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In recent months first one engineer and then another has drawn our attention to a circumstance which we find most disturbing. It appears that some public authorities, and apparently an increasing number, are requiring engineers engaged to design and supervise public works to submit their adjudication of contractors' claims to the authority for consideration and approval before the engineer intimates to the contractor his judgment on the claim. It seems to us that this implies no less than that the authority wishes to influence, if not to direct, the judgment which under the ICE conditions and recognised practice in the UK it is the duty of the engineer to exercise. Both parties, authority and contractor, have sufficient and satisfactory ways to appeal and to seek redress it they disagree with the engineer's adjudication; this sort of interference with the engineer's responsibility to reach an equitable and fair decision without fear or favour seems to us to undermine the much respected integrity of the UK engineer and to be not at all in the interests of the nation, particularly at a time when our technological skills and integrity are some of our most marketable exports. If our own authorities are not prepared to adhere strictly to the standard conditions of contract which they adopt, how can we expect others to do so and to employ British engineers to design and manage projects abroad? And what of the contractors; would they consider this to be an acceptable condition if it were to be written into their contract? Verulam