600 South Orchard, Suite A*Boise, Idaho 83705*(208)334-3860

June 28,1996


The Idaho Board of Registration of Professional Engineers and Professional Land surveyors has been advised of a situation regarding the practice of engineering by employees of the City of Idaho Falls. We recognize that an administrator does not have to be an engineer to supervise an engineer, but we have a concern that, in the interest of safeguarding life, health and property, professional engineers be in responsible charge of engineering projects.

It appears that the job description for the engineering administrator position, with very minor modifications, is a rewrite of the August 1, 1985 job description for the City Engineer position which required licensure as a professional engineer. If the duties and responsibilities are the same for the engineering administrator position as they are for the city engineer, it would seem that licensure would be a requirement for both.

In a memorandum from Steve Anderson to Ed Turner dated May 29, 1996, Mr. Anderson writes:

". . . you have been advised on several occasions of your unrestricted access to improvement drawings, field inspectors, field reviews, and of your ability to personally conduct field reviews or inspections as necessary to exercise your independent professional judgement."

These conditions may not meet the requirements that the professional engineer be in responsible charge, and in any event, only the licensee can determine if, in his opinion, he has been in responsible charge of a project. If he does not feel that he has been in responsible charge, he should not sign and seal the documents involved.

In its December 1990 News Bulletin, which is sent to all licensees, in an article entitled "PLAN STAMPING" A VIOLATION the Board said:

"The Board is of the opinion that "direction and control" of professional activities cannot be accomplished by reviewing the work previously done by a non-registered person, and the placement of the registrantís seal in such a situation would be a violation of the Engineers and Surveyors Act."

The Board remains of the opinion that it is the licenseeís obligation and responsibility to determine whether or not they have been in responsible charge of a project and to place their professional seal only on those documents for which they have been in responsible charge.