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Fwd: Re: building code minimums for wood frame

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IteUrsi(--nospam--at)aol.com wrote:
> 
> In a message dated 97-03-01 01:46:50 EST, chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com wrote:
> 
> << They're no more high principled than the codes of professional conduct
> you're obligated to adhere to as an engineering registrant. As a Minnesota
> registrant I'm obligated to snitch on anyone I have good reason to believe
> has violated any statute involving the practice of professional
engineering.
> That covers a lot of ground.
> Florida specifies as actionable such things as expressing an opinion
publicly
> without being informed or being competent to form such an opinion;
permitting
> use of his/her name in connection with a fraudulent or dishonest business
> venture; failure to notify proper authorities if engineering judgement is
> overruled resulting in a threat to public
> safety. There's your strategic plan, already written into the law all us
PE's
> said we'd uphold. Realistic enough for you?>>
> 
> The above argument actually supports my skepticism better than any examples
I
> could have come up with.  These statutes and canons of ethics have been on
> the books for decades.  Why, then, have the levels of professionalism
> remained so low?  A major reason is that, for most people, laws don't
change
> behavior - incentives do!  On the one hand, there is an incentive to obey
the
> registration laws because we don't want to be disciplined or have our
> licenses revoked.  On the other hand, there is an incentive for financial
> survival or even a modicum of success, and if we don't take a flexible
> approach to these laws, those who do will eat our lunch.  The first
incentive
> is a weak one at best because the risk of punishment is so low - see my
> posting yesterday to R.L. Foley on the woeful record of the California
board
> (BORPELS) in prosecuting unprofessional performance.  The second incentive
is
> strong in most folks, and needs no elaboration.  I don't see anything on
the
> horizon to change the calculus of these two incentives anytime soon.  The
> "plan" offered above, however solid its legal underpinnings, is unrealistic
> because it ignores the human element.  People often have a feel,
intuitively
> or through experience, about which side of the risk/reward line is most
> advantageous in a specific set of circumstances, then place pretty sensible
> bets most of the time.
> 
> A reality check for Chris:  Request the Minnesota and Florida boards to
> provide you with a list of registrants who were disciplined or had licenses
> revoked in the past two years for providing incomplete, incompetent or just
> plain crummy design documents and services to clients (the standard of care
> issue, not mal/misfeasance cases).  Although they are unlikely to have hard
> data, also ask if they would venture a guess on how many of these cases
were
> initiated as a result of leads from other licensees (snitches).  If
> disciplinary cases exceeded a handful, and if the snitch cases exceeded
one,
> I'll be mighty surprised.  California, with probably some 50K active CE and
> SE licenses, had lower case numbers than that.
> 
> The challenge remains to develop a better balance between group interest
and
> self interest so that almost all registrants will have sufficient
incentives
> to support and comply with the spirit of the laws noted above.  It is a
very
> daunting challenge, appropriate for the bright minds that inhabit this
> listserv to tackle.  I look forward to reading your contributions.
> 
> Franklin Lew, SE
> 
So, how would you propose we solve this?

Regards,
Bill Allen


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Subject: Re: building code minimums for wood frame
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Richard Lewis, P.E.
Missionary TECH Team
rlewis(--nospam--at)techteam.org

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