Approved by the Engineering Practice Policy Committee on March 12, 2020
Approved by the Public Policy Committee on May 11, 2020
Adopted by the Board of Direction on July 11, 2020
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) supports policies, regulations, and statutes for managing and mitigating potential conflicts of interest that could result from activities undertaken by certain employees, after leaving public sector employment. Such policies should also promote transparency and address compensation restrictions.
Public sector entities may have a need to regulate the activities of former employees in order to protect against unethical use of prior knowledge and position. To avoid unduly restricting both post public sector employment opportunities and public sector organizations' ability to attract and retain quality people, such regulations should be limited to those necessary to provide reasonable assurance against conflicts of interest. Policies should address the use of "proprietary agency information" gained during prior public sector employment or the appearance of such usage. It is recognized that general professional knowledge acquired during public sector employment may appropriately be used in connection with post public sector employment.
ASCE's Code of Ethics states engineers must avoid conflicts of interest and perform in a manner to uphold the honor, integrity, and dignity of the profession while serving the public, their employers, and clients. Public sector engineers should adhere to these standards when they pursue post-public sector employment. Moreover, engineers have a responsibility for improving the public perception of honesty in government to the extent of their responsibilities.
This policy has worldwide application
ASCE Policy Statement 393
First Approved in 1992