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Ever find yourself in a sticky ethical situation? Mr. Ethics has your back! Mr. Ethics is here to take your questions and give you his input on how to best deal with your situation. Have a question for Mr. Ethics? Send it to info@professionalconstructor.org and he may respond to you here on the Mr. Ethics Blog.

 

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Change Order Conflicted

Posted By Mr. Ethics, Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Dear Mr. Ethics,
 
I consider myself an ethical person.  Doing the right thing has always come easy.  I am now faced with a situation where I am uncertain what to do.  The construction manager on a project I am running has confided in me that he anticipates taking a new job in a few weeks.  He is trying to clear out some outstanding change orders before that time.  He is negotiating hard with me over the change orders but once we settle on a cost he adds a bump to it as recognition of the good relationship we have had on the project.  My problem is that I like the “bump” I am getting but it feels unethical.  Should I tell the CM’s boss and the owner what is occurring? 
 
Regards, Change Order Conflicted


 
Dear Conflicted,
 
I do not think you should contact either the CM’s boss or the owner.  First you do not know if something may occur where the CM will not get the new position.  Second, you say the CM is negotiating hard on behave of his company and the owner.   If you are concerned about the “bump” thank the CM for the gesture but refuse it.
 
Regards, Mr. Ethics.

Tags:  Change Orders  July 2015  Mr. Ethics 

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Change Order Blocked

Posted By Mr. Ethics, Monday, June 16, 2014
Updated: Monday, June 9, 2014

Dear Mr. Ethics,

 

The lead project designer wants us to turn over all documents related to a change order request we have submitted.  The designer even wants our original bid sheets and profit calculations and bids from our subs.  The architect thinks the change order work was accounted for in our bid and we have enough profit margin in the project to cover it.  The architect is refusing to review our change order until we turn over those documents.  What should we do?

 

Change Order Blocked


 

Dear Blocked,

 

It is time for you to go directly to the owner and advise them of your situation.  The architect’s position is not justified.  Your bid documents, unless subject to a state disclosure law, are privileged.  What your profit margin is privileged.  The architect is acting unreasonable and unethical.  You should also review your agreement because the architect may also be in breach of its obligations. Only a court or arbitrator should be able to order you to turn over documents such as the ones you describe.

 

Mr. Ethics

Tags:  Bids  Change Orders  Mr. Ethics 

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