Doing Ethics Technique

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Question :

 Question 1 – Doing Ethics Technique

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: 

“…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.” 

Q1. What's going on?

 Q2. What are the facts?

 Q3. What are the issues?

 Q4. Who is affected? 

Q5. What is the ethical issue?

 Q6. What are the implications of the ethical issue? 

Q7. What could have been done about it?

 Q8. What are the options? Q9. Which option is the best?

 Q10. Why the above option is the best?

11.Consider the above case study from the perspective of utilitarianism


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.

You must: - Present an introduction (or background) to your topic and your essay

- Compare and contrast professional ethics from other types of ethics 

- Include examples of professional Codes of Ethics to support your answer ;

- Present a conclusion that briefly outlines your point of view ; and

 - Ensure that your essay is well written and structured .

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Answer :

Question 1: Doing Ethics Technique


In December 1999, IBM-GSA had won the tender regarding the IT outsourcing contract for the Department of Health, Aged Care and the Health Insurance Commission along with the EDS and CSC. However, during the process of tender, the IBM-GSA was supplied with the disk that contains an ample amount of critical information regarding the bidding price of the other rival organizations. Therefore, it helped IBM-GSA to get the tender and it can help them to get ahead from their rival organizations. After the retirement of the minister, he admitted the fact that the tender should be cancelled. Therefore, it can be said that the entire process did not maintain the ethical concepts of the bidding process.

Effects of the scenario

As the entire process did not maintain the ethical concept, therefore it can hamper the performance and the business activities of the other organizations. Along with that, it also hampers the ethical practices of IBM-GSA. This kind of practice may lead them to do the same thing that had happened regarding the tender process. In addition to that, it also reduces the morality of the other organizations that took part in the bidding process.

Issues regarding the scenario

As IBM-GSA already got the details of the pricing of their rival bidders, therefore they can easily manipulate their pricing according to their rival’s price. As bidding is a very private business practice, therefore all the organizations need to maintain the ethical concepts of the bidding process. Therefore, it can be considered as the ethical issue from the perspective of the IBM-GSA as they should step down from the tender process after knowing the bidding price of the other organizations.

Affected entities

The primarily affected entity regarding the scenario is the IBM-GSA. As they did not maintain the ethical practice during the tender process, therefore it can hamper their business practice. Maintenance of the ethics could enhance their employee motivation; therefore, this certain aspect could not enhance their business morality. On the other hand, the other organizations that took part in the bidding process also get demoralized after knowing the fact that IBM-GSA already knows their pricing strategy.  

Ethical issue

According to Parker (2013), maintenance of the ethics in the business organizations or in the different business process is very much essential for a business organization. The main ethical issue regarding the given scenario is the fact that IBM-GSA was aware of the bidding price of the other organizations and still they took part in the bidding process and manipulate their price to won the tender process.

Implication of the issue

The implication regarding the given scenario was very much important in order to maintain the ethical issues in the process of bidding. As IBM-GSA was aware of the bidding prices of the other organizations, therefore they had manipulated their pricing and won the process of bidding by using the unfair means. After winning the bidding process, all the other organizations were thrown out from the bidding process and it provided an ample amount of encouragement in order to perform the same kind of activity for the next time also.

Steps regarding the issue

In order to mitigate the ethical issue, IBM-GSA needs to maintain the ethics in their business process. The organizations need to be ethical in terms of their business process so that they can gain an ample amount of respect from their rival organizations and the customers. After knowing the fact that IBM-GSA has maintained the unethical practice during the tender process, the higher Authority should reject the entire process. However, the process was not stopped and the tender was awarded to them. Therefore, the tender process needs to be very much secure and needs to maintain the privacy concerns. That can reduce the unethical practices regarding the process.  

Options regarding the issue

One of the options regarding the maintenance of the ethical issue is to maintain the ethical practice in the organization. IBM-GSA should maintain the ethical practice. On the other hand, the management authority of the bidding process should cancel the candidature of the organizations who utilized the unfair means in order to win the bidding process. Along with this, the other organizations should also step down from the bidding process after knowing the fact that the bidding process was not enough transparent. 

