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FRAUD IN THE LAND SURVEYING PROFESSION
On POB’s LinkedIn page, readers discussed Jeff Lucas’ column, “Looking at Fraud in the Land Surveying Profession,” which appeared in the January 2014 issue.
“Much higher standards and a certification system or systems for those that practice boundary retracement surveying based on the three E’s (education, experience and examination). Licensing only requires minimum competency in all aspects of surveying. The public should have some means to evaluate the competency of those he chooses to employ for surveying services. The most commonly asked questions are; how much do you charge and when can you start?”
“Of the 3 E’s mentioned above, education, continuing education is what I’m referring to, is the most difficult to prove. I’m sure all of you have been a part of continuing education seminar or course that you have learned a lot and really got you thinking about how things have been done in the past, only to have someone blurt out a handful of questions that don’t even pertain to the content, or look over at the person next to you and see that they are surfing the Web on their phone, tablet or laptop. I know that I have been guilty of not getting all that I should have gotten out of a seminar, sometimes it is the lack of being able to connect with the content and others it is just not being able to stay engaged with the presenter.
“I guess what I’m trying to say, is you can force the continuing education on everyone but it is ultimately up to the individual if they will get educated or learn anything while they are there. Maybe if you throw in another E after the seminar or course, the Examination E, then you will be able to find out if they did in fact receive the Education. I’m pretty sure that throwing an exam in after every seminar wouldn’t fly very well at all; we just have to trust the professionals within our profession that they/we are trying to do everything that we can to better ourselves.”
“One of the most well documented but forgotten fraudulent surveyors was Royal Governor Benning Wentworth (1696-1770) of the Province of New Hampshire. In his position as Surveyor General of the King’s Woods, he made himself wealthy beyond belief by issuing grants in a fraudulent manner and then getting title to them. Some historians say he became a millionaire as a result. It is an excellent example of how a (government) surveyor perpetrated a fraud and got away with it.”
David C. Garcelon
RPLS Network: The RPLS Network is a great place for surveyors to ask questions, share their opinions and network with others in the profession. Here’s a look at some recent topics in the forums, and go to RPLS.com to join in the conversation.
In 40+ years of surveying, I’ve never run in to this until now. I’ve read about it here from other surveyors, but this is a first for me: a good client hired a highly respected title attorney to handle all their title work in New England (Colonial Lands). From what I’ve seen so far, he’s extremely good at researching the various parcels involved, all the way back to the proprietors lots, but he has some real issues with regard to Title vs. Boundary. In particular, he doesn’t understand why the survey that I produce will generate a different description than a survey done 50 years ago/100 years ago/200 years ago. He thinks that if I differ from the description in the title record, then I’m creating gaps and gores that he cannot certify title too, and that boundary line agreements will be required. Now, I know he’s “not getting it,” but I’m stumped as to how to best explain to him that he’s not getting it. Does anyone know of any good references that might be geared towards attorneys that would help him to understand how all this works? Thanks!
CLIENTS ON SITE
I’m sure not an unruly request, but I’ve got clients that are wanting to (know) exactly, to the hour, what time our survey crews will be on site to do their work. This is not an issue when doing one first thing in the morning, however as we all know, surveying rarely can take a set amount of time, so time between jobs or from one job to another can vary greatly. How do you guys handle this? I’ve had clients who were adamant about this, and when we told them we simply couldn’t do what they were asking they’ve left us for other surveyors. I have had some call back once they realized that this must be common amongst surveyors, but that’s maybe 50% of the ones we see. What’s really tough is when you are working within the same geographic area and have 2 or 3 clients that are requesting the exact time that you are going to be on site. Just trying to get some ideas on how to alleviate some of the issues we are having.
POB asked for your thoughts on the greatest opportunity for growth for the surveying market. Here are the results through Jan. 31:
54% Laser Scanning
32% Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS)