Canadian Consulting Engineer

Fighting corruption and capacity building on FIDIC agenda

December 1, 2002
By Claude Paul Boivin

FIDIC is the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, and the theme of its October 2002 conference was "Integrity and Capacity Building for Development."The key topics were:(1) Integrity mana...

FIDIC is the International Federation of Consulting Engineers, and the theme of its October 2002 conference was “Integrity and Capacity Building for Development.”

The key topics were:

(1) Integrity management (fighting corruption)

(2) Capacity building (success in running a consulting business)

(3) FIDIC governance

Integrity pays off

Conference participants discussed the FIDIC “Guidelines for Business Integrity Management in the Consulting Industry.” The key FIDIC message is that “integrity pays off.” FIDIC firmly believes that the existence of business integrity management systems (BIMS) will be crucial for successful consulting firms. A BIMS training manual has been prepared and it clearly illustrates the steps for a firm to follow in training, implementation and certification of their own integrity management system based on the ISO 9001:2000 standard. The two FIDIC integrity management publications will be available through FIDIC.

Capacity building — a training tool for firms

FIDIC is developing a new “Training Manual and Guide to Practice” for use in formal programs to upgrade the management capabilities of the principals and managers of consulting firms. The goal is to increase the viability of firms in industrialized as well as less developed countries. In Canada, firms will be able to use or adapt these training materials for their own programs. The outline of the content of the manual was formally presented to the conference delegates in Mexico and the final document will be ready in the new year. John Ritchie, P.Eng. of Canada has played a leading role in this exercise as a member of the FIDIC Task Force on Capacity Building.

Two of the three roundtable discussions on capacity building were led by Canadian delegates John Boyd of Golder Associates and Ken Barlow of Barlow Associates.

Best practices roundtables

Roundtables were organized on different topics related to best practices including: selection of consultants; government as an informed purchaser; quality of construction; and risk management.

FIDIC governance

Delegates had an opportunity to discuss a report on the governance of FIDIC. The debate was not without controversy. Some believe that FIDIC may be undertaking too many initiatives that are not directly business related. The group of Executive Directors of the national member associations recommended that FIDIC make use of its strategic plan and business plan for more focussed programs and better communication of them to members. The FIDIC Executive Council will be addressing these recommendations.


A number of participants expressed concern about the use by international financing institutions of quality and cost-based selection (QCBS). Informal discussions were held to clarify FIDIC’s position on this issue. It was suggested by different groups (the Canadian and American associations in particular) that the FIDIC position papers should clearly state that FIDIC endorses and supports QBS and that information and formulas on QCBS are provided only to assist members to conduct business with those clients who use QCBS.

Next meeting in Paris

The next FIDIC annual conference will be held in Paris from September 7-10, 2003. The theme will be “Partners for Responsible Investment.” For more information on the Paris conference visit

ACEC member-organizations: Association des ingnieurs-conseils du Qubec, Consulting Engineers of Ontario, Nova Scotia Consulting Engineers Association, Consulting Engineers of British Columbia, Association of Consulting Engineers of Saskatchewan, Consulting Engineers of Alberta, Association of Consulting Engineers of Manitoba, Consulting Engineers of New Brunswick, Consulting Engineers of Yukon, Consulting Engineers of the Northwest Territories, Consulting Engineers of Newfoundland


Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories