Service Unbounded: A Contract Management Dilemma
John Barczak, Elizabeth H. Jones, Scott Shindledecker
January 1, 2015
Ethics & Social Justice
project management, contract management, ethics, government contracting, outsourcing
Journal of Critical Incidents
Nathan O’Rourke’s simple service contract became complicated when the contractor he was responsible for chose to work beyond the scope of the contract. Although he knew the contractor worked at risk with the best of intentions, there was a mess to clean up because the contractor continued to perform contractual duties beyond the period of performance outlined in the contract. O’Rouke had to decide the best course of action to take with his superior and with the contractor under his supervision. The incident had ethical and legal implication, considered the situation from both sides of the contract, and offered a glimpse of how challenging contract management can be. This decision critical incident is representative of a common ethical challenge faced by contract managers throughout all branches of government.