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Countermeasure for unethical behavior among engineers

Last updated on 17.05.2020

EUT 442/440 ENGINEERS IN SOCIETY

SEM 2 ACADEMIC SESSION 2018/2019

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ASSIGNMENT QUESTION 8

LECTURERS

ASSOC PROF IR DR MOHD KHAIRUDDIN B MD ARSHAD

DR. AZIZI BIN HARUN

NAME MATRIC NUMBER PROGRAMME

VICTOR H’NG KAI XUAN 161181396 RK 89

PHANG WEI JIAN 161032700 RK 86

SITI NOORAFIFA AZIZA BINTI AZIZI 161012588 RK 05

MUHAMMAD ‘ATIF BIN AZID 151010513 RK 05

MOHAMAD IZZUAN ISMAIL 161010488 RK 05

QUESTION 8.

ENGINEERS ARE OFTEN ENTRUSTED WITH THE RESPONSIBILITY OF IMPLEMENTING LARGE-SCALE PROJECTS INVOLVING MILLIONS OF RINGGITS. IN VIEW OF THE LARGE AMOUNT OF MONEY CHANGING HANDS, THE INTEGRITY AND ETHICAL STANDARDS OF ENGINEERS ARE BEING PUT TO TEST. WHAT MEASURES CAN AN ENGINEER TAKE TO PREVENT CORRUPTION AND UNETHICAL PRACTICE OF CUTTING CORNERS IN ORDER TO SAFEGUARD THE GOOD IMAGE OF THE ENGINEERING PROFESSION?

Before discussing about fail-safe countermeasures for corruption and unethical practice among engineers. Lets first understand the roles and importance of having up righteous or decent reputation of such engineers within the society.

Take a moment to breath and look around. Everything that meets the eye was a huge contribution of engineers’ intellect. Majority of the world mankind lives in need engineering to function properly in one discipline or another. If it wasn’t for the engineers the world wouldn’t have had evolved into what it is now. With the rise in population around the globe, the demands have increased but the resources are much too lacking in comparison, it is because of the efforts of the engineers that these resources have still survived otherwise everything would have been depleted eons ago. The world has quite a number of engineers but yet, it requires those whom technologically sound and sane enough to put their knowledge and skills to appropriate use.

Engineers in a sense are like librarians, doctors, and teachers having essential irreplaceable roles in every community by understanding how to read clearly, think well, and deal with politicians. Not to mention, a further role to put people to work as each working engineer provides employment for 85 other people in allied trades. Engineers are responsible for dams, bridges, roadways, building safety, architecture, and many elements of agriculture. Engineers in general build what the dreamers dream, and they utilize the products the scientists and inventors have conceptualized.

Engineers…

a) Are the initiators and discoverers: Many of the world-changing discoveries are made by the engineers, they are the frontrunners in the race of discovering new and innovative strategies, developments and advancements in the field of science and technology.

b) Assist technological development: Everything that we see around us has genuinely used technology. The rapid developing world needs professionals who can bring out new changes and update the existing technology for enhanced usage and implementation.

c) Select and recruit engineers: The colleges play a vital role in the forging of a technically sound and intelligent engineer. It is the moral responsibility of the engineering college to design the study curriculum in such a way that the student becomes proficient and eligible to be hired by or recruited by any organization. Alongside this, the engineer must possess skills that would make them eligible to be hired and they must also possess certain qualities that would make them an asset for the company or organization they are working at. Through completing these responsibilities one can bring out a change around.

d) Maintain safety & sustainability: There are many factors that would lead to harming the humankind, if not for the engineers there would be so much pollution that it would become extremely harmful for anyone to live around. The engineers also take care of the fact that the environment stays healthy and sound while maintaining the safety and sustainability of the surroundings. Implementing certain aspects that safeguard the environment promoting safe health is another responsibility of an engineer.

e) Protect the environment: There is the continuous emission of harmful and toxic gases in the environment and this has led to harming the atmosphere. The engineers play a vital role in reducing, protecting and conserving the environment through the implementation of various techniques and with the use of their skill set.

f) Spawn creativity: Engineers have to be creative as they usually bring a transformation in the world by using their knowledge. Creativity and innovation are complementary to each other whenever it comes to the matter of assembling a change in the world may it be an engineer belonging to any stream or discipline, they have to bring out their creativity.

g) Generate employability: Many of the entrepreneurs in the country are engineers, it is because of the extensive knowledge that they acquire makes them eligible to create employability by establishing their own setup. The engineers usually have extensive knowledge and with this expanse of awareness, they can implement it all for the use of creating employment.

In case it is hard to visualize how important the existence of engineers is within this modern world. Here are some examples to ease one to picture.

Civil Engineer – Bridges, roads, and malls.

Automobile Engineer – New tech savvy bikes and cars.

Mechanical Engineer – Big machines doing tones of work.

Electronics Engineer – Talking to people via mobile phones.

Computer Engineer – Desktop or mobile phone applications.

Chemical Engineer – Water purification and other filter processes.

Electrical Engineer – Different types of lights and electrical energy.

Now let’s envision the current world without any of them. What can possibly go wrong?

The answer: EVERY SINGLE THING.

Without dilly-dally, 8 crucial points are being laid out within the essay as the answers to the question stated above; Countermeasures for corruption and unethical practice among engineers.

1.0 SUBMISSION OF LAWS, STANDARDS, GUIDELINES AND CODE OF MORALS

2.0 PERFORMING WORKS, OBLIGATIONS AND DUTIES IN ACCORDANCE TO PROPER WORK METHOD A.K.A STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP)

3.0 REMAIN UNPREJUDICED WITH CRYSTAL CLEAR OPEN MINDSET WHEN CONDUCTING EVALUATION OR DECISION.

4.0 COMMITTEE AND TEAM BASED JUSTIFICATION IN DECISION MAKING.

5.0 DISENCOURAGE AUTHORITY ABUSION FOR PERSONAL GAIN AND DECLARE CONFLICT OF INTEREST OR PRIORITIES

6.0 CONDUCT ROUTINE INSPECTION AND SPOT CHECK.

7.0 WORK AUDIT.

8.0 INSTILL ZERO TOLERANCE TO CORRUPTION HABITS.

1.0 SUBMISSION OF LAWS, STANDARDS, GUIDELINES AND CODE OF MORALS.

Registration of Engineers Act 1967 (Act 138)

In 1967 a Parliament Act was established to direct the “act of engineering. In 1972 The Board of Engineers Malaysia was shaped when it came into force. The “Engineers’ Act” is the most imperative authoritative report administering all “Specialists” and the arrangement of “proficient building administrations”. Section 15 of the demonstration stipulates that a specialist or engineer can be suspended and dropped his enlistment with the board in the event that he is found to offer or acknowledge unlawful commission and included with untrustworthy and misrepresentation rehearses.

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Inspector of Works, Engineering Technologist & Graduate Engineers

To help the Professional Engineer in the supervision of engineering works an Inspector of Works may, subject to segment 8, will enlist with the Board to take-up business which expects him. An Engineering Technologist may, subject to area 8, take-up work which expects him to perform proficient engineering administrations. To perform professional engineering services a Graduate Engineer may, subject to section 8, take-up employment which make him needed

About Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) and Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM)

Standards and guidelines from both Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and Institution of Engineers Malaysia (IEM) likewise deny engineers from tolerating compensation from others with the exception of from his boss while releasing their normal obligations and duty.

The Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) is a statutory body comprised under the Registration of Engineers Act 1967 with never-ending progression and a typical seal, which may sue and be sued. It was framed in 23rd August 1972. BEM essential job is to encourage the enrollment of Engineers, Engineering Technologists, Inspectors of Works, Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships and Bodies Corporate giving proficient designing administrations and; to manage the expert direct and routine with regards to enlisted individual so as to protect the security and enthusiasm of people in general.

BEM falls inside the ambit of duty of the Minister of Works. Vested with wide powers, the Minister may suspend the activity of the Registration of Engineers Act 1967 (REA) in any piece of Malaysia by notice in the periodical. The arrangement of the Board Members and the Registrar is made by the Minister.

The Registration of Engineers Act 1967 and the Registration of Engineers Regulations 1990 have been changed in 2015 with date of activity on 31st July 2015. The altered REA will be known as “Enrollment of Engineers Act 1967 (Revised 2015)’ while the going with Regulations will be known as “Enlistment of Engineers Regulations 1990 (Revised 2015)”.

