Qualified Person fined for misrepresentation to the Building Authority in connection with the Mandatory Window Inspection Scheme
A registered minor works contractor (RMWC) appointed as a qualified person (QP) for mandatory window inspection and its authorised signatory were each fined $6,000 at Eastern Magistrates' Courts on February 25 this year for knowingly misrepresenting a material fact in a certificate submitted to the Building Authority (BA), contravening sections 40(2A)(c) and 40(5) of the Buildings Ordinance (BO) (Cap 123). This is the first successful prosecution case against irregularities of a QP under the Mandatory Window Inspection Scheme (MWIS).
In August 2014, a notice under section 30C(4) of the BO was served to the owner of the subject premises, requiring him to appoint a QP to carry out the window inspection and, if necessary, to appoint a registered contractor to carry out the repair. On January 12, 2015, the QP submitted a certificate to the BA, certifying that the inspection was completed and that the windows were safe and no repair was required.
Shortly afterwards, in response to a report about the poor standard of window repair at the subject premises, an investigation carried out by the Buildings Department (BD) revealed that certain window repair works had in fact been carried out but were sub-standard. Subsequently, the defective window was rectified by the RMWC.
As the QP had knowingly misrepresented a material fact in the certificate submitted to the BA, they were prosecuted for the offence under the BO.
A spokesperson of the BD reiterated that misrepresentation to the BA is a serious offence. The BD would conduct audit checks on certificates of window inspections received and repairs on-site. Upon receipt of reports or arising from audit checks, the BD would conduct an investigation and take appropriate actions against irregularities committed by the relevant persons, including instigating prosecution and/or disciplinary action.
Pursuant to section 40(2A)(c) of the Buildings Ordinance, a QP who knowingly misrepresents a material fact in any plan, certificate, form, report, notice or other documents given to the BA for prescribed window inspection is punishable on conviction to a fine of $500,000 and to imprisonment for 18 months.
Ends/Thursday, March 17, 2016