Rules, Regulations and the PMI Code of Ethics

Posted on March 10, 2010 by

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Dr. Steve Squyres, principal investigator for ...

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“Ignorantia juris non excusat”—ignorance of the law is no excuse! This well-known legal principle states that we are held liable for laws even though we may not be aware of them. This suggests that it’s a good idea to be aware of the laws and other rules that directly pertain to our work. As a project manager, you may have access to legal counsel as well. The first mandatory Responsibility standard in the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct is “2.3.1 We inform ourselves and uphold the policies, rules, regulations and laws that govern our work, professional, and volunteer activities.” Although there are some activities that most of us can safely assume would be wrong to do, some policies and rules can be quite detailed and have nothing to do with ethics. For example, in a former place of employment, my organization was inspected and marked down for the way the toilet paper was hung in the bathrooms. Because many rules are not immediately obvious, we must educate ourselves on the different sets of rules to which we are held accountable.

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