National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) Code of Ethics for Engineers 209
legal right of engineers, protected under the antitrust laws, to provide price
information to prospective clients; accordingly, nothing contained in the
NSPE Code of Ethics, policy statements, opinions, rulings or other guidelines
prohibits the submission of price quotations or competitive bids for
engineering services at any time or in any amount.
In order to correct misunderstandings which have been indicated in
some instances since the issuance of the Supreme Court decision and the
entry of the Final Judgment, it is noted that in its decision of April 25,
1978, the Supreme Court of the United States declared: “The Sherman Act
does not require competitive bidding.
It is further noted that as made clear in the Supreme Court decision:
1. Engineers and firms may individually refuse to bid for engineering
2. Clients are not required to seek bids for engineering services.
3. Federal, state, and local laws governing procedures to procure
engineering services are not affected, and remain in full force and effect.
4. State societies and local chapters are free to actively and
aggressively seek legislation for professional selection and
negotiation procedures by public agencies.
5. State registration board rules of professional conduct, including rules
prohibiting competitive bidding for engineering services, are not
affected and remain in full force and effect. State registration boards
with authority to adopt rules of professional conduct may adopt
rules governing procedures to obtain engineering services.
6. As noted by the Supreme Court, “nothing in the judgment
prevents NSPE and its members from attempting to influence
governmental action. . .
NOTE: In regard to the question of application of the Code to corporations
vis-à-vis real persons, business form or type should not negate nor influence
conformance of individuals to the Code. The Code deals with professional
services, which services must be performed by real persons. Real persons in
turn establish and implement policies within business structures. The Code is
clearly written to apply to the Engineer and items incumbent on members of
NSPE to endeavor to live up to its provisions. This applies to all pertinent
sections of the Code.
Revised January 2003. Reprinted with permission of NSPE.
Appendix-P088531.qxd 2/17/06 8:03 AM Page 209

Get Engineering Ethics now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from nearly 200 publishers.