Q & A about the Law on the Regulation of the Engineers Syndicate


2 Apr 2014

Q1. What is a syndicate?
A1. It is a legal entity organizing members of the same profession, with the aim of giving them the chance to manage their own affairs and pursue their common interests, such as the Medical Syndicate, the Bar Association, the Engineers Syndicate, and the Nursing Syndicate.

Q2. When was the Engineers Syndicate founded?
A2. The Engineering Syndicate was founded in Egypt in 1964.

Q3. What are the objectives of the Syndicate?
A3. The Syndicate exists for achieving a range of objectives, most notably:
1. Advancing the scientific and professional standards of engineers; maintaining the dignity of the profession; and developing, implementing and overseeing the application of adequate foundations for regulating the practice of the profession and ensuring that members fulfil their duties in serving the country.
2. Mobilizing the forces of members and organizing their efforts in serving the community to achieve national objectives and economic development goals; addressing and proposing solutions for the problems facing implementation; and active participation in national action.
3. Fostering the spirit of fraternity and cooperation among members of the Syndicate; and seeking to advance the technical, social and financial standards of members; as well as providing for the social, economic, medical, and cultural security and care of the members and their families.
4. Contributing to studying economic development plans, as well as industrial and engineering projects.
5. Contributing to the designing of programs and curricula to keep pace with needs of society, serve its interests, and meet its requirements.
6. Working towards the development and dissemination of research and studies in the various fields of engineering; and linking scientific and engineering research to production sites, through studying the methods and possible ways for the enhancement, increase in production, and reduction of its cost.
7. Cooperating, strengthening relations, and exchanging information and expertise with domestic and international engineering associations and organizations, especially in Arab, African and Asian countries, through participating in studying topics and projects of common interests; as well as taking part in international conferences held abroad that pertain to the aforementioned objectives, and work towards holding such conferences in Egypt.
8. Facilitating housing and residence construction for engineers in Cairo and other governorates from Syndical funds, and in accordance with the regulations and provisions specified by the statute of the Syndicate.
9. Working towards spreading engineering awareness; and regulating oversight over engineering firms and consultancies. 

Q4. What are the requirements for me to be a member of the Syndicate?
A4. You have to meet 6 requirements:
1. To have obtained a bachelor's degree in Engineering from an Egyptian university or a degree certified by the Supreme Council of Universities to be equivalent to a bachelor's degree in Engineering.
2. To be of Egyptian nationality, or a national of a country which allows Egyptians to become members of its engineers syndicate.
3. To enjoy a full civil capacity.
4. To be of good reputation and commendable conduct.
5. To have never been sentenced to a criminal or custodial penalty in a crime involving moral turpitude or breach of trust, unless rehabilitated in either case.  
6. To have never been subjected to any disciplinary rulings for actions involving moral turpitude or breach of trust, until after four years from the issuance of the final ruling.

Q5. If I meet the requirements, where do I apply for membership?
A5. The Syndicate has a Registration Committee, which consists of one of the Syndicate’s two deputies as its chairman, two members to be selected by the Council of the Syndicate from among its members, and representatives for each Division. The application for registration is submitted to the concerned Division for consideration. The Division issues its recommendation, in accordance with the Statute, to be presented to the Registration Committee, which adds the applicant’s name to the relevant schedule after confirming that she meets all membership requirements pursuant to the conditions and procedures specified in the Statute.
In the case of rejection, the decision must be reasoned and in writing, and a copy of which is delivered or sent via registered mail within one week from its issuance. By the way, the decision must be issued within three months from the submission of all application documents.

Q6. What do I do if my application is rejected?
A6. You have the right to file an appeal against the rejection of your application to the Council of the Syndicate within thirty days of being notified of the rejection. The Council of the Division you’re applying under has the right to present its opinion on the matter to the Council of the Syndicate. The Council of the Syndicate decides on the appeal after requesting the attendance of the appellant for a hearing, via registered mail, and provided that the competent Registration Committee has no say in the in the acceptance or rejection of the appeal.
If your appeal is rejected, you have the right to appeal the rejection before the Administrative Court within thirty days of being notified of the decision.

