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Re: Stamping calcs generated by an engineer out of the country

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At 12:19 PM 12/14/99 -0800, you wrote:
>Our company has been asked if we can review and stamp with a California
stamp, a set of calculations generated by an engineer in Canada. Can anyone
tell us if and where in the board rules/laws indicates this is not allowed.
>Elly D. Rejuso, P.E.

It makes a difference what your stamp is intended to indicate, or forseeably
could be regarded by others as indicating. It makes a difference what your
relationship is with the remote engineer. It makes a difference what your
"review" really constitutes, and what its purpose is, in the collection of
engineering documents that pertain to the project in question.

As I read it, the Calif PE Act does not directly say the proposition as you
describe it is not allowed, but what the PE Act DOES allow fails to fit your
situation very well. By inference drawn from sec 6735, the stamping would
not be allowed, unless certain circumstances definitely apply:

If your work is to review and express in a report your findings on what you
reviewed, that report is yours and must be stamped. (Sec 6735) You would not
dare let anyone think the calculations were yours in so reporting. "A
report" could conceivably consist of a short notation expressing findings
added on the cover page of the calculations in question.

If the remote engineer is genuinely a "subordinate" of yours (as defined in
sec 6705) then there is a possibility. (A subordinate need not be an employee.)

If the circumstances in Board rule 415, second paragraph, item 1, apply,
then there is a chance.
Be mindful that, while the PE Act overtly exists just to protect the public,
it is also written with an eye toward protecting practice privileges by
Calif- registered engineers. The bare proposition you post is not consistent
with that second purpose. You don't want to appear to be aiding or abetting
an  unlicensed (in Calif.) practice, as that is a violation of the PE Act.
(sec 6775(d))

You can access the PE Act and Board rules on the PE Board website:

The number of different opinions on what the PE Act and the Board's
regulations really mean is no fewer than one per affected person. Do not
expect a single unique answer to your question. Call two different staffers
at the Board office to get that many opinions. Don't rely on my opinion.
Don't rely on theirs either, because they argue in court that no staffer's
opinion can be relied on, only the Board's. (I've seen their attorney's
brief that so argues.) 

There are also California laws outside the PE Act that require stamping
design drawings you did not originate as engineer "in responsible charge"
(as defined in PE Act sect 6703 and Rule 404.1) but you still have to
indicate responsibility for. These matters relate to Public School and
Hospital construction. 

By The Way:

There is currently a proposed amendment to Board Rule 411 that will require
every licensed engineer in the office who worked on the design of a project
to stamp and sign each drawing sheet that he or she had any contribution to.
If more than one engineer contributed to what is shown on a given sheet,
each person would have to sign and stamp that sheet. All persons stamping
will have to do so "in a manner such that all work can be clearly attributed
to the responsible licensee." A non-engineer enforcement unit staffer got
this language from the Texas Board's rulebook. No necessity for it has been
shown or even hinted at. Board members have already approved this amendment
once, but through a quirk, it is up for re-adoption later this week. Nothing
about this rule change would resolve the perennial  "Overstamping" issue as
pertains to public school and hospital work. No public hearing to take
comment was intended by the Board, but any interested person could demand
one. I did. It will be Thurs Dec 16 at 9am in the Board's offices. 

Charles O. Greenlaw  SE   Sacramento CA