Apegga1c.gif (2007 bytes) The PEGG
February, 1999
Page 5 Into the Light III:
The Enforcement Review Committee

By Darcie H. Greggs, P.Geol., Chair,
Enforcement Review Committee

As I perused the first meeting agenda of my fourth year on the Enforcement Review Committee (ERC), I was struck by the increase in fraud which we are seeing as a component of our cases.  Usually by the time a complaint reaches the ERC, we must repond in a reactive mode; the damage is done or in progress, and all the committee can do is enforce the provisions of the Engineering, Geological and Geophysical Professional Act with respect to registration and compliance.  Geophysical Professions Act with respect to registration and compliance. At our first meeting of the new committee year, Detective Ralph Miller of the Commercial Crimes Unit of the Calgary Police Service made a presentation on fraud, forgery and related issues. It became apparent to committee members that frauds of various degrees of significance were stunningly easy to commit.This leads into the “Why” of the ERC. Contrary to a few opinions, we are not the official fundraisers for APEGGA. We exist to protect the public from being misled by unqualified and unregistered persons. The public comprises not only the general public, but also employers, contractors, banks, fellow professionals and a host of others involved directly or indirectly with engineers, geologists or geophysicists.Résumé fraud is the most common type of fraud with which the ERC deals. This may not seem very significant, and in many cases, the repercussions of unfounded self-glorification may be minimal, except that the author of such glorification demonstrates a somewhat casual approach to the truth. That should serve as a warning in itself. However, in a few cases, the repercussions are severe. Frequently, a person who initially fakes a résumé claims a degree from a particular institute and backs this up by claiming to be registered as a Professional Member. Years pass, and this individual moves up to positions of increased trust and responsibility. The day of discovery arrives and the best that can be said is that shares in Tylenol rise. The headaches include financial issues (not uncommonly millions of dollars in contracts and business), liability issues, supervisory problems, client relationships, the corporate victim’s loss of face within the business community. The list is a long one. It is at this point that the ERC receives the complaint but unfortunately the damage is done. This brings us to the proactive side of the ERC, which will be a focal area for the next few years — specifically with regard to education of the public and of our membership. Determining the validity of a résumé is not always an easy task and can be time-consuming. However, a quick call to the APEGGA office can verify that the applicant is a member in good standing. Be sure to state the full name and approximate age of the applicant. The Board of Examiners has done all the work to ensure that the person did actually graduate from the institution stated and actually has gained the appropriate work experience. Even if the applicant brings out a certificate and a stamp, call for verification. In a nutshell, this is the mandate of the ERC and APEGGA: to protect the public from being misled. 


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