Comments by One Engineer Concerning Another (adapted from NSPE Case No. 96-10)


An engineer is not happy with the recommendation she receives from the Secretary of the Professional Engineer's society of another state. Questions arise as to who, if anyone, should be told of her dissatisfaction.


Engineer Alice practices in Ohio but requires the services of a structural engineer licensed in New York. Alice contacts the secretary of the New York Society of Professional Engineers to ask for a recommendation. The secretary looks at the list of member engineers and suggests Anna. Largely on the basis of this suggestion, Alice hires Anna.

Alice is not satisfied with Anna's services. Among other things, she believes Anna does not communicate well.

How should Alice handle the situation? Should Alice contact the secretary to inform him that he did not give a good recommendation? Should Alice contact the secretary without first saying something to Anna?

Suppose that Alice does contact the secretary without first saying something to Anna. What, if anything, should the secretary do?

NSPE Code of Ethics An earlier version may have been used in this case.