Best option of the issue

The best option regarding the maintenance of the ethical issues is the fact that IBM-GSA should maintain the ethics in their business practice. This can enhance their business productivity of the organization.

Reason behind the option is best

The above-mentioned option is considered as the best option because of the fact it can enhance the business functionalities of the organization (Bernoth, Dietsch, Burmeister & Schwartz, 2014). If IBM-GSA maintains the ethical concepts in their business process, then it would become a habit for them and they would never perform this kind of unfair means in order to win a business process. Otherwise, they would regularly perform this sort of unfair activity in order to win the different business processes.

Consideration from the perspective of utilitarianism

Myers & Venable (2014) said that the theory of utilitarianism defines the fact that the taken actions are right if they are very much useful or can provide an ample amount of benefit to the majority of the people. However, this scenario does not match with the perspective of the utilitarianism. Different organisations have filled up the tender process in order to get the tender; therefore, any of them can get the chance to perform the activity. If IBM-GSA had filled, the tender amount that can be considered as much efficient then it could be said that the process provides an ample amount of benefit to a large number of population.

Question 2: Essay


As the technology is getting advanced day by day, therefore the concerns regarding the privacy and the security are also being increased. According to Quinn (2014), the organizations need to be aware of the different privacy and the security issues that can easily harm their business activities. The intruders or the hackers are the people who mainly performs the different unfair means in order to break into another's system, take out all the important set of data, and make the entire organizations a paralysed one. In order to mitigate this sort of risks, some people can also intrude into the system and alter the settings that were done by the hackers. Bowman, West, Berman & Van Wart (2016) said that this people are known as the ethical hacker or the white hat hackers. The primary aim of this study is to evaluate the proper comparison in between the different types of hackers and their functionalities.

Comparison between professional ethics and the other type of ethics

Black hat hackers

The black hat hackers are the person who mainly violates the security options of a workstation for a very small reason that can be beyond the maliciousness or for the personal profit. The black hat hackers mainly intrude into an organization’s system or an individual’s system and can easily take out all the important set of information (Whitman & Zafar, 2014).  Along with that, they are also able to gather the credit and debit card details of the online shoppers. Therefore, it can be said that it is an unethical practice in terms of business process. 

Grey hat hackers

The grey hat hackers are the people who are the mixture of both black and white hat activities. They mainly look for the different areas of vulnerabilities in a particular system without getting the permission of the owner. If they found the issues, they would report it to the owners. Therefore, it can be said that they are not malicious in terms of their intentions. 

White hat hackers

According to Bannister & Connolly (2014), they are also known as the ethical hackers. Sometimes they are the paid employees in the organization in order to provide an ample amount of strength to the security of the organization. The processing of both black hat and white hackers are more or less same. However, there is only a single difference regarding the fact that the white hat hackers take permission from the owner that they black hat hackers does not.

When it comes to the comparison in between the personal and the professional ethics, the personal ethics mainly refers to the proper sense of right and wrong and on the other hand, the professional ethics refers to the ways through which the employees are imposed within the organization. Along with that, Townsend (2013) said that an individual has the choice of changing his or her personal ethics, however not the professional ethics.

Example of professional codes of ethics

The Baylor College of Medicine has defined a code of ethics that defines the different rules. The code mainly instructs the employees to follow the mission statement of Baylor’s along with their compliance program and the conflict of interest policy (Baylor College of Medicine, 2017). The particular code also includes the basic guidelines regarding the fact that how the employees need to handle the business conducts along with the workplace environment and the different medical and financial records.


After summing up the entire study, it can be said that the maintenance of the ethical aspects is very much important for the individuals along with the organizations. Along with that, the study also concludes the proper difference in between the three types of hackers along with their functionalities. Moreover, the study also derives the fact that the different types of ethics are different from each other in terms of their functionalities.