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Re: whistle blowing

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It makes sense to document issues that are of concern.  That is especially important when those issues could have an impact on your work.  I agree that the first action should be to inform the PA and PE where possible, and discuss the deficiencies etc.  If there is no response or negotiation, then a decision to copy the issues to the AHJ (authority having jurisdiction), and maybe the licensing board too, would be reasonable.  I recommend doing some math, or code search, to support your concerns.
The AJH will then often review any intiative to lodge a complaint, independent of your own decisions.  Negotiations with the AJH may also be appropriate.

Thor A. Tandy   P.Eng, MIPENZ
Victoria, BC
email: vicpeng(--nospam--at)
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 2:31 PM
Subject: whistle blowing

Case study:

A project we are working on involves the renovation of a strip mall. Our
client is one of the particular stores in the single story plaza. The other
renovation work is being done by a different architect and engineer.

Limited information is known about the as-built condition, so we were sent
drawings already prepared by the other firms for the rest of the building
for our review, for coordination, and to possible glean some info about the

I noticed several things with their drawings that I feel are incorrect at
the least, just from a casual observance. I informed our Project Arch (in
our office) and he asked me to write a letter outlining my concerns to the
landlord's architect, the PA on the rest of the job who the SE is working
for. First and foremost it is a life safety concern (plus I am worried that
they are doing this type of work and detailing on lots of other structures).
Second, their part of the building design literally starts where ours ends,
so their is some gray area of liability. If they do something to compromise
"our" structure, then we could be sucked into something that we do not want
to be part of.

Now I feel this is an appropriate first step, I do not think construction
has started. If we do not get a response from the other PA in a timely
matter, then we should go to the Bldg Dept, I assume.

Is their anything else I should be doing? Reporting them to the Board of PE?
I hate getting involved in this stuff but they have missed some stuff I
consider basic, and may be considered "negligent" ...  Speaking of which,
where does the law, BPE, usually draw the line between an "oops" and actual
negligence? I guess this is a big gray area.

On the subject, do other states publicize admin charges brought against PEs?
I noticed FL has it on their website. Talk about one website I hope I never
find my name!!!

Any further advice (other  then the sounds stuff I am getting internally)
would be appreciated.


Andrew Kester

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