These most recent alterations are an immediate consequence of Government arrangements on exchange for administrations. As Malaysia created towards an administration industry the issue of “advancement” of the administrations went to the front line in the Free Trade Agreements (FTA) which the nation marked. These most recent changes straightforwardly address progression issues all together for the nation to meet its universal commitments.

The need to manage the Engineering Team; Engineers, Engineering Technologists and Engineering Technicians has likewise driven the BEM to revise the REA to join two new classifications: Engineering Technologists and Inspector of Works (otherwise called Engineering Technicians).

Along these lines, engineers will pursue the guidelines and guidelines while releasing their obligation, which is additionally straightforwardly to keep up the pride of the calling and individual designers.

2.0 PERFORMING WORKS, OBLIGATIONS AND DUTIES IN ACCORDANCE TO PROPER WORK METHOD A.K.A STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE (SOP)

Engineers should be follow generally accepted, but will make the work progress easier, to avoid conceivable happening of dishonest conduct and gift.

For example, site engineer may illuminate head office, subsequent to answering to extend administrator, about the truly necessary development material at task and furthermore may take care of new item introduction from sales representative. In any case, quotation, purchase order, invoice and payment method will be trailed by others and partners from important division, for example, purchasing department.

For site engineers, he will advise and demand the nearness of resident engineer or assistant of works, who are typically follow up for the benefit of consulting engineer and venture investors when there are trying works. For example, it is informed that nearness concerning outsider designer (not from temporary worker) to observe the readiness of solid shape, block test work, heaping works, early setup and perusing of checking instrument for Maintain Load Test, and so on. This work system and solicitation could avoid dishonest conduct because of irreconcilable circumstances. In different works, individuals to execute the works, the individual to ensure the outcomes or quality to make the installment are suggested not by a similar person.

With the above work methodology, pay master and affirming parties of various parties could keep away from exploitative and defilement.

3.0 REMAIN UNPREJUDICED WITH CRYSTAL CLEAR OPEN MINDSET WHEN CONDUCTING EVALUATION OR DECISION.

The attitudes of engineers that can be avoided by unethical things such as receiving bribes are that engineers must make prejudiced, transparent decisions when making judgments. Engineers not only look at the downsides of the tender but see the whole of the tender regardless of the good or bad and provide a view to repairing and adding confidence to the tender. For example, if an engineer has been selected in handling a tender as a technical member. He should be an experienced person and understand the product specifications. He should also examine the specifications involved in the acquisition of equipment. He must be open-minded and cannot accept a tender only he or she knows someone or knows closely without understanding and scrutinizing the contents of the product. Professional engineers need to evaluate fairly on each tendered product and recommend the best products to consumers so that the goods are high quality. A professional engineer should have an out-of-the-box thinking on a tender he handles. Tender obtained should be based on established guidelines and consider new ways to pursue the best quality of revolution in quality engineering. Open thinking on tenders can help in enhancing new technologies that make software quality more reliable, robust and effective to users. Additionally, engineers may also submit proposals from all aspects such as specifications, completion times, capabilities and prices to meet product requirements. Furthermore, the attitude of openness and transparency of engineers who can perform or promote the product by conducting tender interviews with the presence of project owners, consultants and they can ask questions and performances by all applicants. Each member of the consulting team shall carry out their respective technical roles. the best decision can be made based on an open engineer in performing a careful examination and compare all options and proposals in a transparent state without being attracted to something as a reward or a coin to approve the tender and at the same time prevent this unethical corruption of engineers.

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4.0 COMMITTEE AND TEAM BASED JUSTIFICATION IN DECISION MAKING.

