Ethics Case Study – 71

Imagine that you have been recently appointed as the head of the accounts department in a municipal corporation. Soon after you assumed your duties, you discovered that a clerk in your department was falsifying the payroll account by continuing to carry the names of some employees who have already been terminated. When the clerk picked up the payroll, he would pull out those cheques, endorse and cash them and keep the money. You have no difficulty in recognizing that this clerk is not only involved in unethical conduct but is also clearly violating the law. In this situation, the following two options are available to you. Which amongst these two would you choose as your response? Give logical arguments in the support of your answer.

  1. Your responsibility for the image of the corporation may suggest firing the clerk quietly, involving as few other people as possible.
  2. Your responsibility for maintaining the public trust may demand you to consider formal charges and prosecution.

20 marks / 250 words.

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