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Moral dilemma in ISO9000 & TS16949

Moral dilemma in ISO9000 & TS16949

Moral dilemma in ISO9000 & TS16949

A company produces parts for an automotive end customer and due to capacity issues wants to sub contract the manufacture of the parts to another facility without the knowledge or approval of the customer. The parts would be supplied "as if" the approved facility manufactured them as normal. This contravenes the requirements of TS16949 as all changes to processes must be done with the knowledge and approval of the customer.
The QA Manager objects in writing but, despite his objections, senior management allow this to happen anyway without the customer's knowledge or approval.
What should the QA Manager do?
(Yes I know resign is an obvious answer!)

RE: Moral dilemma in ISO9000 & TS16949

Is there anyone higher to take this to? Does the boss know that this is a major violation and they could lose ISO certification.  A violation of "ETHICS".  Not to mention loss of a customer(s), and reputation.  The QC manager should keep copies of his written objections and refuse to sign off on anything that misleads or is an out and out lie.  
That being said I would hope I never run into a situation like that.  Unemployment sucks, but so does thinking of sitting in a court room giving testomony.  It comes down to two basic choices eating or handcuffs.

Time to contact that headhunter. Even if they get away with it this time I would bet that it won't be the last.


RE: Moral dilemma in ISO9000 & TS16949

Thanks for your quick input.Makes a lot of sense.
Sadly the top of the tree has already been reached.
It looks as though no matter what, the decision is not going to be reversed. The objections are already in writing and it would appear that the consequences have been considered and chosen to be ignored.
It would appear that if the QA Manager caves in on this one, then his contribution to any future minor issues are unlikely to be considered.  

RE: Moral dilemma in ISO9000 & TS16949

Bad situation. My heart goes out to the QA manger.  I was in a somewhat similar situation ethically.  I choose to leave a VP position that I was very well paid for.  I'm not making anything close to what I was and I don't see that kind of compensation comming anytime soon but at least I sleep at night knowing that I did the right thing.  And that my reputation won't be destroyed along with my previous employer's when the S--t hits the fan.

It also helps to know that I am not the "DJ".  DJ stands for designated Jailee.  Guess which way the fingers will be pointing when the customer finds out.  

The QA manger should not sign anything that would link him to this unethical and illegal situation.  If they do terminate him.  What reason are they going to give? That he refused to falsify documents.  Chances are that the company is going to keep as low a profile as possible.

I still recommend that the QA manager keep copies of his written protests, any written responses and make notes of conversations for future reference.  This type of thing can come back years later to haunt you so it is good to be prepared.  Just in case.

Lastly, the QA manager needs to make one more decision.  Does he/she report it to an authority or the customer? It's a personal decison only he/she can make. The QA manager could find himself in legal trouble for knowing and not reporting.  Dare I say it, but I would seek legal advise
I wish him/her luck.


RE: Moral dilemma in ISO9000 & TS16949

Thank you for your input guys

You will be pleased to know that in the last 30 mins the Company has seen sense and will now be discussing the options with the customer and how best to proceed in line with TS16949.

The lesson is that sticking to your ethical principles can generate the right response.



RE: Moral dilemma in ISO9000 & TS16949

Glad to hear this!!!  Great news!!!

I would be interested to know what made them change their minds.  Sorry, my curiosity is getting the best of me.


RE: Moral dilemma in ISO9000 & TS16949

I'd also be interested to hear how this works out in the long run.  Does the QA manager suffer any negative impacts etc.

KENAT, probably the least qualified checker you'll ever meet...

RE: Moral dilemma in ISO9000 & TS16949

I think it was pangs of concience and no more. No threats of blowing the whistle were made. I think they realised how scary the consequences could have been.
It isn't fully concluded as yet I think it will be.
I think the QA Manager will come out of this better - sometimes his job is to protect the company from itself!

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