Case Study: ACS Code of Ethics
The given case is about John who is a statistical database programmer who is trying to write a large statistical program that is needed by his company. All of the programmers of his company are encouraged to write their own work and to publish their algorithms in professional algorithms. As programming is not an easy task, so John has found himself stuck on several parts of a program. From the given case, it can be observed that he is being pressurized by his manager to complete the job on next few days and ignored the complexity of program. However, in order to complete his job on time, John copied the segments of code from both his co-worker and the commercial software which has been developed by some other company. He did this without telling anyone and had not mention anything about it in documentation. This situation raises an ethical dilemma which could affect to the brand image of the company when public will get to know that programmer of John’s company has violated the patent law by copying the code of another company.
According to ACS code of conduct, John is violating the honesty code of conduct. Under this conduct, if John is taking credit for work that is being done by others then he is unethical. Also, as per competence code of conduct, John is unethical as he is misrepresenting his skills and knowledge just to complete his job timely.
In this case, Brenda is an employee of an accounting firm where she has been playing the role of a supervisor. She has been asked to observe junior management staff while they use new accounting software. During her observations, she has notices that many of the junior management staff are making particular data entry error when using the software. These errors are causing the accounting firm to lose profit. Also, according to the policy of company, the salaries of employees will be deducted for clear mistakes leading to loss of company’s profit. Brenda is facing this ethical dilemma. If she discusses the matter with senior management, then, it would break the trust of junior management staff and will weaken her relationship with them. On the other hand, being an honest employee, if she won’t notify the matter to higher authorities, she would be doing unethical to her job. This action would be against her professional ethics.
According to honesty code of conduct, Brenda should make an honest decision while considering her knowledge and service provision to public. Also, if she will not report the matter, then she would be knowingly misleading the company about errors leading to company’s losses. As per professional development code of conduct, Brenda should focus on enhancing her own professional development.
In the given case, it has been observed that there are two main characters, Ruby and Jaspreet. Ruby is a public servant and she plays the role of a web developer within a department of a state government. Also, she has been given with the responsibility of developing a tourism website by the IT manager Jaspreet. Ruby adds various links to news services to enliven this government page. Also, these links include global news channels. However, later, it has been found that those sites sometimes provide news on court cases which are currently under the suppression order here in Australia as they are in process. Jaspreet had not seen the website before it went live but even if he had, it is unlikely to test each link. This situation raises an ethical dilemma for him.
According to professional development code of conduct, to resolve the ethical dilemma, Jaspreet has to increase the awareness of issues which is affecting the profession and its relationship with the public.