By: Brian Sullivan
The NYC Department of Buildings recently issued the first ever Industry Code of Conduct. The intent of this document, as stated by Commissioner Rick Chandler, is to a help foster integrity in the construction industrya. For many of us in the industry this document is simply common sense and not necessary; however, there’s certainly no harm in having it in place and reading through it regularly.
The Code of Conduct explains that the DOB has a zero-tolerance policy for criminal and corruption-related activities, which of course should be understood by all and strictly enforced. The COC also establishes a written Standard of Conduct for anyone conducting business with the DOB, which includes: professionals, licensees, members of the construction industry and the public. The standards clearly state that all of the above are expected to remain respectful and professional, behave lawfully and honestly, provide accurate and reliable information and immediately report concerns of unethical or unlawful behavior by all in the construction industry, including DOB employees.
An expectation of professionalism is also established. Using profanity or behaving in an inappropriate or threatening manner could lead to enforcement action. The COC also reminds all licensees that fail to comply with the City’s Administrative and Construction Codes could result in disciplinary action including revocation of licenses and criminal prosecution. One example that they site for conduct warranting disciplinary action is a licensee who performed work without first obtaining the required permit(s)a.
The DOB relies on submitted documentation and information to ensure that the construction codes are being followed, and they emphasize that providing false statements in documents can pose a risk to people and property. Therefore, the Department takes this matter very seriously and will handle it as such.
As mentioned above the NYCDOBas Industry Code of Conduct is mostly common sense material, similar to that of the Professional Engineer’s Code of Ethics and the Architect’s Code of Ethics and Conduct. Although nothing new and surprising may be identified while reading this document, it certainly would be wise for all in the industry to read it on a regular basis.