Q7. What is the organizational structure of the Syndicate?
A7. The Syndicate consists of the following:
1. The General Assembly
2. The Council of the Syndicate
3. A General Assembly for each Division
4. A Council for each Division
5. Local Syndicates, each of which being composed of:
• The General Assembly of the Local Syndicate
• The Council of the Local Syndicate

Q8. What is the composition of the General Assembly?
A8: It is made up of all registered members who have paid their annual subscriptions owed at the end of the fiscal year preceding the fiscal year of the General Assembly session.

Q9. What are the competencies of the General Assembly?
A9: The General Assembly has many competencies, namely:
1) Electing the Chairman and other members of the Council of the Syndicate.
2) Discussing the policy of the Syndicate.
3) Approving the annual report on the Syndicate’s activities.
4) Approving the annual budget of the Syndicate and its local branches for the upcoming year.
5) Proposing amendments to the Law on the Regulation of the Engineers Syndicate.
6) Adopting the Statue and Professional Code of Ethics.
7) Approving the balance sheet of the preceding year after reviewing the auditor's report.
8) Hiring auditors and determining their remuneration.
9) Proposing the rules for granting relief allowances and pensions, subject to status of the Pension and Relief Fund.
10) Considering all matters of interest to the Syndicate which are referred by the Council of the Syndicate or which are included in the convocation of an extraordinary session of the General Assembly.
11) Considering the matters referred by the Minister of Irrigation.
12) Considering member suggestions.
13) Other competencies stipulated in the Law on the Regulation of the Syndicate.

Q10. When does the General Assembly meet?
A10. The General Assembly convenes during the first week of March of every year at a date set by the Council of the Syndicate. It can also be called for an extraordinary session whenever the Council of the Syndicate deems it necessary. In that case, the General Assembly convenes on a date determined by the Council of the Syndicate within a month from the date of submission of a reasoned request by no less than 100 members of the General Assembly to the Council of the Syndicate.
The minister of irrigation shall convoke an extraordinary session of the General Assembly, if the Council of the Syndicate fails to do so within the specified 15 days. A private invitation is sent to each member to attend the extraordinary session of the General Assembly, at least 15 days before the date of the session, in which the date, location and agenda of the session are specified, pursuant to the conditions and procedures set forth in the Statute. The date of the session shall be published, 7 days before the session, in two daily newspapers to be chosen by the Council of the Syndicate.

Q11. What are the conditions for the General Assembly session to be valid?
A11. The General Assembly session shall not be valid unless the meeting is attended by no less than one fourth of the members. If such quorum is not achieved, the meeting is postponed for two hours, and the second meeting shall be valid if the number of members present is no less than three hundred members. Otherwise, the meeting is postponed for two weeks, and the convocation shall be repeated until this quorum is achieved. The General Assembly may not discuss any matter that is not listed under the agenda.

Q12. What is the composition of the Council of the Syndicate?
A12. The Council of the Syndicate consists of the Chairman of the Syndicate and 45 to 62 members who have been registered with the Syndicate prior to January 1st of the year of session. The Council of the Syndicate must include representatives from each Division – who are selected by the Council of the respective Division – as well as the Chairmen of the Local Syndicates, to be supplemented by additional members elected by the General Assembly. A meeting of the Council of the Syndicate is not valid unless the majority of the members elected by the Divisions and the General Assembly are present. The Statute indicates the number of representatives for each Division, as well as the number of additional members who are elected by the General Assembly on the national level.

