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Contracts in procurement processes

Reflection on Lessons Learned

Introduction

The learning process throughout the course has been tremendous and essential in understanding the functionalities and significance of contracts and their execution in procurement processes. It has been an insightful endeavor that illuminates core values, principles, and ethical practices applied in the management of contracts in the procurement process. These are crucial components endeared towards attaining positive project outcomes. As a result, this paper analyzes various components both in the buyer’s and seller’s perspective essential to enhance the applicability, functionality, and efficiency of right from proposal planning and management, as well as, ethical perspectives for both the buyer and the seller. Hence, result in enhancing the realization of good project outcomes as predicted in the project planning and implementation process.

Envisioned Ethical Management of Contracts

  1. Buyer’s Perspective

The ethical management of contracts from the buyer’s perspective focuses on sustaining quality relationship with the vendor. Also, entails compliance with the contract terms to avoid overburdening and taking advantage of the seller. In the implementation of the One Acre Fund procurement contract under the fixed price type of a contract, the envisioned ethical management promotes values of mutual respect and understanding between the seller and the buyer (Saini, 2010). The buyer’s perspective promotes the need to uphold the highest standards and quality in the project implementation. This is fundamental to sustain the desired outcomes following successful project implementation. Furthermore, assist in maintaining the project contract under the planned budgetary allocations.

  1. Seller’s Perspective

The seller’s perspective on the ethical management of contracts emphasizes on maintaining fair and just treatment by the buyer. That is, the contract should be offered under reasonable terms and conditions that enable the seller to function effectively and efficiently (Saini, 2010). As the supplier, the seller expects ethical principles that protect them from legal liabilities based on mutual trust, respect, and understanding. As a result, the buyer does not adversely utilize the relationship to benefit at the expense of the seller. On the contrary, the legal liabilities abiding the seller to the contract should be justified and fair to all involved parties.

Important Ethical Implications to Consider from a Buyer’s Perspective

From the buyer’s perspective, the consideration of the ethical principles in place and compliance with the agreed terms is important in the contract execution. The buyer considers ethical principles such as honesty, truthfulness, honesty, fairness, confidentiality, respect, informed consent, and consistency as important features to follow through the contract implementation (Schleper, Blome&Wuttke, 2017). The ethical implications relating to the principles mentioned above affect the quality, standards, and success of the project. The quality is key to received long-lasting and effective products as specified in the terms and conditions of the contract. The standards affect the durability of the supplies provided to the buyer. Hence, the consideration of the ethical implications associated with the contract implementation is fundamental to attaining good project outcomes.

Furthermore, the consideration of ethical implications from the buyer’s perspective gives the assurance of being successful in the project implementation.  That is, the standards of the project implementation help the buyer remain cautious and vigilant of receiving what was agreed on in the contract. This helps maintain a professional relationship that can be sustained for long-term benefits (Lee &Jin, 2019). Consequently, compliance with the set standards is critical to the implementation of current and future projects by the buyer working collaboratively with the seller.

Important Ethical Implications to Consider from a Seller’s Perspective

From the seller’s perspective, the consideration of ethical implications revolves around compliance and failure to meet the contractual obligations. These include the legal liabilities and penalties that a contract attracts following the failure to meet the stipulated terms and conditions of the contract (Gullett et al., 2009). The seller needs the assurance that a contract is not set as a trap in an unfair manner that is oppressive to its operations. The seller based on the ethical implication considerations commits to providing high standards and quality supplies to the buyer.

On a positive light, the seller considers ethical implications that revolve around the establishment and building of a positive reputation. As a professional and committed supplier, the seller is determined to build a positive implication on their name and reputation (Moriarty, 2019). This shows their commitment to living up to ethical principles and values in contract implementation. The culmination of such contracts results in establishing the supplier as a trusted partner to contract for the specified tasks. Hence, compliance with ethical standards is integral to long-term operations in the procurement field.

Key to Mitigating Risk and Unethical Buyer/Seller Relationship from a Global Perspective

Based on a global perspective view, the key to mitigating risks and unethical buyer/seller relationship is informed by the establishment of a mutually beneficial relationship and trust between the two. They serve as the foundation of a long-lasting relationship of mutual commitment, trust, and respect for each other. As a result, the relationship manifests in a way that both parties (the buyer and the seller) benefit from the contract (Moriarty, 2019). That is, the buyer receives the intended quality and standards of the supplies while the seller generates profit by complying with the set standards and terms and conditions of the contract. The mutually beneficial relationship helps maintain the project completion on the right track. This is critical towards the realization of the overall project success.

Moreover, the international standards helping mitigating risks and unethical practices from both the buyer and the seller are based on various aspects. These include compliance with international financial reporting standards. This helps breakdown the financial statements as applied in the procurement contract. The practice of transparency is essential to the mitigation of risks and unethical practices from both the seller and the buyer (Mocke, Nieman&Kotzé, 2016). From the competition for the procurement contract to the implementation, transparency is key to maintaining ethical practices and compliance with the set standards of operations from both parties. As well, auditing the procurement contracts helps maintain the integrity and authenticity of the contracts. Therefore, risks and unethical from both the buyer and the seller are successfully maintained and mitigated.

Contract Performance and Management: History and Future Trends of Procurement

A room for improvement is always available to make the execution of procurement contracts better. In the future, the consideration of further developments to increase efficiency and effectiveness of procurement contracts implementation is integral to the realization of the better project outcomes. For instance, engaging overseas suppliers can be effective to increase the quality and standards of operations. Also, this sets high standards to comply with international supply chain metrics and procurement implementation principles. As a result, aspects of unethical practices can be eliminated by providing the terms of operations in which both the buyer and the seller can meet. As well, in projects extending to international levels, extensive review and auditing are fundamental to ascertain efficiency in project implementation. Therefore, every aspect of the procurement contract must operate in a transparent and accountable manner. this is a complimented to the existing principles of operations.

Important Factors in Ensuring Good Project Outcomes within the Procurement Process

In my view, various important factors must be complied with to ascertain good project outcomes within the procurement process. These include, with respect to utilitarian ethics, the overall benefits must cut across to all involved parties. The greatest benefits should be generated to the greatest majority – both the buyer and the seller, as well as, any other involved parties. Also, living up to ethical principles is integral to maintaining positive operational standards. That is compliance with ethical principles such as fairness, justice, honesty, trust, openness, responsibility, consistency, and authenticity (Moriarty, 2019). This is fundamental to retain the procurement contract implementation practices under the wraps of mutually benefitted relationships. Hence, long term relationships based on collaboration and cooperation can be established for overall competitiveness and better project outcomes.

References

Gullett, J., Do, L., Canuto-Carranco, M., Brister, M., Turner, S., & Caldwell, C. (2009). The buyer-supplier relationship: An integrative model of ethics and trust. Journal of Business Ethics90(3), 329-341.

Lee, J. Y., &Jin, C. H. (2019). The Role of Ethical Marketing Issues in Consumer-Brand Relationship. Sustainability11(23), 6536.

Mocke, K., Niemann, W., &Kotzé, T. (2016). The role of personal relationships between buyers and suppliers of third-party logistics services: A South African perspective. ActaCommercii16(1), 1-13.

Moriarty, J. (2019). Business ethics. Oxford University Press.

Saini, A. (2010). Purchasing ethics and inter-organizational buyer–supplier relational determinants: A conceptual framework. Journal of Business Ethics95(3), 439-455.

Schleper, M. C., Blome, C., &Wuttke, D. A. (2017). The dark side of buyer power: Supplier exploitation and the role of ethical climates. Journal of Business Ethics140(1), 97-114.

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