URA to launch Building Rehabilitation Facilitating Services (Pilot Scheme)
The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) will launch the Building Rehabilitation Facilitating Services (Pilot Scheme) in April/May this year to provide technical assistance to Owners' Corporations of private buildings to minimize their potential exposure to tender rigging in carrying out the rehabilitation work of their buildings.
The Building Rehabilitation Facilitating Services (Pilot Scheme) is an initiative introduced in response to the Policy Address of the Chief Executive this year. In formulating the pilot scheme, the URA has made reference to the experience gained in the Operation Building Bright where a new tendering arrangement has been introduced to ensure a fair, unbiased and competitive tendering process.
Speaking at the media briefing today, Head of Building Rehabilitation Division of the URA, Mr Lawrence Tang, said: "The pilot scheme aims to offer a package of facilitating services to building owners such that they can independently procure contractors to carry out their building rehabilitation works."
The technical assistances offered under the pilot scheme include the following three areas:
- A DIY tool-kit will be provided to guide the participating Owners' Corporations (OCs) in organising the building rehabilitation works. The tool kit includes guidelines, pro-forma documents, sample contracts, tips and instructions for procurement of contractors to undertake the building rehabilitation works and consultants to oversee the works.
- An independent advisor will be engaged to offer third-party independent advice to participating OCs on the general scope of works needed to be carried out and the estimated costs of such works. This will help the OCs to assess whether the tender prices received for the works are reasonable.
- An electronic tendering platform will be set up for participating OCs to issue tender documents for engaging contractors. Invitation and submission of expression of interest, as well as issuance of tender documents will be done through this platform, keeping the identity of bidders anonymous until the tenders are opened by an independent professional person. This would help reduce the risks of manipulation and interference in the tender procedures.
Mr Tang said the buildings must meet the following criteria requirements in order to join the pilot scheme:
- Multiple owned private residential buildings aged 30 years or above; and
- With an average Rateable Value of residential unit not exceeding $300,000 per annum and $160,000 per annum for properties in the urban areas and the New Territories respectively.
He added that the URA will give priority to those with lower average rateable value per domestic unit and higher building age.