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Engineers urged to be scrupulous in avoiding bribery and corruption

While the world listened to rock stars appealing for world action on poverty during Live 8, U.S. engineers were mak...


While the world listened to rock stars appealing for world action on poverty during Live 8, U.S. engineers were making strides on the same front in a quieter way.
The American Society of Civil Engineers has just released a report and proposed guidelines aimed at reducing corruption in the engineering and construction industry — a phenomenon that is estimated to cost $390 billion annually worldwide.
Mr. William P. Henry, P.E., executive director of ASCE, said “Ethical conduct is each engineer’s individual responsibility…. By adopting a zero tolerance for bribery and corruption, engineers can help stem the flow of funds into pockets instead of much needed projects. The elimination of corruption is key to eliminating poverty.”
The ASCE report and ethical guidelines were compiled with input from engineering societies in the U.S. and around the world. They include the following principles:
1. Engineers shall be scrupulously honest in their control and spending of monies intended for the projects on which they are engaged.
2. Engineers shall adopt a zero-tolerance approach for bribery, fraud, deception and corruption in any design or construction work in which they are engaged.
3. Engineers should be especially vigilant in countries where payment of gratuities and/or bribery are tolerated and condoned practices.
4. Engineers should include certifications in all contract documents specifying zero tolerance of bribery, extortion or other fraud during the procurement and execution of the project.
5. Engineers must strive for complete transparency in the engagement of agents who facilitate projects and other work, to include the reporting of purposes, names, addresses, and gratuities and commissions paid for all agents in their employ.
5. Engineers shall be duty-bound by the ASCE bylaws to report any observed violations of the Society’s Code of Ethics.
Officials from ASCE also met with officials from the Vatican in June to discuss the engineering community’s efforts to fight bribery and fraud could be applied to other industries. That meeting was coordinated by the professional engineering association of Italy, the Consiglio Nazionale degli Ingengeri.
The guidelines will be the focus of the ASCE 2005 Civil Engineering Conference in Los Angeles, on October 27-29.
See www.asce.org