Decision-making is the process of selecting some alternative measures are available in order to achieve one or more objectives to be implemented either performed individually or as a team. In general, making a decision is a form of action-making for producing good and thoughtful decisions in order to obtain a conclusion, in which the selection process has gone through several filters either through a specific discussion or analysis. Engineers who discuss teamwork can identify tender problems and analyze problems in detail. In addition, engineers must work in an organization where members can share their experience in tender management and discuss relevant issues. The proposed proposal must have the support of highly qualified and experienced engineers and experts in the field. Each member of the group will disclose all the experience and expertise available in giving their ideas or proposals in each discussion involving decision-making. Each engineer has been divided into specific groups according to their own experience and field to research the tender set by the committee members. Members of the group should consult with each other to issue opinions and recommendations that are widely agreed upon on the products operated by the individual. The group members can not only give their views and continue to make their own decisions. If this is the case, the group member must report to the responsible party. Decisions made must be based on mutual agreement without any interest to a particular party. In a mutual discussion, each member must be open, fair and independent, based on the advantages of technology offerings, benchmark market intelligence and smart pricing strategies. In addition, conflicts of interest cannot be hidden in order to counter the unethical behavior being preventable. the implementation of this decision is usually the final decision of all the discussions that have been made and the implementation has been agreed and has been through various discussion processes and it is certain that the implementation is the breakdown of each group member and committee, of course the best efforts and actions have is taken in ensuring the image of a professional engineer to remain intact and strong and able to be competitive in the future in the face of a globalized world whether economic or international challenges. The cooperation of all parties involved is welcome and necessary to ensure that everything goes smoothly and is not involved in bad ethics such as accepting bribes. The committee members should examine the decisions made by engineers in a transparent and fair manner and approve their decision to avoid any unethical acts.

5.0 DISENCOURAGE AUTHORITY ABUSION FOR PERSONAL GAIN AND DECLARE CONFLICT OF INTEREST OR PRIORITIES

The abuse in authority is indicate to an individual or a couple of individuals that making decision when facing multiple choice and the cost behind each choice. The wrong decision makes since the will cause the direction in putting effort will conflict or require extra working time to correct the path to success. Besides that, the progress of project will become slow and waste many resources such as funds invest by client, the extra working hour by team members, calling new meting for changing the previous decision / direction in development based on the problem found in the pathway. In previous serious cases, abuse authority in making the wrong decision also may lead to social harm and in the end society and the public will pay the price for the decision made.

Some abuse authority for own interest happen when some client wants to be approved or signature from a professional as consultant. The client provides certain amount money or other benefit and request engineer to agree and approve the project or proposal that will send to government. By only placing a signature in the proposal or inspection report, engineer will receive benefit easily by obey the integrity and ethical standards of engineers.

At the beginning, define the personal belief and stand for the engineer before accept or reject the offer. Second, the engineer needs to consider the integrity and ethical standards or legal issue of engineers. Next, identify alternative ways to resolve the issue, and discuss their potential effects to the client.

As a professional, engineer should reject the offer as consulting engineer for the project which is obey the integrity and ethical standards of engineers. However, before an engineer rejects the offer or appointment, following criteria is can take in consider to correct the wants of client. First, engineer need to identify the factors that will affect prioritization of client. Factor likes total cost, aim, time duration, technology involve and et cetera factor require to list from top to least priorities. The list on the top priorities must suit the needs before further discussing. After that knowing the factors that able to affect prioritization, discuss the actual amount with margin for each factor and correct some needs into less critical statement. When some priorities state by client may not suit to their needs and conflict between each other, engineer must explain in detail about the conflict between those priorities or needs. The explanation can base on the interest and power of the client. The weight of client can be identified by their influence (or power) over and their interest into the relationship to the firm. Generally, the category can classify into four, the high level of both power and interest, high level on power but low level of interest, high level on interest but low level of power, and low level of both power and interest. The needs with high level of both power and interest must keep engaged and manage closely. The needs with high level on power but low level of interest require keep it stratified when meet the needs. The needs with high level on interest but low level of power should be respected and keep inform client when conflict with other needs. The needs with low level of both power and interest only require minimum monitoring and focus more on other needs. Thus, the needs with a high level of both power and interest is a key be worth to focusing the most in order to find the needs of client.

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6.0 CONDUCT ROUTINE INSPECTION AND SPOT CHECK.

