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Big Dig Contractor Modern Continental Pleads Guilty Case Study

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Updated: Jan 13th, 2022

Introduction

The prosecution had taken Modern Continental Company Inc. to court to answer various charges. They were accused of doing a substandard job which led to the collapse of a highway tunnel. (Zezima, 2006).

As a response to the charges filed the company Modern Continental pleaded guilty to the charges and was willing to pay for the damages caused due to their negligence. The company denied the allegation that the ceiling collapsed because of poor workmanship.

Ethics

The contractor motivated by greed and corruption extended the completion deadline while at the same time using sub-standard material in the construction of the highway. They also used other dubious mechanisms to complete a low-quality underground through way (Belluck, 2012).

The companies failed to abide by the rules and regulations of doing business. As a result of their greed, they ignored their client’s right to quality because they had paid for it. They also violated all the terms of the contract including the completion deadline. This was unethical and immoral both in law and traditions. These companies deserved the action that was taken against them (Goodnough, 2007).

Accountability

Public officials that contracted the project were to be held accountable not only in the court of law but also to the people of the United States because a big fraction of the project was funded by tax payer’s money. Civil society and Non-Governmental Organizations should also hold them responsible because they were stakeholders in the project (Belluck, 2006).

Looking critically at the case, one can easily say that there seems to have existed cooperation among organizations that enforced accountability. The reason for such a conclusion is because there was a warning that the ceiling could not support the tunnel but no meaningful precautionary action was taken to prevent the construction.

Private officials should also be held responsible to account for their role in the whole process. They seem to have known that crimes were being committed but failed to inform authorities. If they would have blown the whistle the project would have been canceled (Saltzman, 2009).

Therefore accountability expectations of both private and public officials were reasonable because crimes against them were serious hence an equivalent disciplinary action was to be taken against them (Altman, 2009).

Prevention

To avoid such cases in the future, the government should control or participate in designing, implementing, and inspecting public projects. This will safeguard the public against a corrupt and greedy private sector that neglects public security while pursuing wealth.

It will also be important for the various bodies responsible for the inspection of buildings to actively take up their roles and deliver according to their expectations. It is therefore important for such bodies such as building and construction inspectorate and regulatory bodies to always perform random audits of buildings and any other construction projects that are carried out within their jurisdiction.

One of the rules that need to be included in the case is having all public projects closely inspected from the time of design to completion by the government. These will ensure the completion of projects that meet government standards (Worhack, 2010).

In addition, awarding of government tenders should be done transparently and shortlisted companies should be scrutinized to ensure that reputable companies get tenders through merit.

These rules were to some extent less satisfactory since they tend to leave a lot of loopholes for corruption to influence the tendering process. For example, they do not state the consequences to an officer of the government who neglects or fails to properly inspect government projects (Goodnough, 2008).

Reference List

  1. Altman, A. (2009). Big Dig Contractor Pleads Guilty To 39 Charges. Massachusetts Worker Compensation Lawyer Blog.
  2. Belluck, P. (2012). New York Times. Web.
  3. Belluck P. (2006). . New York Times. Web.
  4. Goodnough A. (2008). New York Times. Web.
  5. Goodnough A. (2007) . New York Times. Web.
  6. Saltzman, J. (2009). Big Dig Contractor Modern Continental Pleads Guilty. Metrodesk.
  7. Worhack, M. (2010). The Big Dig and the Criminal History Of Bechtel and Nexant, San Francisco…! what A Rip America.!. TCU Nation Social Net Work for Conservatives.
  8. Zezima, K. (2006) . New York Times. Web.
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