Presentation on theme: "Ethics Richard Swann Office of Internal Audit Do the Right Thing!"— Presentation transcript:
Ethics Richard Swann Office of Internal Audit Do the Right Thing!
Defining Ethics? “Doing the right thing!” Ethics must be a part of the fabric of an effective organization. Members of our community want and need clear definitions of what is expected and acceptable in an increasing complex environment.
Reasons why I was chosen to present this session: u 1. Seen so many unethical things. u 2. A highly ethical person. u 3. They think I’m unethical, and they hope it will rub off on me. u --- I’ll let you decide for yourself!
What is Ethics? eth·ic Pronunciation: 'e-thik Function: noun from Greek Éthos, Date: 14th century 1 the discipline dealing with what is good and bad and with moral duty and obligation 2 a: set of moral principles or values b : the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group
What is Ethics? The word “ethics” comes from the Greek root of “ethos” which in ancient Greece meant “the persuasive appeal of one’s character.”
So, what do we mean by “Ethics?” u Ethics is NOT this:
Instead, ethics embodies... u “Standards of conduct that indicate how one should behave based on moral duties and virtues, which themselves are derived from principles of right and wrong.” u So you need to know right and wrong (values/principles), and then do it (action).
We need to explore why good people do unethical acts. “Every (professional), at least once in every case, feels himself crossing a line he doesn’t really mean to cross. It just happens.” -- Grisham’s Rainmaker
The value is in knowing where the line is drawn... before you cross it!
Why Study Ethics? u It will not make you more ethical. u It can help you in trying to decide what is the right thing and giving you courage to do that “right thing.”
So... why do good people seem to do unethical acts? u Multiple roles: In different roles, we sometimes hold ourselves to different standards (e.g. home and work) u Courage: Sometimes it is hard to do what you know is right
So... why do good people seem to do unethical acts? u Consensus: Sometimes we question our choices if everyone else is acting differently. u Error: We all can make mistakes. Not necessarily indicative of “bad” intent.
We all make mistakes, however... u Would you make the same decision tomorrow? u Do you have the moral courage to look in the mirror? We can always set the ethical bar higher!!!
What is the Right Thing? “What are the Rules?” “What are the Tests?”
Ethical Rules? u Is it legal and in compliance with MSU policy? u Misuse of University Assets u Use of Computing and Network Resources u University-Provided Wireless Phones and Plans u Use of Copyrighted Computer Software u Ethics in Public Contracting, Anti- Kickback & Procurement 65.03
Ethical Rules? u Conflict of Interest in Federally Sponsored Programs, Policy & Procedure on u Ethics in Research and Other Scholarly Activities 80.2 u Management Responsibilities/Employee Expectations of Management HRM
Ethical Rules? u Employee Conduct, Guidelines for HRM u Disciplinary Action - Non- Contract Employees HRM u Ethics, Conflict of Interest/ HRM
Ethical Rules? u Is it fair? –Honest, truthful, responsible, trustworthy, respected individual u Would it pass the test(s)?
Ethical Tests 1.Is It Legal? Is it Ethical? I Ethical - Legal II Ethical - Illegal III Unethical - Legal IV Unethical - Illegal I and IV are Easy Decisions II and III are Difficult Decisions
The Use Zones Public employees have a duty to conserve public resources and funds against misuse and abuse. Green Zone – Official Duties (Ethical & Legal) Yellow Zone – Personal Use Under Limited Circumstances Red Zone – Prohibited Uses (Unethical & Illegal)
The Green Zone Any Use that is Reasonably Related to Your Official Duties
The Yellow Zone Personal Use OK Under Limited Circumstances These are Really de minimis exceptions There is little or no cost to the state There is little to no interference with the performance of official duties The use is brief in duration and frequency The use does not distract from the conduct of University business
The Yellow Zone Personal Use OK Under Limited Circumstances These are Really de minimis exceptions The use does not disrupt other state employees and does not obligate them to make a personal use of state resources For MSU, limits this to basically office equipment & telephones.
Questions to Ask Yourself Will my use of University resources result in added costs or any other disadvantage to the University? Am I using this resource in order to avoid personal expense? Am I confident that my use of University resources will not compromise the security or integrity of information or software? Are resources being used for purposes that could be embarrassing if reported publicly?
Ethical Tests 2. Categorical Imperative (Am I special?) Are you willing to allow everyone to practice the proposed action or do you want to be a special case?
Ethical Tests 3. Light of Day TestWhat would be your reaction if the action were brought out into the open for public scrutiny? How will your decision look in the light? Could a reasonable fair-minded person conclude you acted improperly?
The Red Zone Prohibited Uses Use for material personal gain Commercial uses Outside business interests Illegal or unprofessional activities
Quote “If … you can’t be a good example, then you’ll just have to be a horrible warning.” - Catherine Aird, Author
Briefly l Daily decisions will guide us in crisis l Values can be instilled l Subordinates seek standards l Choice is often between two “goods”
AM I COMFORTABLE WITH THIS DECISION? Would I be comfortable telling my family about my decision? Would I want my children to take my behavior as an example? Is this decision one that a wise, informed, virtuous person would make? Can I live with this decision?
Ethical Tests 4. Golden Rule Do Unto Others Test - If you would like others to do the same to you – then the action passes the test.
u Speak up! u Encourage ethical practices! u Silence implies your consent!! Silence is NOT Golden
"The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality" - Dante So speak up, darn it!
CAN ONE PERSON MAKE A DIFFERENCE? I am only one. But still I am one. I cannot do everything, But still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something that I can do. Edward Everett Hale Author, A Man without a Country
REAL LIFE EXAMPLES Time Magazine’s 2002 Persons of the Year The Whistleblowers Cynthia Cooper of Worldcom Coleen Rowley of the FBI Sherron Watkins of Enron GREGORY HEISLER FOR TIME
Who are you going to call? u Supervisor u Human Resources ( ) u Purchasing ( ) u Controller’s Office ( ) u General Counsel ( ) u Internal Audit ( ) u University Police ( )
Closing Thoughts! “The reputation of a thousand years is determined by the conduct of one hour.” – Japanese proverb
Closing Thoughts! No regrets – live your life so the preacher won’t have to lie at your funeral. -unknown
Closing Thoughts! Reputation is one of those things that take a lifetime to build and only one bad decision to destroy. -unknown
Thoughts… u The basis of transformation must have its foundation in the realization that character precedes conduct, because who we are determines what we do.
Ethical Dilemma - What do you do? Your dear friend and office assistant, Mary asks you if she can “borrow” 10 printer cartridges from the office supply. When you ask her why, she says her husband’s needs them to print a big project tonight and he doesn’t have money to buy them. She says she’ll replace them at the end of the month when she gets paid.
Ethical Dilemma - Part II A week after you tell Mary “NO”, you discover the office is out of printer cartridges. Another worker said he saw Mary take them from the storage cabinet and carry them out to her car. He didn’t say anything because he didn’t think it was any of his business. Besides he knew that Mary was a good friend of yours.
Dilemma u You send a brief or make a brief, local call to check on your kids. v Is this appropriate stewardship of state resources? Per MSU Policy this is o.k.
Dilemma u You access the Internet during a lunch break to check on your stock portfolio and transfer assets to a different fund. v Is this appropriate stewardship of state resources? Per MSU Policy this is o.k.
But… u You are going on vacation and don’t have a digital camera. Your supervisor offers to let you take the University camera…. After all he always does…. Not allowable, and further what happens if the camera gets stolen or damaged during your vacation.