Ethics Programs: Federal Imperative, Cultural Opportunity
When contractors speak of their success, they rarely mention ethics policies, though ethics has become a defining issue for the design and construction industry. Driven in part by regulatory pressure, ethics programs are gaining prominence within firms whose leadership have made it a priority, and further throughout the industry, supported by associations like the Construction Industry Ethics and Compliance Initiative (CIECI) and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). Adhering to Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is only a small part of instituting a formal ethics program. Breathing life into a written program so that it permeates the culture of a company is the true challenge and test of an effective ethics program, and requires superb leadership. The firms that have already made a commitment to building a vibrant ethical culture have taken great steps to counter negative perceptions of the industry. They have also paved the way for others to create formal ethics programs, and in doing so invest in their own long-term survival and vitality.