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Running head: BRIBERY AND THE ETHICAL RAMIFICATIONS 1

Bribery and the Ethical Ramifications

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BRIBERY AND THE ETHICAL RAMIFICATIONS 2

Bribery and the Ethical Ramifications

How does a person go from selected to Admiral, to being force retired as a Commander

after years of service? Senior enlisted leaders need to understand the importance of ethical

decision making while working within the acquisition field because an ethics violation could

negatively affect the organization and their career. This paper will provide a background on the

abuse of position and bribery by a senior officer and the impact these ethical decisions had on

their career.

Background

In this specific scenario, a Captain within the military reserves used his official position

within the military to secure numerous government contracts for private sector companies with

which he had a personal and financial association, which displays a direct conflict of interest.

After the Captain was selected for promotion to Admiral, he decided to continue with his

questionable ethics and accepted remuneration from one specific company for his actions in

helping secure government contract work for the company (U. S. Office of Government Ethics,

1997, p.6). Now that the background for the case at hand has been explained, let us shift focus

on to the impact of this officer’s actions.

Impact

With this case, the Captain displayed two specific ethical violations, conflict of interest

and bribery. For these extensive ethical violations, the Captain was demoted to the grade of

Commander and forced to retire even though he had been selected for promotion to Admiral.

Additionally, the Captain was prohibited from officially working with the affiliated companies

for one year, while two of the companies entered into administrative arrangements (for 3 years)

with the government service (U. S. Office of Government Ethics, 1997, p.6).
BRIBERY AND THE ETHICAL RAMIFICATIONS 3

Not only are these ethical issues, but they are also criminal issues, specifically 18 U.S.C.

§201 (bribery) and 18 U.S.C. §208 (conflict of interest). These criminal statutes state “federal

employees may not demand, seek, receive, or accept anything of value in return for being

influenced in the performance of any official act” (Gifts and Payments | Bribery, 2016), and

“federal employees are prohibited from participating personally and substantially in government

matters that will affect his own financial interest” (Financial Conflicts of Interest | Current

Government Employees). Though the Captain managed to escape the criminal ramifications, his

decisions can have further reaching implications for the position of which he held, the reserves

and the government in general and how they handle ethical and criminal violations, especially of

senior level leaders.

In summary, this paper explained the background of a clear set of ethical violations and

the impact of the officer’s decisions to abuse his position for financial gain. Senior enlisted

leaders need to understand the importance of ethical decision making while working within the

contracting field because an ethics violation could negatively affect the organization and their

career. The decision whether to make ethical choices seems like an obvious choice, but too often

temptation of monetary gain is where people go astray. Leaders must not risk throwing away

years of service at the thought of quick financial profit.


BRIBERY AND THE ETHICAL RAMIFICATIONS 4

References

Department of Defense Standards of Conduct Office. (2016). Encyclopedia of ethical failure.

Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. p. 6.

Gifts and Payments | Bribery. (2016, February 20). Retrieved March 22, 2018, from U. S. Office

of Government Ethics:

https://www.oge.gov/web/oge.nsf/Gifts%20and%20Payments/BE3DB8416791FF3F8525

7E96006364FD?opendocument

Financial Conflicts of Interest | Current Government Employees. (n.d.). Retrieved March 22,

2018, from U. S. Office of Government Ethics:

https://www.oge.gov/web/OGE.nsf/Financial%20Conflicts%20of%20Interest/252080373

40DB17B85257E96006364E2?opendocument