Jacob China is a subsidiary of the Jacobs Group of the United States. After receiving the report, the Hong Kong Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) began an investigation into the Jacobs China Laboratory. From September 2012 to July 2016, Jacob China forged a test report for concrete blocks. The forgery test report involves many stakeholders. During the investigation, Jacob China employees were found to have violated many of Jacobs’ Code of Conduct.
The ICAC found that Jacob China changed the time stamp when testing concrete.
The experimenter did not have a solid work plan before the job started. The staff changed the timestamp to submit the results within the specified time. In order to pass the experimental results, the test material was replaced with a high-strength concrete model. In the case where the laboratory test materials are inconsistent with the actual building materials, the laboratory personnel still submitted qualified test results. The irresponsible attitude of employees can cause massive disasters.
The experimenter changed the timestamp and replacement material to complete the work before the deadline.
When investigating the quality of concrete in Jacob China, Jacob China can still participate in government tenders. In the quarterly evaluation before the bidding, Jacob China did not get qualified results. When there are any particular circumstances, such as the investigation of the company’s experimental results, Jacobs China will not have the opportunity to participate in the new tender before the accurate investigation results are obtained. Jacob China continued to participate in the bid during the investigation, indicating that the government’s supervision is insufficient, and it is impossible to provide timely feedback on the research. The sideshows that the government investigation system is still not perfect.
Mr Huang is employed by Jacob China. Wong should correct the error when entering the wrong value at the beginning, instead of masking it with another mistake. Honest communication is the foundation for ensuring that work is done correctly. Even if people are criticized by their superiors for their work mistakes, they must remain realistic. Employees are not trustworthy and serious, and measurement results are not credible. The early seriousness of the data was to avoid more significant mistakes in the future.
Jacob China forged the signature of a third-party engineer. The signature of a third-party engineer is a reflection of the quality assurance of the project. The forged signature of Jacob China indicates that there is a problem with the quality or fails to meet safety standards. Forging signatures is not only unethical, but also illegal. The irresponsible behavior of Jacob China will pose a considerable security risk to users and will affect the future progress of third-party engineers.
Jacob Chinese company. During the investigation of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, the company’s reputation was affected. Government agencies and other construction companies have reduced their trust in Jacob China, which has transformed the company’s effectiveness. The government banned Jacob China from participating in any bidding activity within one year. The primary source of tenders for companies is the measurement of government projects. Without the bidding activity, it is difficult for the company to maintain the normal operation.
Jacob Chinese employees Jacob China employees are the most direct stakeholders. Employees involved in falsifying data will be issued by the company and fined, and the company will pursue their legal liability. Employees’ wrong behaviors are recorded in personal files, which hinders the search for new jobs in the future. Employees falsify data results, leading to investigations by supervisors, engineers, and government officials. The wrong behavior of employees has had a negative impact on Jacob China, crisis of confidence.
Jacobs Engineering Group Jacob USA is not only the parent company of Jacob China, but also the standard of Jacob’s China Code of Conduct. When there is a problem with the subsidiary, the parent company has a unshirkable responsibility. Jacobs Engineering Group did not conduct an internal performance review of Jacobs China, nor did it screen the measurement methods. The lack of supervision of subsidiaries is the biggest problem for Jacobs Engineering Group.
Hong Kong government official Although the Hong Kong anti-corruption agency did not find officials involved in Jacob’s data fraud in China, it would have an impact on officials’ investigations. Government officials were not involved but were investigated. The investigation involved the privacy issues of official household income and other income. The officials surveyed will have a sense of loss. If the thought of loss cannot be eliminated in time, it will affect the efficiency of future work.
Hong Kong government If there is a problem with the quality of concrete, the government needs to spend more time and energy on reconstruction. The rise in manufacturing costs will cause the government to reduce other budgets. The increase in government fiscal pressure has led to the rise in the burden of other taxes. The government did not strictly control the government’s projects, and there was no supervision of the details. Workers were injured during construction, and the government needed compensation for workers. The government did not promptly identify and correct loopholes in data fraud.
Impact on Individuals
In the process of the engineer being investigated, colleagues in the same industry will undoubtedly question the engineer, including the work done before. The generation of a trust crisis is the most difficult to eliminate. It has a specific problem for the engineer’s future career.
Wong Kwok-yiu. Wong Kwok-yiu did not actually measure the data due to laziness, resulting in the entire extension of the project and the possibility of rebuilding the bridge that had been completed. Wong Kwok-yiu was sentenced to eight months in prison. After he ends his imprisonment, similar units in the future may no longer hire people who are fraudulent because of laziness. Jacobs Engineering Group maybe penalizes his irresponsible attitude.
