In the present climate, contact and communication with contractors and suppliers are especially sensitive. Much of the effort in this arena is confined to legal compliance rather than the integrity aspect of administrative ethics. (The case illustrates what can happen when there is a misunderstanding of public service obligations imposed by a contractual relationship with government.)
Contracting and procurement pose special problems and temptations inside government and out. The team’s composition shifts; its objectives are shared only partially, and its coherence is marginal at best. Relationships are fluid and temporary; alliances and allegiances may change. In this atmosphere, tough and open talk, mutual responsibilities agreed to in advance, laid-out ethical expectations, and lever- aged ethics programs are among the best ways to reduce risk and sponsor ethical behavior. This method gets all participants to buy in.
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