please explain on "conflict of interest"

Hi I came across following two questions by different authors who apparently took different approaches (at least to me so is the reason for request for help to understand)


Question 1:

You and your spouse both work for large companies in differen industries. however, one day you learn that your company will be soliciting bids for a project and your spouse's company intends to bid. Your spouse will not be involved in the bidding process or to bid. Your spouse will not be involved in the bidding process or any of the work it might produce if won. What should you do?

A. request to be transferred off the project

B. Inform management of the situation

C. Say nothing and go on with bidding process

D. Say nothing but setup a system of checks and balances to ensure that your team selects the contractor inpartially

Question 2:

You are assigned to a project that senior management has already decided to outsource. As a project manager, you need to work with the contracts department to select the seller and then oversee the seller through project completion. Company policy requires a project of this size to go through a formal bid process. A vice president in your company tells you his friend owns one of the companies that might mid on the project and company would be an excellent choice as a seller. This vice president has a reputation for making or breaking careers. What is generally the best course of action?

A. Let the evaluation team know that management has a favourite seller

B. Let the procurement department handlle the situation

C. Follow the bid process, and show the vice president why the favoured seller is o risn't the best choice

D. Obtain written permission to bypass the formal bid process


For Question 1, I chose D which is wrong

For Question 2, I chose A which is wrong

Sorry for not putting the correct answers to avoid analysis skewed towards the correct answers but experts on the forum already know the correct answers. Please explain and what is the recommended way to approach such questions. Many thanks for your help

admin's picture

1st one should be C , since your wife is no where connected to the bid. There will be many instances happening just because your wife works in similar industry doesnt mean you keep informing management or change the process .

2nd one is also C. 

The VP of the company is not telling you to bypass the process .  He is just saying that his friend's company is an excellent resource. Such inputs will keep coming throughout the bid selection process.  One must follow the outlined bid process and make fair selection based on data. 

Thank you for explanation.

On Question 2:  The question is from Rita Mulchay and yes that explanation makes sense to me (similar/same is from Rita) and I got myself corrected because this was my very first PMP test about a one month ago on preparation. The real trouble is on other quesiton.

On Question 1: My first choice was C same as yours but I took a bit more conservative and chose D as it was talking about setting up system of checks and balances for appropriate selection of contractor. The question is from 'Andy Crowe' and according to him both C and D are wrong. His correct answer is B which is "Inform management of the situation".

If I believe that Andy Crowe is correct then I am doubting my understanding on this topic which is a receipe to get many questions wrong on real exam which is due in couple of week's time

I am just trying to understand what should we do for such questions. Per my current understanding basically there are two situations in such questions

1: someone approached you or your team either one or other ways (in other words someone tried to influence you with the decision)

2: a lot of characters in the situation/question but none of them is forcing/influencing you to do something

Generally among the four choices they reduce to following 2 choices

A: inform management/someone in your company if potential contractor has approached you via any means (gifts, internal, external, invitations etc.)

B: don't inform management/someone in your company if potential contractor has no connection with the contractors described in the situation

C. generally irrelevant choice

D. generall irrelevant choice

Are there any further ideas on this to help get question correct on the real exam?

Thanks a lot!