Q13. How are the Chairman and members of the Council of the Syndicate elected?
A13. The Chairman and the nationally-elected members of the Council of the Syndicate are elected by the members eligible to attend the General Assembly on a date determined by the Council of the Syndicate, provided that elections are held simultaneously at the Syndicate headquarters in Cairo and at the premises of the Local Syndicates and Committees.
The Chairman is elected by secret ballot with an absolute majority of the valid votes of present members across the country. If none of the candidates wins the absolute majority, a second round of elections is held between the two candidates with the highest number of votes. The Chairman presides over the meetings of the Council of the Syndicate and the General Assembly, as well as any other meeting held by the Syndicate, the Local Syndicates, or any of the Divisions whenever present at any of these meetings.
Q14. What comes after the elections and the formation of the Council of the Syndicate?
A14. The Council of the Syndicate elects, in its first meeting, two deputies, a secretary-general, an assistant secretary, a treasurer, and an assistant treasurer; who constitute, along with the Chairman, the Bureau of the Council of the Syndicate.

Q15. Does the Council of the Syndicate meet at specific times or is it left open?
A15. The Council of the Syndicate convenes, upon the call of the Chairman, at least once a month, or whenever necessary; or upon the call of no less than 10 members in a reasoned letter of convocation. Council deliberations are not valid unless the Chairman, or whoever acts as Chairman, and the majority of members are present. Decisions are made by the majority of opinions, and in the case of a tie between opposing opinions, the opinion of side of the Chairman shall prevail.

Q16. Does the Council of the Syndicate also have competencies?
A16. Of course it has competencies, and it is precisely elected to take them over, namely:
1) Pursuing the goals of the Syndicate, and developing the means to undertake and monitor the implementation of these goals.
2) Drafting, proposing and monitoring compliance with the Syndicate Statute and the regulations for practicing the profession and for remuneration
3) Overseeing the implementation of the General Assembly’s decisions and recommendations
4) Collecting registration fees and subscriptions, and decide on requests for exemption from them
5) Managing and investing the Syndicate’s finances and the Pension and Relief Fund; receive grants, donations, subsidies; and overseeing the accounts of the Syndicate
6) Drafting the Syndicate’s annual financials
7) Coordinating the relationship among the Council of the Syndicate, the Divisions, and the Local Syndicates; and vetoing the decisions made by the Councils of the Local Syndicates if they are issued in violation of the Law on the Regulation of the Syndicate or the Statute, or are in contravention of the policy of the Syndicate
8) An amicable settlement of any dispute that may arise between members, or between members and their employers with respect to the profession
9) Considering complaints regarding the conduct of members
10) Considering member suggestions
11) Defending the interests of the members; and working towards advancing the profession
12) Conducting communications with government agencies, public institutions and bodies, and individuals in matters related to the Syndicate’s affairs, protecting its rights and dignity, or the implementation of the provisions of the Law on the Regulation of the Syndicate
13) Other competencies specified in the law.

Q17. How may one run for the membership of the Council of the Syndicate?
A17. Candidacy applications for vacancies on all levels in the Syndicate are submitted on a date set by the Council of the Syndicate in January of each year, to be announced in two daily newspapers selected by the Council of the Syndicate as per the conditions of the Statute. Candidates for the positions of Chairman or additional member must hold a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from an Egyptian university or an equivalent degree, having graduated and practiced one of the professions specified in Article 32 of the Law on the Regulation of the Syndicate for no less than 15 years; the period spent teaching the engineering sciences to be counted towards the time required to fulfill candidacy provisions.

Q18. Where does the money for all the Syndicate's activities, services, pensions, health insurance, etc., come from?
A18. The Syndicate earns revenues, namely:
1. Member registration fees and subscriptions
2. Registration fees and subscriptions of engineering consultancies, which are determined by the Statute provided they don’t exceed EGP 50 for each.
3. Government subsidies
4. The bequests, grants and donations accepted by the Council of the Syndicate
5. A fee of one millim (EGP 0.001) on the production of each sack of cement weighing 50 kg
6. A fee one 100 millims on the production of each ton of domestic reinforced steel
7. Charges for publications and activities undertaken by the Syndicate
8. Proceeds from engineering duty stamps on documents, ledgers, technical drawings, and engineering contracts
9. Fees for remuneration estimates
10. Revenues from consultancies undertaken by the Syndicate
11. All other legitimate resources

