Ethical Case Nwankwo is a senior public servant who has worked in two state public service departments over a twenty-year period. Prior to this he was employed as a chartered accountant. In the course of performing his duties, involving primarily monetary and budgeting issues, Nwankwo becomes aware that public revenue is being used inappropriately. While he is not directly responsible for this aspect of the budget, he raised his concerns about the channelling of funds from one part of the budget to another to Uche, the head of Division. Nwankwo learns that not only is Uche aware of this practice, but also that he condones it. Not long after, Nwankwo is summoned to talk to Uche and to the Director-general about the issue. In preparation for this meeting Nwankwo prepares a short paper that identifies his understanding of the key issues and presents this to Uche and the Director-General. Due to the politically sensitive nature of the issue, Nwankwo is told that the matter is not within his jurisdiction and therefore he should ‘keep his nose out of it’. This advice is based on the fact that the incumbent government will not tolerate questions about how it puts its budget together but that it also faces electoral defeat if the matter were to be made ‘public’. Nwankwo and his two supervisors are acutely aware of the tensions between the department, the minister and the government. This unease manifests itself around the advice the department provides the minister with, and the advice that the minister and the government want to hear in particular: After much soul searching, Nwankwo decides to obey his supervisors by leaving the matter alone. 1. Identify and explain (3) ethical dilemmas from the list of ethical issues above that are present in the case? (3 Marks) 2. What are the differences between “an unethical action” and “an illegal action” (4 Marks) 3. How can Nwankwo maintain his professional objectivity in the face of the pressures that he is faced with? (5 Marks) 4. If Nwankwo maintains his stance by obeying his supervisors and leave the matter alone, what are the possible implications this decision may have on: (8 Marks) Nwankwo His Supervisors Uche The Public/Government Department(s) to which he is employed Rules I. Please limit your papers to 4-6 (excluding your cover and reference pages). II. The research of your answers should be supported by fact in the case III. Give credits to all sources from which you did your research. IV. Ensure that you address all of the questions asked V. Marks will be deducted for late submission and evidence of plagiarism.
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