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ASCE Code of Ethics: Enforcement

Enforcement -- ASCE Code of Ethics


  1. Complaints: Charges of unethical conduct may be brought by Society members and non-members. Complaints are referred to the Society?s Committee on Professional Conduct ("CPC") for investigation. To submit a


  2. Committee on Professional Conduct: Established in 1923, CPC is charged with investigating charges of member misconduct. ASCE Bylaws, Article VIII, ? 2 (a).

      A. Composition: CPC comprises at least four past members of the Board of Direction. ASCE Bylaws, Article VIII, ? 2 (a). There are currently five members on the committee, including at least one member from each zone. CPC members are appointed to a three-year term.

      B. Investigation: CPC investigates possible ethics infractions in accordance with the Society?s Procedures for Professional Conduct Cases, Article III of the Society?s Bylaws, and Professional Conduct Precepts. During the investigation phase, CPC acts like a grand jury. If CPC finds sufficient evidence to warrant disciplinary action, the case is scheduled for hearing before the Executive Committee.

        i. Section Role: In conducting professional conduct investigations, CPC may solicit assistance from local Society members or Sections.


  3. Executive Committee Proceeding: The Executive Committee considers proceedings for the discipline of a Society member upon the (a) recommendation of CPC, or (b) written request of ten or more Society members. ASCE Bylaws, Article III, ? 1 (a); Procedures for Professional Conduct Cases.

      A. Due Process: Hearings are conducted in accordance with the Procedures for Professional Conduct Cases. Due process is afforded to the member, including reasonable notice of the charges and the hearing, fair opportunity to hear the evidence, question witnesses and refute the evidence, and hearing before an unbiased panel.

      B. Roles: The Executive Committee acts as a Judge or Jury. At this point, a CPC member serves a function similar to a prosecutor.

      C. Disciplinary Action: Upon finding a violation of the Code, the Executive Committee may take disciplinary action, other than expulsion, by a majority vote. Such action typically includes a letter of admonition or a suspension from membership. The most severe penalty is expulsion from the Society. The Executive Committee cannot expel a member, but can make a recommendation to the Board of Direction that the member be expelled.


  4. Board of Direction Proceeding: If the Executive Committee votes to recommend expulsion, the case is scheduled for hearing before the Board of Direction, with the same due process protections afforded at the Executive Committee hearing. A decision to expel the member requires a seventy-five percent vote of the Board. The Board may impose lesser disciplinary actions upon a majority vote. ASCE Bylaws, Article III; Procedures for Professional Conduct Cases.


  5. Publication: The Executive Committee and Board of Direction have discretionary authority to publish the action, with or without the name of the member. Such notice is typically published in Civil Engineering Magazine. The Executive Committee and Board of Direction also have discretionary authority to notify other professional organizations or registration boards of the action. ASCE Bylaws, Article III; Procedures for Professional Conduct Cases.