David Tallan

I certainly agree with the proposition that “Acquisition 2.0 will give ethics officers the heebie-jeebies.” Just about anything 2.0 will give lots of people (especially those concerned with risk and controllership) the heebie-jeebies.

But I think that “Acquisition 2.0” also gives opportunities to mitigate those risks and that the residual risk may be lower than what remains in more traditional acquisitions.

The key elements are transparency, attribution, and clear rules.

So long as we know who is allowed to contribute what (the rules) and who is contributing what (transparency and attribution) we can be sure that conflict of interest doesn’t occur (or is identified and dealt with, if it does). And with an open, transparent system, where competitors can be on the lookout for inappropriate private sector involvement in decision making, we stand a much greater chance of identification of conflict of interest situations.

That’ll mean more work for the ethics officers, until people get used to the fact they’ll be found out. Which may be a valid reason for another sort of heebie-jeebies on their part.