RoC & Ethics Scenario Discussion: Indirect Intelligence

Scenario 2: Indirect Intelligence?

‘A Surveyor is in a bar and they overhear some information which they know may interest their client…

What should they do?’

An interesting Scenario provided by SP.  ( email me your scenarios… )

Discuss the Ethical Issues?

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6 thoughts on “RoC & Ethics Scenario Discussion: Indirect Intelligence

  1. It really depends upon the information that is being overheard. I would discuss it with my manager/colleague and take advice.
    It is ethically wrong to use information to the advantage of someone and detriment of someone else where it involves profiteering, criminal activity, bribes etc.
    I would assume that the ‘something’ would allow the client to gain the advantage – if you are uneasy about it (gut reaction or conscience), you should say nothing or seek advice and let your manager decide.

  2. I agree with Justjac about speaking with your manager, but as we should be working in an open and transparent manner then it would be wrong to hold back information which you know the client would find useful. However it is the way of going about pursuing this which is key. Of course, approaching the guys in the bar to find out more there and then is NOT professional, but approaching it from a different angle during business hours as a genuine enquiry then I cannot see a problem with this. As long as you follow the correct communication channels to discover more about the information and declare why it is of interest then I think this is a good example of taking responsibility with your clients interests in mind.

  3. I think it depends on what you hear as to whether it is considered unethical to pass the information on to your client. It is probably more unethical for the other party to be discussing business/sensitive information in a bar that other people can overhear.

  4. It depends on what is overheard of course, but we must remember that we should not be withholding information from a client that would assist them in making an informed decision, assuming of course we are engaged in a role where we are representing the clients best interests as opposed to a role where we must act neutrally. As usual, it is best practice to ensure that you are armed with the facts, have discussed the situation with colleagues, managers or sought advice elsewhere in order that we can demonstrate clear reasoning in reaching the decision to impart the information to the client or not.

  5. It’s gossip overheard in a pub. If you were offered a bargain DVD player in a pub you would not touch it. (Or if you did you would assume it was dodgy and you were receiving stolen property.)

    Information should be treated in the same way. If overheard you should assume it is dodgy and if you use it you are passing on stolen property.

    By all means check potential leads elsewhere but don’t pass on what you heard in a pub.


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