Kickbacks Versus Professional Ethics

by Russel C. Jones, (M.ASCE), Prof. and Chmn.; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., Ohio State Univ., Columbus, Ohio,

Serial Information: Engineering Issues: Journal of Professional Activities, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 3, Pg. 357-364

Document Type: Journal Paper


Recent exposes of extortion, bribery, and kickback schemes involving engineers and politicians have highlighted the need for increased ethical conduct activies within the engineering profession and for additional legislation in all jurisdictions to control such abuses. Within the engineering profession, suggestions have been made for stepped-up enforcement of codes of ethics, the inclusion of rules of professional conduct in professional engineering licensing regulations, and additional education in ethical and professional behavior. Several avenues of legislative activity aimed at correcting such abuses have also been suggested. These include requirements of full disclosure of all political contributions, criminal and civil penalties for the improper awarding of design contracts, the use of designer selection boards and other mechanisms for the improvement of the professional selection process, public announcement of all projects, and stiffer conflict of interest laws. In some of these efforts cooperative action among engineers and with the citizenry in general will be required for the achievement of desired goals.

Subject Headings: Engineering education | Ethics | Political factors | Legislation | Licensure and certification | Jurisdiction | Standards and codes | Contracts

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