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Essay 13: Ethical behaviour (project awards)

Assuming that you are the principal partner of a reputable engineering-based firm in a small
state in the country. Your family is very well reputed, respected and influential, having lived
and worked in the state for decades.
Leaders of certain political party approach you seeking your assistance to campaign for them
in the forthcoming state by-elections, they have promised to award your company with all the
major projects awarded by the state government. It is desirable for your firm to secure new
projects. Discuss critically on your actions, taking account of the IEMs regulations on
Professional Conduct. (The following write-up was prepared (written) by Mr. BAY prior to his
sitting for PI on Feb 2014. It is shared here for reference of other candidates.)

Introduction
Engineer, when called upon to give opinion, shall give opinion that is reliable. Prior to any
statement made, he shall ensure his qualification to make such statement. No one shall benefit
from his statement with prospect and fair treatment deserved by others being scarified.
For the scenario, which I were principal partner of a reputable engineering-based firm and my
family was well reputed, respected and influential in the small state, I believe the respect and
credits to our family are due to genuine and honest contribution from all family members
since decades. As an engineer, I presume the respect earned from genuine efforts and
contribution to public services, design, buildings of public amenities to the small state.
Hence, I shall continue to take the interest and benefit of community as the priority. In the
same time, I shall not scarify the dignity of the engineering profession and company.

In other words, I will reject the invitation of errant leaders of political parties to assist them in
campaigning in the coming state by-election in order to secure major projects after election.

Uphold the dignity of profession


The dignity of the profession of engineer shall be upholded. We shall not campaign for the
any political party with the name of well-known engineer and his reputable firm. Engineers
are to provide professional services and accept remuneration for services rendered by them.
All engineers shall not exchange the dignity of the profession for his own benefits but
harming the image of the profession.

Maintain company image and interest of fellow partners


For the scenario, which I were the principal partner of reputable engineering-based firm, I
have duty and responsibility to safeguard interest of fellow partners and all staffs too. Though
the firm desires to secure new projects, the project shall be obtained via ethical appropriate
channel such as via open bidding process. This should be the successful secret of the firm todate.
All fellow partners also have high standard of ethical behavior and competent. They are
definitely not supporting to secure new project via supporting errant leaders of political party.
If I choose to support the errant political leaders, the company image and interest of fellow
partners could be jeopardized because voters definitely reject errant political leaders and
unethical approaches.

Do not jeopardize the prospect of other fellow engineers


All projects, especially government initiated for the benefits of nation and people, shall only
awarded via competitive and open bidding process. For the scenario, which I were already
principal partner of a reputable engineering firm, I presume I should already an elder
engineer in the industry. Therefore, it is reasonably that both my firm and I do not jeopardize
fair opportunity to other fellow engineers.
All engineer with appropriate competency and skills shall be given chances to secure the
projects. In the long run, all engineers will become more competent and it is definitely good
for the industry, profession and public.

Contribute to sustainable development of the profession


All benefits obtained via inappropriate and unethical approaches are short term and not
sustainable. Both inappropriate and unethical approaches, may in short period, make oneself
gain. However, it is damaging both the individual and others in the industry because there
could be many to follow unethical approaches. If this situation happens, the profession will
become unattractive and not sustainable.

Be integrity and competent


Engineers works often involve millions of ringgits. The works are often related to benefits of
public, nation and clients. Hence, we shall be integrity and transparent in both
implementation of project and efforts to secure projects. With integrity, only public will
perceive engineers are competent and not errant.

Accept remuneration from employer for services rendered


Engineers accept remuneration for professional services, for their competency and
professional services, rendered to clients. They only take responsibility that they are
confident to discharge.
The errant leaders of political party, though make promise to award major projects upon
winning the by-election, are not client to engineers. The administrator of the major projects is
government, which are elected representatives by people. The clients are the government and
people.
Should my firm was chosen for the major projects, it is remuneration for services rendered.

Make reliable public statement and relevant with qualification


Engineers are professional people with technical qualification and competency. He shall not
make public statement which he is not deemed the qualified and suitable person to make. He
shall not wrongfully make statement that resulted public perception that his fellows, company
and all association memberships that he may have linked to backup and support of his
statement. If he does otherwise, no one indeed will benefit but creation of bad image to his
own and others.

Do not improperly solicit work

By assisting the errant leaders of political party and in return for award of major project, in
my opinion, is improper act to solicit works too. It is because there is no ethical method to
secure jobs and it can be considered benefits accepted other than employers.
Both the government and the people indeed, are the employers and clients, if the projects
awarded to engineers.

Conclusion
Though it is desirable for a firm to secure projects, the process shall be transparent and via
competitive bidding process. Jobs awarded with hidden secrets and unethical method will not
be sustainable for the firm. It is because the firm could have lost his competency.
Furthermore, as an elder reputable engineer, he has greater responsibility to show good
sample to his peers for advancement of the profession.
In other words, I will reject the request of the errant leaders of political party. If he is willing
to listen, I will further advise them to listen to people and sincerely to provide services to
people. With that, only will they gain victory in the by-election and supports from people.
Reference: http://b-cafeconstruction.blogspot.my/2014/03/iem-pi-section-b-question-13.html