Economy, Business And Markets

Vote Promises Shakeup in Construction Ethics

Vote Promises Shakeup in Construction EthicsVote Promises Shakeup in Construction Ethics

The Ministry of Roads and Urban Development has taken measures to control and counter “unprofessional conduct” and neutralize conflict of interest among members and candidates of the Iran Construction Engineering Organization, Abbas Akhoundi, the minister of roads said during a press conference held after the IRCEO election late last week.

The vote was held to elect members of the regulatory body on Thursday in 28 provinces, but for Tehran, Gilan and Fars provinces the poll was postponed to Oct 15.

“In the six months before the IRCEO elections, we strived to prevent conflict of interest in the society of engineers, especially among candidates for the board of directors,” Akhoundi said Thursday at Amir Kabir University in Tehran, the ministry’s website reported.  

Elections for the group’s board of directors included independent candidates as well as coalitions of diverse engineering groups. All registered members of IRCEO were eligible to vote.  With 300,000 members, IRCEO is said to be the largest professional organization in the country.

Engineers who hold state or government office were not allowed to run for the first time due to their role/influence in setting civil construction policies. The move which was decreed by the minister aimed to also exclude unprofessional members from the board, improve work ethics and promote transparency.  

 Meeting Customers’ Needs

Akhoundi told the meeting that a great deal of effort was put into screening the candidates to ensure that no one in the engineers’ society would have the authority of both signing contracts and approving them. “The assessment was undertaken to assure the nation that the members are focused on improving the quality of buildings and satisfying customers’ needs.”

Members of the board are expected to provide honest and real feedback to customers and uphold transparency in their decisions.

Malpractices of some engineers who apparently sought bribes in return for approving dodgy contracts and signing questionable documents has tarnished the image of the construction industry in recent years.

“A few individuals’ personal interest or concern are inconsistent with those of customers and lead to the infringement of the people’s rights. By removing those involved in and working for vested interests, the quality of construction projects will improve significantly,” the website quoted Akhoundi as saying.

Referring to the high rate of unemployment among engineers, he said job opportunities should be distributed in a way to distinguish between competent and hardworking engineers from the inept ones.

“The whole system of construction works would collapse if the same value is ascribed to every piece of construction work. However, encouraging professionalism and healthy competition among engineers will add momentum to construction projects and create new jobs,” he concluded.