FAR Subpart 1.6—Career Development, Contracting Authority, and Responsibilities. (n.d.).
Retrieved January 22, 2016, from https://www.acquisition.gov/far/current/html/Subpart
O'Connor, T. M. (2007). Understanding government contract law. Vienna, VA: Management
Raytheon: Code of Conduct. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2016, from http://www.raytheon.com/rtnwcm/groups/public/documents/content/rtn_ethics-code.pdf
Raytheon: Raytheon Ethics. (n.d.). Retrieved January 22, 2016, from http://www.raytheon.com/ourcompany/ourculture/ethics/index.html