Qualified person prohibited by disciplinary board from certifying prescribed inspection and repair of windows for eight 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 a prescribed inspection 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 November 17 was published in the Gazette today (December 2). Details are available at the following link: www.gld.gov.hk/egazette/pdf/20222648/egn202226486916.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 eight months with effect from the date of the Gazette and to pay about $42,000, being the costs of the Board and the Buildings Department (BD) for conducting the inquiry.
The RMWC submitted a certificate to the BD in January 2018, certifying that the prescribed inspection had been carried out to the windows of a residential unit in Sham Shui Po and that those windows were safe and no prescribed repair was required. Subsequently, the BD carried out an investigation in response to a report and found that the RMWC had not carried out the prescribed window inspection personally.
The RMWC and its AS were later prosecuted and were convicted and fined $6,000 in total at the Kowloon City Magistrates' Courts in February 2019, pursuant to sections 40(2A)(c) and 40(2AD) of the BO for knowingly misrepresenting a material fact and failing to carry out the prescribed inspection to the windows personally.
In view of the convictions, the BD notified the Board for 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 BO.
Ends/Friday, December 2, 2022