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Seeing through the ICE


You report that Transparency International (TI) and ICE are talking about ethical accreditation aimed at stamping out corruption in construction (NCE last week).

Don't hold your breath.

Some years ago as a member of Transparency International, I was asked to informally sound out the ICE about becoming a corporate TI member. TI wanted ICE support, not so much for any financial contribution, but importantly to send a public message that the professional civil engineer has an ethical duty not to engage in bribery and corruption.

After brief consideration, I was told that matters were too sensitive for the Institution to engage in at that time. Despite the rebuff the ICE did help to provide photographs and materials for a TI exhibition stand.

Although little substantive was reported last week, I would urge Council this time not to sidestep the issues for any reason. For everyone, but poorer countries in particular, backhanders are too costly. The ICE is in a prime position to reinforce the message that those who pay or sanction bribes are equally at fault as those who take them.

Sydney Lenssen (C), Five Farthings, 2 Burnett Park, Harlow, Essex CM19 4SD

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