Qualified person prohibited by disciplinary board from certifying prescribed inspection and repair of windows for nine months
The Registered Contractors' Disciplinary Board has completed a disciplinary inquiry under the Buildings Ordinance (BO) and decided that a Registered Minor Works Contractor (RMWC) appointed as a qualified person (QP) under the Mandatory Window Inspection Scheme (MWIS) and its Authorized Signatory (AS) should be disciplined for having been convicted by the court of offences relating to prescribed inspection and repair of windows and failing to discharge the duties or abide by the requirements imposed on a QP under the BO.
The Board's written decision and order issued on July 29 was published in the Gazette today (August 12). Details are available at the following link: www.gld.gov.hk/egazette/pdf/20222632/egn202226324283.pdf.
The Board ordered the RMWC and its AS to be prohibited from certifying any prescribed inspection, or certifying or supervising any prescribed repair of windows, for nine months with effect from the date of the Gazette and to pay about $70,000, being the costs of the Board and the Buildings Department (BD) for conducting the inquiry.
The RMWC submitted a certificate to the BD in June 2016, certifying that the prescribed inspection and the prescribed repair had been carried out to the windows of a residential unit in Tsuen Wan. Subsequently, the BD carried out an investigation in response to a report and found that some of rivets of the windows were corroded or missing, the locking device of a window was missing and a glass pane was cracked.
The RMWC and its AS were later prosecuted and were convicted and fined $40,000 in total at the West Kowloon Magistrates' Courts on October 25, 2017, pursuant to sections 40(2A)(c), 40(2AF), 40(2B)(b) and 40(6) of the BO for knowingly misrepresenting a material fact; failure to ensure the windows were safe; and carrying out the prescribed repair in such a manner as was likely to cause a risk of injury to any person or damage to any property.
In view of the convictions, the BD notified the disciplinary board for its consideration of disciplinary action against the RMWC and its AS under the provisions of sections 13(1) and 13(3) of the BO.
A spokesperson for the BD reiterated today that in order to ensure building safety, the BD attaches great importance to the quality of the prescribed inspection and repair of windows by a QP under the MWIS. Any QP who contravenes the relevant provisions of the BO in carrying out the prescribed inspection and repair of windows under the MWIS is not only liable to criminal prosecution but also disciplinary action under the Ordinance.
Ends/Friday, August 12, 2022