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Recent Ruling by California Board of Registration for Prof. Engineers

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Some questions and thoughts.

It would assume that this would apply to all RFI responses and much other
correspondence with the Client.  This could cause interesting delays when
the person signing the drawings is temporarily out of the office but has
directed his staff how to respond.

Does a faxed signature satisfy the requirement of a signature.  Remember
that most RFI's are transmitted by fax and the delays of sending drawings
by mail could add considerably to delays?

Does this rulling apply to communications between professionals?  In a
classic situation where the Structural Engineer sends check prints to the
Architect but not to the Client I would argue that this provision does not
apply since the work is not being turned over to a member of that group the
act was intended to protect.  If this is not the case I believe that this
change will have a real impact on the way in which offices are managed. 
Remember that in many instances unlicensed employees will coordinate parts
of the work directly with the Architect of other design professionals and
will thus send faxes with sketches or check prints to these other
professionals.

Does a similar requirement apply to architects?  It would seem to be
inconsistent to have engineers operate in a manner totaly different from
that of architects.

I also hope that this does not also apply (maybe I really do) to sending
copies of CAD files since there is currently no established way of applying
a signature to the CAD files?

Does SEAOC know how the professional members voted?

Has SEAOC consulted with the structural and civil engineer represenatives
to the board to understand the thinking of the professional represenatives
to the board?

Given the prevelance of current practice I would be really supprised if
there were not at least several professional members of the Board, the
Board Staff and members of the Boards Technical Advisory Committees who
have not violated this rule.  It would be interesting if the Board were to
take an informal pole of the staff, TAC members, and professional members
of the Board to assertain their compliance with this ruling.

In many offices only partners or officers of the firm sign drawings.  How
does this apply to a licensed individual  (not the EOR) who signs
preliminary drawings?

If we adopt a practice act for structural engineers it could mean that a
licensed Civil Engineer could not send out check prints for his licensed
Structural Engineer supervisor when the work must be signed by an SE.

This provision could have very far reaching implications for the practice
of Enginering in California.  I am convinced that if you looked closely at
the practices of structural firms in California I am convinced that  more
than half of the firms could be found in technical non-compliance with one
Board rule or another even if  we ignore this latest ruling.   

Note that California Board of Registration for Professional Engineers and
Land Surveyors has already started checking Internet yellow pages to see if
the individual or firm is listed in their files.

 Where does this leave us if most of the engineers in California have thir
licenses suspended.   

There is a curse that goes "May you live in interesting times".


Mark Gilligan