Ethics and integrity have always been popular subjects in our national conversations. There certainly has been no shortage of news to fuel our collective talks around the office cooler lately, from fallen Army generals to unscrupulous oil companies to entire industries guided mainly by self-interest. (Who can forget the financial meltdown and attendant home loan debacle from a few years ago?)
The construction industry hasn’t been immune to controversy either, even though the vast majority of firms are run by honest individuals who are committed to ethical business practices. Fourteen of them, including Sundt, came together in April 2008 to found the Construction Industry Ethics and Compliance Initiative (CIECI), a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting ethical conduct, compliant business practices, and overall integrity within the industry. CIECI is headquartered in Washington, D.C., and now includes more than 80 members.
“The idea for CIECI developed during some of our AGC (Associated General Contractors of America) meetings,” says Randy Nye, senior vice president and chief legal counsel for Sundt. Nye directs Sundt’s compliance initiatives and is the company’s representative with CIECI. “CIECI was modeled after the Defense Industry Initiative (DII) that was formed in the 1980s. The founders of the DII were responding to several scandals, which fortunately is not our situation, but we liked how they structured their group and we thought the time was right to launch a similar effort for construction. By and large, this is an honest industry. We want people to know that. Our other goal was to create a systematic way for members to share ideas and best practices so that we can improve and ultimately serve our clients better.”