The professional engineer, though with his appointed representative at site, shall also conduct the periodical routine inspection on each projects site. During the inspection, all the site dairy and record must be read by inspector and require the approval for next proceed period from inspector. Beside that spot check on the progress of the projects, also require with minimum notification to the project’s owner. By having the spot check on the progress, compare to the finance report will detect the suspicious activity or unethical practice. Spot check or progress inspection to the projects site. If possible, the inspection shall be periodical. Spot check and periodical inspection to site enable engineer to provide early reminder so that work quality can achieved and unethical conduct could be prevented. To prevent corruption from happening, the finance report for the operating projects are able to monitoring through finance audit. Thus, the finance report for the operating projects must submitted periodically for routine inspection.

7.0 WORK AUDIT

Many people use ‘corruption’ and ‘fraud’ interchangeably. The present paper asserts that these two terms need to be used distinctly. ‘Corruption’ takes place in the form of bribery, kickbacks, commissions, or other benefits without leaving any trace in the official record. In their professional work, while working in a large bureaucratic organization or a government department, an engineer shall be aware and open about their project as it can be reviewed and audited if the project owner requested of auditing the project. So this will prevent any ill will of corruption on engineer on project that involve millions of dollar. Work audit on engineer shall be that they will work a lot more earnest than before as they know that every misconduct and corruption in project will be audited as it will also risk their profession as any misconduct founded will be reported back to BEM which will investigate more thoroughly of their work in the past as well the present if the engineer was found guilty then BEM will take back their license as engineer. Henceforth an engineer will treat the work audit as a shackle or observer to their action in managing their project for example an engineer misused his/her authority to take money with no permission from the person that supervise him which will lead of loss of money in the project this will cause work audit on the project and they will check all engineer account to trace back where the money goes. The work audit also helps an engineer to become more discipline on their action as they will be more ethical in conducting project which it will improve the quality of the project that has been underway. As time goes on the corruption and unethical way of the engineer will be dissipate and the project quality improve if and only if work audit maintained their strict of supervising an engineer when the project owner requests their help in preventing corruption and unethical way in the project. Internally, there shall be a superior or employer supervising his works which we can understand on our word as an observer on the engineer conduct, hence he shall not accept any bribe that was coming to him as well as involve in unethical behavior in any manner even if he was provoked by other person to involve in unethical manner he shall not fall for it as he will know that once he involve on it the employer will report it back to BEM and take the engineer license. The work audit certainly one of the facts to prevent engineer from corruption and unethical behavior.

8.0 INSTILL ZERO TOLERANCE TO CORRUPTION HABITS.

There were many people with high occupation that state the most important thing to change for better is to practice their own selves first, so before an engineer depends on other way to prevent corrupted way and unethical attitude, they need to train their own morals as to have zero tolerance towards corruption. An engineer shall be easy to corrupt and have unethically attitude because they have no train of thought of hate for corruption as their state of thought does not mind if there is corruption occur to them. Henceforth an engineer needs to practically report unethical behavior and bribery in their early year as engineer to prevent corruption to be ingrain to those who have become senior engineer. Thus, they need to immediately report to Board of Engineers Malaysia, IEEM and Association of Consulting Engineers for unethical attitude of engineers, when the person in question always maintain this moral of zero tolerance of corruption then the person that want to corrupt an engineer will be cautious or afraid to bribe an engineer any longer. For corruption the case shall be report to agency that prioritize to stop corruption. As an engineer report to BEM will cause the person who corrupt others to lose their engineer license if it is severe and if the corrupt person was not an engineer it will goes to anti-corruption agency which will investigate more thoroughly as they will make statement to the public when they done the investigation. As an engineer and individual person, they need to practice zero tolerance to corruption for the sake of maintaining the honor, usefulness of engineer profession and earn the trust of project owner as it has been stated in engineer code of conduct to be a trustee to the project owner

To briefly summarized the core concept of all the mentioned countermeasures. The processes involved are in orderly manner:

i. Generation of a guideline or code of conduct in black and white by lawful means.

ii. Inspiration of up righteous moral values among engineers themselves.

iii. Enforcement of the code and guidelines through various approach.

As a conclusion, engineers are indispensable to develop a nation as matter of fact, the world itself. In every mega scale project, it is unimaginable for their absence. Therefore, to ensure the world heads towards a positive direction of technological development. The first and foremost prior condition is to have healthy and competent engineers with ethical work culture before contributing the society in every aspect of human kind’s daily life.

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