Specifying Equipment of Company Owned by Engineer (adapted from NSPE Case No. 98-11)
Lisa is asked to write specifications for a water expansion system. While she is competent to do so, Lisa also owns a company that manufactures and sells such systems. Does this constitute a conflict of interest? If so, how should it be handled?
Lisa is an engineer who is competent to prepare specifications for a water expansion system. Lisa is also the CEO of a company that manufactures and sells water expansion systems. Firm Y asks Lisa to prepare specifications for a water expansion system.
How should Lisa respond to this request? Should she agree to propose the specifications?
If so, should Lisa tell Firm Y about her other professional job? What, if any, information should she give Firm Y?
Lisa decides to prepare the specifications after informing Firm Y that she does, in fact, hold a high position in a water expansion company. As part of her report, she provided the firm with four other manufacturers that prepare water expansion systems for bidding purposes, and she did not include her company as one of the four specified manufacturers.
Now Firm Y wants to meet with Lisa. They ask her for a bid from her company for the water expansion system.
Should Lisa comply with their request? Why or why not? How should she respond?
NSPE Code of Ethics An earlier version may have been used in this case.
See the original NSPE case at: Specifying Equipment of Company Owned By Engineer - Case No. 98-11.