Engineering profession incorporates factors of cost and safety. Above all, engineering desires good ethical standards among the engineers. However in spite of all the efforts to apply ethical standards in any engineering work, cases of unprofessional conduct and negligence have been reported leading to losses of property and lives.
Expecting members of a professional to act in an ethical manner is not sufficient to safeguard the public. First, members of a profession such as engineering are human, and usually motivated by factors that may not promote good judgment.
According to I.E Aust discussion paper engineering is an art rather than a science and is dependent on individual judgment of engineers. Engineering heuristics is a body of principles used in absence of better knowledge or understanding. It applies to a working that would require numerous resources and time to advance it scientifically.
Factors of safety in engineering are incorporated to determine the degree of risks. A higher factor of safety implies a low risk while the converse is true. However, if factors of safety are used to determine economical and efficient designs, some don’t work out well.
Thus in construction and engineering, a viable alternative to achieving economical and efficient designs lies in taking smaller risks step-wise. If smaller steps of innovations are introduced step-wise, the risk error is significantly reduced at any single step. A small step in the bounds of safety will reveal inefficiency in a less catastrophic manner limiting the overall risk of the innovation. Simply, small introducing small innovations step-wise is safer than big ones in a single step.
A complain to a professional body about a breach of code of ethics of one of its members will only proceed to investigation stage if the professional body is certain that the complaint is against a member of its council, and the member was at office at the time of the alleged complain.
Investigation occurs to determine the validity of breach of the code of ethics. However, the investigation must be conducted independently by a non-partisan party with regards to the following;
- That the investigation would be in the public interest considering the time and cost involved
- That the complainant must provide sufficient information to help determine the validity of the breach of code of ethics
- That the investigation body will determine a previous action or breach that may be related to the current case
- Whether the complaints against the member is a single instance or repeated
- Whether there is a significant lapse in time between the occurrence of the breach and the reporting of the complaint
- Other trivial matters that may be necessary under the particular case
Upon investigation, the findings will reveal whether a breach of code of ethics occurred or not.
As a professional, the professional code of ethics guides the actions and level of disclosure of confidential information. Professionals are bound to adhere to the professional code of ethics and conduct their activities in a manner that reflects them.
As a professional, my professional duty to keep confidential company information secret comes first. However, I also have a duty to act morally in the public interest. The company is going through financial difficulties and the manager implies that it is not ready for weighbridge repair or upgrades.
Thus, acting in the interest of the public, I have a duty to inform other managers including the board of directors and the chief executive. Acting in this manner, I will have discharged my duties effectively at the same time be obedient to internal mechanisms of conflict resolution.
As an independent consulting engineer with the council, I would recommend the council to halt the project and make remedial alterations before proceeding. The council had underestimated the quantities of sewage to be treated in the plant.
First, the plant has had much controversies founded on cost and environmental issues. These issues affect the locals and society implying that even if the project will continue to completion, the controversies would not come to an end. If the project affects the environment, it is better to solve them at the early stage and avoid later litigation issues when the project is complete.
Second, the information provided by the council was inaccurate and, therefore, it implies that several items of the treatment plant will be inefficient in handling the treatment process. The quality of the discharged effluent will not be of the recommended standard; therefore, if the council continues with the construction plan, the waste products will be no far different from the uncontrolled on-site disposal of the existing system.
Thus, the council should recognize that in spite the cost considerations associated with the re-design of the project, the public interest is far much important. If they pay for the extra cost of the re-design, the project will deliver to its full capacity and finally, the community will realize the potential impacts it has on the waste management systems and end the controversy.
Maori chief’s signed the Maori Language version of the Wiatangi treaty on 6th of February 1840 or after in the Auckland and north of New Zealand. The three articles can be summarized as follows;
James Busby declared a Declaration of Independence having heard that Charles de Thierry was going to set up his own independent government in NZ. He made the chiefs to sign the Declaration of Independence. The chiefs of the confederation and the entire chief in the region sign the declaration that stated that NZ is an independent country but Britain will exercise overall paternity or absolute governance of their land.
Under this article, Britain agrees to protect the chiefs and all the sub-tribes of New Zealand while managing their land and resources. The chiefs would sell their lands to the Crown at a price agreed upon by the buyer appointed by the queen and the seller.
Britain would give the people of NZ British citizenship as well as the same rights and duties as British citizens. This is in fulfillment of the promise to protecting them together with their resources.
The fourth article added to the Treaty of Waitangi was added at the request of Bishop Jean Baptiste Pompallier who viewed that the different faiths in the land need to be protected. The article guaranteed religious freedom of faiths of England, Maori, Rome and Wesleyans.
In 1831 a British Resident by the name James Busby was appointed in NZ. Busby has spent ten years in New South Wales as a civil servant and on his return to England he was appointed a British Resident.
His appointment was made without consultation with the Governor of New South Wales, Sir Richard Bourke his supposed superior. Busby bought a land at Waitangi and built a house there. He was provided with no means of enforcing the law such as soldiers or the police force due to poor working relationship with the governor of New South Wales.
After a day and half, Busby outlined the Declaration of Independence which was subsequently appended by 35 northern Maori chiefs. The Declaration created a confederation of Chiefs to rule over the tribes and sub-tribes of NZ with overall governance given to Britain.
The British Government sent Captain William Hobson to investigate the matter and upon return Hobson recommended that Britain should take over NZ as a British colony. The British Government opted for a negotiation with the Maori people instead of undertaking a forceful take over.
Kaitiakitanga refers to the guardianship or stewardship that was exercised over natural resources or Tino rangitiratanga. The Maori people were bestowed this responsibility in the ToW
Taonga refers to the treasures owned by the people of Maori including the material belonging and cultures
WaahiTapu is a secret site valued by Maori people for their cultural beliefs.
The Wairangi tribunal established in the Kaituna River Report that the British Government decision to build a effluent pipeline from Rotorua District Council Waste Water Treatment plant to the Kaituna River was against the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi.
Project engineers should consult the Maori people before they engage in any construction project that impacts on the environment. Meetings are arranged for such consultations and a certain protocol is followed. The protocol is as follows;
- Visitors gather at the entrance way and await to be called
- They are called on to the marae
- Once settled, speeches from Tangata Whenua and visitors are delivered
- A song that reinforces the meaning is sung
- Visitors and the consulting parties comes together to deliberate on the situation at hand in what is called a hongi.
- Discussion of the issues arising talks place and afterwards a cup of tea or a meal is served. Tangata Whenua should be given time to deliberate and come up with a reply.