Wednesday, May 8, 2013

ethical question?

This is a situation that has, in various form, occurred repeatedly. 

We did a geotechnical report for a building company back in 2001 or 2002. They called last week looking for the Schedules and were told them to go away as we did nothing other than the report. The competition showed up here yesterday asking about the project and were explained what transpired. He then told us that he was going to go and look at the building and, if everything appeared ok, he was going to sign off on the Schedules. We think that he is committing fraud as there was no design or field review conducted and he will sign off.

The Alberta building code schedules are a requirement of building code to prevent under-sizing by the contractor, engineer, owner - whoever, by requiring the circuit to be closed, aka, geotechnical investigation, design to match, construction to design, and a commitment to say it is all correct. Anyone signing a C-2 after the fact is committing a breach of Alberta engineering ethics. 

Is it fraud? Likely, certainly un-ethically, but if all the parties know what is going on, I am not sure that it is fraud. The City building inspection department does not likely care, as long as they have the paper they need. The builder and piling contractor are long gone on to other things.  That leaves the owner, engineer, and geotechnical engineer, and likely future owner. Our competition is taking on tremendous liability by accepting responsibility for the foundation, likely at the change of ownership. He could be sued by the new owned if he find anything, even with change of use, if what the contractor did was not as per plan.

It is definably prostitution of the stamp. That says enough about the man's ethics. Be aware also, you cannot hang about the animals without picking up the smell. But, will you have the proof required to take it to APEGA? Not likely. Without the proof, APEGA will do nothing. What it says is our completion is unethical, possible fraudulent, but nobody has the willingness to spend the money necessary to prove it. You could report it to APEGA, and that might make you feel better, but do not expect results. There could also be blow-back, which we do not need.

This whole industry is corrupt, bits and pieces, from time to time. I am glad I am retired soon. Perhaps I can wash the smell off yet.    

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