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Re: Plan check submittals and shop drawings

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Some clarifications:

This thread returned to life recently (Nov 5, Guy Fawkes Day) with a point
of rather narrow application:  that for purposes of administering
California's special and stringent building code for public school
construction pursuant to the Field Act of 1933, the special requirements as
to who must sign for what have fallen into an uncertain interpretation at
the hands of the State Architect. The State Architect's views as understood
by an unidentified subordinate of his were summarized in a previous posting,
and that summary reads as though the State Architect perhaps has some odd
notions, and that maybe there will be a conference with a higher ranking
subordinate structural engineer to resolve what's what.

Since then, the purported views of this state official with respect to the
"responsibility" of an architect, in the unique Field Act setting, have
become the launching pad for a generalized discussion on the responsibility
and professionalism of architects and engineers in their various roles, and
in various states and provinces.

But really, there has been no solid foundation laid for such a discussion,
no agreed-upon starting point nor question to resolve. 

And as a certain President undergoing deposition might reasonably say,
"what's your definition of "responsibility" for purposes of this inquiry?"

My earlier posting that has been cited approvingly was to the effect that
the California PE Board, which has no connection with the office that
enforces the Field Act, at one time warned that overstamping in compliance
with the Field Act was a violation of the PE Act, but the PE Board no longer
believes so, and is making no trouble on this anymore.

The Disclaimer Statements offered to the PE Board back then were only a sop
to them to help satisfy or circumvent the then- obdurate PE Board Executive
Officer and a certain influential Boardmember. It worked, but that does not
necessarily mean that such disclaimer statements were really required then,
let alone now. They were an expediency, that's all. I was there.

If there's an enduring general lesson, it is that all too often public
officials and their staffs set policy, not faithfully to what existing laws
and administrative regulations say, but whimsically or arrogantly according
to their own personal notions of "how things ought to be", without bothering
to learn and follow the law. It happens all the time at the PE Board, and
may well be the case with the State Architect's views, or those of his
subordinates. It's very difficult to counter and correct misbegotten policy,
and Guy Fawkes's method remains out of favor.

Even when following the law, it should be remembered that the laws
regulating the practice of Engineering and of Architecture vary from each
other within most states, and from one state or country to another. To argue
from different state board offices or different state capitols is to argue
from different "premises".

Charles O. Greenlaw, SE    Sacramento  CA