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Practice Areas: Construction, Ethics, Healthcare
Ethical PM question.
Network:3

Should I divulge blatant, fraudulent invoicing to a client that I represent on the Healthcare side as their PM where the invoicing is for construction of their facility? There is a construction PM who is not informing the higher executives of this attempt to scam the client but is it my responsibility to stick my nose in something I am not really involved in? Don't want to be looked at as negligent just because I am not the actual PM on that end of the project.
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Network:4269



That's a sensitive issue. Talk to the construction PM first. See if this can be resolved, if not bring this to the notice of higher executives.

Ethically you should report this, and all such instances.
Network:56398



As a loyal and commited team member, you need to report fraudulent actions no matter what.
Network:1326



Yes, every fraudulent action has to be reported to higher executives/management being a responsible team member/manager..
Network:527



If you haven't yet done so, the most important thing to do in this situation and before reporting the action is to investigate and have the definite evidence that is a scam.
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1 reply by Stéphane Parent
Jan 11, 2017 9:28 AM
Stéphane Parent
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I disagree, Adel. It is not your job to investigate claims of fraud. Your job is to inform the correct office - comptroller, ombudsperson, .... The office will do the investigation.

Obviously, you must be sufficiently certain that there is something to report. But nosing around trying to dig up stuff could hurt you and the company.

Unless your reporting manager is involved, it is a good practice to bring it to her attention.
Network:1333



Please refer if some procedure is given in your company to handle such matter or if there is some dedicated person is available to report such incident, else you must report such incident to your next level authority.
Network:57406



Jan 11, 2017 3:21 AM
Replying to Adel Almufaiz
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If you haven't yet done so, the most important thing to do in this situation and before reporting the action is to investigate and have the definite evidence that is a scam.
I disagree, Adel. It is not your job to investigate claims of fraud. Your job is to inform the correct office - comptroller, ombudsperson, .... The office will do the investigation.

Obviously, you must be sufficiently certain that there is something to report. But nosing around trying to dig up stuff could hurt you and the company.

Unless your reporting manager is involved, it is a good practice to bring it to her attention.
...
2 replies by Adel Almufaiz and Jeffrey Wexler
Jan 11, 2017 10:58 AM
Adel Almufaiz
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You're right stephane, investigation is another one responsibility. However, what i meant is that since he is the one who knows about it and before reporting to the higher management, he should be 100% sure this is a scam by reviewing the invoices with his colleagues who are involved in the project work just to make sure and attract their attention. If the review shows evidence of a scam, he can report it for more investigations. I'm saying that assuming this is a suspicious case not confirmed one.
Jan 11, 2017 7:40 PM
Jeffrey Wexler
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I absolutely agree. I never would have investigated. You have to wait to have the evidence presented to you as you/I could have gotten into so much trouble if it is not true and could create more damage than good.

Patience is a virtue for all of us and as long as there is not major damage along the way it is best for more and more evidence to surface so there is no possible issue of impropriety.
Network:527



Jan 11, 2017 9:28 AM
Replying to Stéphane Parent
...
I disagree, Adel. It is not your job to investigate claims of fraud. Your job is to inform the correct office - comptroller, ombudsperson, .... The office will do the investigation.

Obviously, you must be sufficiently certain that there is something to report. But nosing around trying to dig up stuff could hurt you and the company.

Unless your reporting manager is involved, it is a good practice to bring it to her attention.
You're right stephane, investigation is another one responsibility. However, what i meant is that since he is the one who knows about it and before reporting to the higher management, he should be 100% sure this is a scam by reviewing the invoices with his colleagues who are involved in the project work just to make sure and attract their attention. If the review shows evidence of a scam, he can report it for more investigations. I'm saying that assuming this is a suspicious case not confirmed one.
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1 reply by Stéphane Parent
Jan 11, 2017 12:42 PM
Stéphane Parent
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The problem, Adel, is that you may not have access to the invoices or other supporting documentation. In this scenario, it would look suspicious for the informer to look at invoices for a project they don't belong. It could even create its own ethical problem!
Network:1647



Hello Jeffrey: I agree with Rami and Laxman that it is your duty as a PM professional to shed light on anything that is fraudulent - and you must do this right away. We must ensure full disclosure is always occurring and we must be truthful in all our communications. We are creating our reputation - and if you do not disclose fraud, then your reputation will be marred as well. We hold very high professional, ethical and social standards as Project Managers. We can never try to hide that a project is in trouble, or that any fraudulent activity is occurring.
Network:8122



The Ethical dilemmas are always tough questions. It's easy to write in a forum, ohhh yesss do it! But I can imagine your situation right now, and will be very difficult. Courage!

As below people commented before, yes, you should report it. Now second question, how? My recommendation is as soon as possible and before analyze if your company have a platform to do it in an anonymous way, like this you'll feel more confident. If not, review the levels of authority of your company, and do it. Try to use neutral words, and do it in a formal environment or communication method (in order to avoid that people think that you are trying to gossip instead of reporting an unethical situation)

Good luck!
Network:57406



Jan 11, 2017 10:58 AM
Replying to Adel Almufaiz
...
You're right stephane, investigation is another one responsibility. However, what i meant is that since he is the one who knows about it and before reporting to the higher management, he should be 100% sure this is a scam by reviewing the invoices with his colleagues who are involved in the project work just to make sure and attract their attention. If the review shows evidence of a scam, he can report it for more investigations. I'm saying that assuming this is a suspicious case not confirmed one.
The problem, Adel, is that you may not have access to the invoices or other supporting documentation. In this scenario, it would look suspicious for the informer to look at invoices for a project they don't belong. It could even create its own ethical problem!
...
1 reply by Mayte Mata-Sivera
Jan 11, 2017 12:44 PM
Mayte Mata-Sivera
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Agree Stéphane, usually invoices with clients is confidential information.
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