Recent Question/Assignment

Part 1 - Question 1 – Doing Ethics Technique
This session we have restricted the cases to the following three (3). One of these will appear on the exam. We encourage you to prepare all three.
1) 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 Oppositions 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 ministers 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.”
Your answer should include
Q1. Whats going on? (2 marks)
Q2. What are the facts? (2 marks)
Q3. What are the issues (non-ethical)? (2 marks)
Q4. Who is affected? (2 marks)
Q5. What are the ethical issues and implications? (3 marks)
Q6. What can be done about it? (3 marks)
Q7. What are the options? (3 marks)
Q8. Which option is best - and why? (3 marks)
This session we have restricted the essay topics to the following three (3). One of these will appear on the exam. We encourage you to prepare all three.
1) According to Sisela Bok (2003) whistle blowing concerns an individual who makes revelations meant to call to attention to negligence, abuses or dangers that threatens public interest. Essay topic: Whistle blowing is an unethical activity and employees undertaking such behaviour should lose their jobs.
2) 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.
3) Decision-making assisted by algorithms developed by machine learning is increasingly determining our lives. Can transparency contribute to restoring accountability for such systems? Arguments for and against include issues such as the loss of privacy when data sets become public, the perverse effects of disclosure of the very algorithms themselves (which can lead to ‘gaming the system’), the potential loss of competitive edge, and the limited gains in answerability to be expected since sophisticated algorithms are inherently non-transparent. It is concluded that transparency is certainly useful, but only up to a point: extending it to the public at large is normally not to be advised. Do you agree?
You must:
1) present an introduction (or background) about the case study (6 marks);
2) include at least two ethical theories to support your answer (2 x 5 marks);
3) Include examples of professional Codes of Ethics to support your answer (6 marks);
4) present a conclusion that briefly outlines your point of view (4 marks); and
5) Ensure that your essay is well written and structured (4 marks).
You are not required to include any references in your essay, but where applicable you should cite relevant researchers to support your arguments. State any assumptions before you start writing your essay.

Editable MS Word File
Word Count: 2528 words without references

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