Remotely challenging: The verdict

Read the CISI's verdict on the Grey Matters ethical dilemma that appears in the February 2021 flipbook edition of The Review

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Read the February 2021 dilemma

This Grey Matter, published in the February 2021 edition of The Review, presents a scenario where Satish, a junior manager, faces a tough decision when his boss pressures him to bend the rules to speed up the completion of a report. So, what should he do? 

Suggested solutions and results

  1. Sign the report, keeping Eamonn happy. He will be knowingly breaching company rules, but as this is the first time, he hopes for the best. (0%)
  2. Insist that Eamonn sign the report. The report will be late, and the department will look bad once again. This may affect his chances of a promotion and possibly even his job. (52%)
  3. Ask another manager to sign off the report. It will make Eamonn look bad, but Satish is pressed for time. (10%)
  4. Explain to the regulatory reporting unit why Eamonn’s signature is missing, saying that Eamonn authorised him to sign the report. (38%)

Responses received: 291

The CISI verdict

The dilemma illustrates the difficulties working in an organisation that does not adhere to the fundamental processes it has put in place. In this dilemma, you can understand the difficulty Satish goes through to get sign off from his manager, which should not have been an issue.

It raises concerns about the culture of the workplace and whether other policies and procedures have not been complied with. The sign-off process was implemented due to the adverse comments and warning from the regulator to reduce the margin of error.

Our recommended solution is option 2: Our updated Code of Conduct principle, ‘Aware of Capabilities’, states that you should “decline to act on any matter about which you are not competent or qualified unless you have access to advice or assistance to carry out the work in a professional manner”. In this instance, Eamonn failed to provide that assistance. It may make the working relationship between Satish and Eamonn more difficult, but of the options it is the most straightforward and transparent.

Should you wish to suggest a dilemma or topic to be featured in a future Grey Matter, please contact us as  

This verdict is published in the June 2021 edition of The Review.

Should you wish to suggest a dilemma or topic to be featured in a future Grey Matter, please contact us at

Published: 24 Jun 2021
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  • grey matters ethical dilemma
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