Canadian Consulting Engineer

Consultants’ Impartiality Is Compromised

Re. "But the Client Pays the Bills," Comment, August-September 2009, page 4.

October 1, 2009   Canadian Consulting Engineer

Re. “But the Client Pays the Bills,” Comment, August-September 2009, page 4.

You highlighted an issue that consulting engineering firms must address. The problem you identified has much wider implications.

For example, in the standard Canadian construction contracts endorsed by ACEC, there is one pillar of the contract that is often misunderstood by engineers. The owner and contractor agree that the owner’s consultant has the professional integrity to impartially interpret the contract documents during construction and not to act as the owner’s advocate. However, the attitude of “the owner pays the bills” has compromised the ability of the profession to meet this obligation.

There is a need to write a couple on articles based on your Comment.

David P. Thompson, P. Eng.

KTA Structural Engineers, Calgary

I read your article “But the Client Pays the Bills” with great interest this morning. It has an excellent message –and not just for engineers.

John Armstrong, P. Eng.

Armstrong Engineering & Land Surveying Cranbrook, B.C.

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