Q19. When is the Syndicate obliged to pay pensions for its members?
A19. The Syndicate is obliged to pay a pensions to a member if any of the following requirements and cases applies to her:
1. She has paid all due subscriptions, unless exempted by a decision from the Council of the Syndicate
2. She has been proven physically unable to practice the profession by the General Medical Commission before the age of 60
3. She has retired, or to have reached the age of 60; provided that she has been a graduate for more than 15 years and a syndicate member for no less than 10 years.
4. Her service has ended for other reasons that the Council of the Syndicate deems sufficient for the grant of a pension.
The Syndicate’s Statute determines the conditions and amount of pensions payable based on the Fund’s resources. In case of death, eligible beneficiaries are paid a pension in accordance with the rules and conditions stipulated by the Statute of the Syndicate.
Q20. In which cases is it required to use engineering duty stamps?
A20. Engineering duty stamps are mandatory on the following papers, ledgers, and drawings:
1. All technical drawings done or signed by a member of the Syndicate in her capacity as an engineer, as well as the copies of such drawings which are considered as valid documents
2. Original contracts for engineering works and their supply orders, as well as copies considered as valid documents. A contract is considered original if it carries the signatures of both parties, regardless of the number of copies. The invoices associated with such supply orders are treated as contracts of no contracts are drafted
3. Supply orders for goods, tools, hardware, and equipment required for engineering works as well as contracts for all other kinds of engineering works, such as machines, tools, hardware, and equipment; pursuant to the provisions of the Statute
4. Engineering expert reports and blueprints for store and site licenses
5. Complaints filed by members to the Council of the Syndicate
6. Remuneration estimates
The cost of the duty stamp shall be borne, as the case may be, by the party commissioned to do the work, the supplier, the complainant, the party requesting a remuneration estimate, or the party bringing a claim. The Statute determine the method of circulation of prescribed duty stamps and the methods to oversee the collection of duties incurred. The charge for duty stamps may be collected by the Syndicate by way of a certified receipt as per the conditions specified in the Statute.

Q21. Is the use of duty stamps mandatory?
A21. Yes it is, as none of the aforementioned documents or ledgers would be accepted in ministries, administrations, municipalities, public institutions and bodies, or their economic subsidiaries, without a duty stamp. Also, such documents are inadmissible in courts or judicial agencies without having the prescribed duty stamp mentioned in the previous answer. 
The person delegated by the Syndicate may ensure the implementation of the provisions pertaining to duty stamps, by reviewing all documents requiring such stamps, and shall be vested with the powers of a law enforcement officer, under a decree by the Minister of Justice upon the proposal of the Council of the Syndicate, thereby entitled to demand the imposition of disciplinary penalties on any officer failing to collect owed duties. Public agencies and institutions, and their economic subsidiaries, shall bear the cost of their owed duty stamps subject to the conditions and in the categories specified in the law.
The charge for duty stamps may be collected by the Syndicate by way of a certified receipt as per the conditions specified in the Statute.

Q22. What about the competencies of the Disciplinary Committee?
A22. The committee prosecutes members who commit acts involving moral turpitude, violation of the dignity of the profession, or negligence in fulfilling their duties. Members employed by either the State Administration Services, the public sector, public agencies and their subsidiary departments, are prosecuted by these Committees only for acts committed in private practice of the profession with no connection to their public functions.

Q23. What is the composition of the Disciplinary Committee?
A23. It is composed of:
1. Two members elected annually by the Council of the Syndicate from among its members, one of whom must be from the same Division as the defendant.
2.  A member from the State Council with a minimum rank of Prosecutor, chosen by the Legal Advice Department of the Ministry of Irrigation.

Q24. What kind of penalties can the Committee impose?
A24. The law stipulated the following penalties:
1. Censure
2. Warning
3. Suspension for no more than one year
4. Revocation of membership, in which case the member is not allowed to practice the profession unless reregistered with the Syndicate.