Qualified person prohibited by disciplinary board from certifying prescribed inspection and repair of windows for twelve 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) (also being the RMWC's director) should be disciplined for having been convicted bya court of offences relating to the 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 April 3 was published in the Gazette today (April 21). Details are available at the following link:www.gld.gov.hk/egazette/pdf/20232716/egn202327162314.pdf.
The Board ordered the RMWC to be prohibited from certifying any prescribed inspection, or certifying or supervising any prescribed repair of windows for 12 months with effect from the date of the Gazette, and the AS be fined $20,000. The RMWC and its AS are to pay $44,000 in total being the costs of the Board and the Buildings Department (BD) for conducting the inquiry.
From August 2016 to January 2017, the RMWC submitted 15 certificates to the BD, involving different premises of a private estate in Shau Kei Wan, certifying that the window inspections of those premises had been completed. Subsequently, the BD carried out an investigation in response to reports of improper repairs at the premises of the estate and found that inspection of all of the 15 cases was not carried out personally by the RMWC.
The RMWC and its AS were later prosecuted and convicted and fined $75,000 in total at the Eastern Magistrates' Courts in July 2018, pursuant to sections 40(2A)(c) and 40(6) of the BO for knowingly misrepresenting a material fact in the certificates submitted to the BD.
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 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, April 21, 2023