Qualified Person and its director fined for contravening regulations under Mandatory Window Inspection Scheme
A Qualified Person (QP) and its director were convicted of five charges under the Buildings Ordinance (Cap 123) (BO) and fined a total of $50,000 at Shatin Magistrates' Courts on November 17 for contravention of regulations under the Mandatory Window Inspection Scheme (MWIS).
This is the first prosecution case against a director of a QP (a body corporate, i.e. the company) for having consented or connived in committing an offence of failing to provide proper supervision of window repair.
In August 2013, a notice under section 30C(4) of the BO was served on the owner of a premises by the Buildings Department (BD), requiring him to appoint a QP to carry out a window inspection and, if necessary, to appoint a registered contractor to carry out window repair. In April 2014, the QP appointed by the owner submitted a certificate to the BD, certifying that the window inspection and repair were completed.
Afterwards, in response to a report involving incomplete window repair at the subject premises, the BD carried out an investigation which revealed that the QP had failed to provide proper supervision of the window repair and had knowingly misrepresented a material fact in the certificate submitted to the BD. Also, the representative of the company, the Authorized Signatory (AS), did not carry out the window inspection personally and had knowingly misrepresented a material fact in the certificate submitted to the BD, while the director of the company, being the same person as the AS, consented or connived in committing the offence of failing to provide proper supervision of the window repair.
The company was prosecuted for the offences under sections 40(2A)(c) and 40(2AE) while the AS/director was prosecuted under sections 40(2A)(c), 40(2AD), 40(2AE) and 40(6) of the BO.
A spokesperson for the BD reiterated that contravention of regulations under the MWIS is a serious offence. Upon receipt of reports or arising from audit checks, the BD will take appropriate action against irregularities committed by the relevant persons, including instigating prosecution and/or disciplinary action.
Pursuant to section 40(2A)(c) of the BO, a QP who knowingly misrepresents a material fact in any document submitted to the BD commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $500,000 and to imprisonment for 18 months.
Pursuant to section 40(2AD) of the BO, a QP, or its representative if it is a body corporate, who fails to carry out the window inspection personally commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $250,000.
Pursuant to section 40(2AE) of the BO, a QP who fails to provide proper supervision of the window repair commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $150,000.
Moreover, pursuant to section 40(6) of the BO, where an offence committed by a body corporate is proved to have been committed with the consent or connivance of any director, manager, or other officer concerned in the management of the body corporate, or any person purporting to act in any such capacity, he/she, as well as the body corporate, is guilty of the offence.
Ends/Thursday, November 23, 2017