Ethics and Corruption

Topics: Ethics, Engineering, Engineer Pages: 6 (2016 words) Published: November 26, 2011
What is corruption? Corruption is the abuse of entrusted power for private gain. It is damaging to a country because decisions are taken not for the public benefit but to serve private interests. Corruption undermines good governance, fundamentally distorts public policy, leads to misallocation of resources, and particularly hurts the poor. There is a case in 29th July 1995, where the collapse of the Sampoong Superstore in Seoul, South Korea, represents an example of a structural collapse attributed in large part to corruption. The collapse of this structure left 937 people injured and had a death toll of over 500 innocent lives. Due to that, Engineer’s integrity and ethical standard will be put to test when involving project worth millions dollars. As the saying goes, “money is the root of all evil,” it is not unusual to find engineers who are tempted by the amount of money that they are entrusted with; whether to fully utilize the money in the project or to fulfill their individual greed. Hence, engineers need to be truthful. The level of truthfulness in engineering is very high, much higher in everyday life. It imposes what many consider an absolute prohibition on deception, and in addition it establishes a high ideal of seeking and speaking the truth (Martin & Schinzinger, 2005). Being truthful keep the engineers away from corruption and cutting corner. One of many ways to prevent corruption and unethical practice of cutting corner in engineering field is the development of honest and ethical engineering culture by creating or increase awareness of ethical practice among engineers since large amount of money or projects are often being handled by engineers. This is important in a sense that engineers must aware of the types of corruption as well as the punishments and consequences for involving in corruption. Punishments such as retracting the title of engineer and blacklisting the particular individual in the Board of Engineers Malaysia (BEM) and more severe punishments such as imprisonment, confiscating of properties and summonses. When engineers aware of the punishments subjected, then corruption can be prevented. Besides, awareness among engineers towards corruption can be created by implementing subjects or courses concerning engineer’s ethical issues into engineering course in university. Students that vow to become an engineer must first be taught of the ways to become an ethical engineer. Furthermore, BEM can include seminars or talks about ethical issues into Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programs for local engineers. Seniors engineers are compulsory to participate to gain points in CDP. By doing so, senior engineers that left university for long could still be educated on ethical issues. Therefore, self-awareness is a long term strategy in curbing corruption and unethical practices. When corruption is involved, competitions are not fair anymore. People will find various methods to undercut competition. Instead of using a well-organized process for contracting based on technical criteria to judge bids and firms, it is decentralized and is subject to monopoly power plus discretion minus accountability. Some political appointees have the discretion to let contracts without competition or technical reviews. Therefore, tendering process must be more transparent and have strict control over project variation. Handling of tenders should be fair and just where the project should only be awarded to the bidder who offers lowest price on the project without ignoring the quality of materials and services as well as the customers’ requirements. Any conflict of interest or bribes should be notified by the engineer to the corresponding company during the process of evaluating all the offers made by the bidders in order to ensure an outcome of decision which are fair, just and also the best for the company. By doing so, the opportunity of the engineer to work together with the bidders in falsifying the...
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