Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

Return to index: [Subject] [Thread] [Date] [Author]

Re: Strange but True (SB828)

[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]

Normally,  I don't wax long on my posts to the listserv since since I am not a member of SEAOC and am an accomplished lurker, but I have posted comments from time to time.  However, this topic is of interest to me and one on which I hold strong opinions, even though I do not work in CA or plan on working in CA in the near future.  The reason this is of interest is that historically, what starts in CA is eventually evaluated for use in other states and what effects PE's in one state can effects PE's in other states.
I have read several post over the past year concerning regulation and protecting public safety vs maintenance of the engineering professions.  The principal reason for regulating engineering or any regulation  is and should always be to protect public safety.  But to say that  legislation, and effective legislative and regulative lobbying,  is not also associated with the maintenance of professions and business, is shortsighted and ultimately self defeating in the professional, business, and political environment of the United States.  That is why some industries are exempt from specific legislative requirements, and other's are not and we get Pizza Day's instead of flood relief.

I found the CA Legislation Web page, downloaded the Chaptered Bill and reviewed it, I also reviewed the relevant sections of the House and Senate Committee Meeting Review Notes and the relevant sections of the existing chaptered regulations.  I  provide the following information as reference:

The House Committee Notes indicate the following:
  I would infer that , the the consultant / 3rd party rule was added as a result of a  lobbying effort of the software industry or other high technology industry, probably as a response to the audacious power grab from the PE board mentioned in, I think, Mr. Greelaw's post.  However, nowhere in the regulations can I see that software engineering, or most high-tech engineering was ever regulated by the CA BORPEL ( I believe that someone else, more familiar with CA laws also posted this conclusion).  Why was such generous language added for an apparently non-regulated engineering? Could it be the 98 election year?

The State of Oklahoma commissioned a study which recommended dissolution of the Board of Registration, similar to the "Sunset Review" described in the CA SB828, fortunately, our PE Board and organizations were motivated and eloquent enough to demonstrate to the administration that Engineers, just like Medical Doctors, are responsible for safeguarding life, not to mention property and the environment.

Effectively, the same bureaucratic organization that will license hair dressers, in the year 2000, will license PE's (except CE's?) in the state of CA.  The state with the the largest population in the 48 states.  Although,  I have nothing personal against hairdressers [mine does a good job {;-)]  it is highly unlikely that a bad hair day will kill people,   On the other hand, a poor engineering job can, and most tragically, has.

Some will argue that registration will not guarantee that the engineering job will be any better if performed by a registered engineer.   Possibly, however, the simple fact that an engineer is willing to be personally responsible and accountable for his work is and shall always be a laudable endeavor.  Personal responsibility just isn't as good to lawyers as deep corporate pockets (As Mr. Greelaw pointed out the consultants pocket will just be added to the corporation's pocket, the deeper, the better.)  Mr. Greenlaw also stated that,

Hmm, I seem to recall reading that some of  the problems with the refinery's (read explosions) in the late 1980's and early 1990's were, by some accounts, caused by 3rd-party contract maintenance and repair crews which were unfamiliar with the facilities and more importantly, the safety protocols.  Probably just some union rhetoric.(TIC).

Perhaps, the most succinct and germane comment was from Mr. Roger Turk, who's E-Mail postings I have come to respect [despite his insistence upon using <gasp> DOS (:-))]

Perhaps, the most revealing comment was from Mr. Allen, a self-confessed cynic: The rule of thumb for state regulations and lawmaking used to be "it started in CA."  Hopefully, not anymore.

Arvel L. Williams, P.E.

PS:  Mr. Greenlaw is a braver man than me to attend CA House and Senate Committee meetings, let alone admit he has them on videotape (;-)))),

fn:Arvel Williams