Mak Pui-shing. The crime of conspiracy to defraud is not only a matter of doing something that is against morality and law, but also implicating others to do illegal things. Mak Pui-shing was sentenced to 32 months in prison. After the prison was released, the new work company discovered the reason why Mak Pui-shing was imprisoned during the background investigation. No company or company will hire him again, because the employer cannot determine how he would misbehave about the company.
CEDD staff who tip-off Jacob China. If the employees of CEDD report insufficient evidence or the investigation time is too long, Jacobs will retaliate against him. In this way, his life safety will become dangerous and even endanger his family. Despite the evidence, there is no guarantee that Jacobs will not cause any perilous behaviour against the reporter. Between personal safety and collective interests, CEDD employees still choose justice.
Impact on Organizations
Jacob China. The lab had a total of 51 employees and arrested 21 employees, including two supervisors during the initial investigation. Supervisors have decision-making power over many events, and the absence of supervisors indicates that many measurements are not valid. The lack of a large number of employees demonstrates that the organization cannot function effectively. After confirming the fraudulent analysis of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, it is difficult for Jacob China to win the bid or not directly bid. Jacob China may be sued by a previously serviced company because of the security risks caused by their fraud.
Other testing agencies. After the data fraud in Jacob China, the chances of other companies winning have increased greatly. Most of the reasons why Jacobs China won the bid at the beginning were because the institution was highly authoritative as a global company. Other measurement agencies do not have as much influence as Jacob China. After this incident, no buyer will choose only one measurement agency. Using more than two data measurement organizations will ensure the authenticity of the data and reduce the possibility of data fraud.
Ethical Theories and Principles
Kant ethics. In Kant’s view, if people tell the truth, people will lose a life. In that situation?people should still insist on telling the truth. From a modern point of view, you can’t decide the life and death of others because you say to the truth, but it also shows that telling the truth has real value (Fisher, Lovell & Valero-Silva, 2013). Wong Kwok-yiu chose to use another lie because he was blamed for worrying about his mistakes. His actions are not only irresponsible to himself, but also cause immeasurable losses to enterprises and society.
Utilitarianism. According to cost-benefit analysis, people are more inclined to get more benefits from fewer input costs. The site laboratory technicians and laboratory assistants chose to use alternative measurements directly instead of using actual miniature models. Laboratory staff believe that the use of alternatives saves time and downsizing costs, thereby maximizing benefits. Laboratory personnel predict the measurement results and statistically calculate their quality results without using the on-site concrete model. The blind self-confidence in forecasting (Murphy’s Law) has led Jacobs to falsify data results in the measurement results of recent years.
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The lab staff only considered how to submit the results between the arrivals of the due date, and did not believe how much harm would be caused to society if the quality of the project really had problems. CSR is the most basic requirement for companies to comply with. Only when the CSR is met will the company make a real contribution to society.
Jacob Chinese employees should strictly abide by the reporting mechanism in the Code of Conduct. If other employees find that they have wrong behavior or wrong results, they should promptly respond to the leader. The Jacobs Group prohibits any retaliation against employees who report in good faith.
On-the-job training and detailed performance appraisal of employees. On-the-job training ensures that employees always have a correct working attitude. Performance appraisal is aimed at the overall assessment of employee work during regular time. Managers should pay close attention to the employee’s work attitude and performance accuracy, and solve it when the problem is discovered.
Regarding the safety of all public facilities, the government should conduct inspections of the final results and processes, including construction material suppliers, construction parties and quality inspection units. Penalties for companies that do not meet data security standards. Do not sign long-term contracts with any construction party. In this way, the construction party will never dare to slack off at work.
For any future test results, both test institutions should be used. The data of one testing organization does not affect the results of another. If the test results are divided, look for a more authoritative organization. The company should eliminate the increase in maintenance costs due to errors in the initial data.
The government should conduct a strict qualification review of the bidding unit. Check the background of the bidding group, such as the quality inspection of the completed work, and the perfection of the company system. If the bidding unit has problems or is involved in other cases, it should promptly refuse to cooperate with them.
A timely self-inspection is carried out within the company. Solve the problems in time. Encourage employees to find their issues and correct them. The company can rotate the supervisory position, which can significantly reduce the big problems caused by the supervisor’s mistakes. Strictly abide by the company’s code of conduct and penalize employees who violate the Code of Conduct
The parent company strengthened its supervision of subsidiaries. The parent company shall strengthen the control of the subsidiaries’ business and conduct detailed understanding of the financial and operating conditions of the subsidiaries from time to time. The parent company provides timely assistance to the difficulties faced by the subsidiaries.
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