Information confidentiality and the Chinese Wall Model in Government tender fraud
2012 Information Security for South Africa
Instances of fraudulent acts are often headline news in the popular press in South Africa. Increasingly these press reports point to the government tender process as being the main enabler used by the perpetrators committing the fraud. The cause of the tender fraud problem is a confidentiality breach of information. This is accomplished, in part, by compromising the tender information contained in the government information system. This results in the biased award of a tender. Typically the
... . Typically the information in the tender process should be used to make decisions about a tender's specifications, solicitation, evaluation and adjudication. The sharing of said information to unauthorised persons can be used to manipulate and corrupt the process. The reliance on uncompromised information during the tender process, points to the need to ensure that information confidentiality is present. A lack of information confidentiality can occur when a government official involved in the tender process derives personal gain by knowingly possessing a conflict of interest. This in turn corrupts the tender process by awarding a tender to an unworthy recipient. This paper addresses the conflict of interest which can arise between government officials and external stakeholders in the government tender process. It suggests that conflict of interest together with a lack of information confidentiality in the information system paves the way for possible corruption. Thereafter, information flow models, and the Chinese Wall Model are discussed as a means of mitigating instances where conflict of interest can occur. The Chinese Wall Model is applied to three existing case studies associated with corruption to determine its viability in the conflict of interest problem within the tender process. Finally, an adapted Chinese Wall Model, which includes elements of the tender process, is presented as a conceptual view of how the Chinese Wall Model can mitigate fraud in the government tender process.