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URA welcomes Government’s initiative to allow property owners to join “Smart Tender” at a concessionary rate

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) welcomes the initiative announced in the 2017-18 Budget by the Financial Secretary today (Wednesday) to earmark $300 million to allow property owners to participate in the "Smart Tender" Building Rehabilitation Facilitating Services (Pilot Scheme) of the Authority at a concessionary rate.

The URA introduced the Smart Tender pilot scheme in May 2016 to provide Owners' Corporations (OCs) of private buildings with a range of facilitating services for the repair and maintenance of their buildings.  The services include the provision of professional and technical support to the OCs during the procurement process of contractors for carrying out common area rehabilitation works of the buildings with the aim of minimising the exposure of tender rigging.  

Following a positive response from property owners, the pilot scheme was further refined in October the same year to cover all multi-owned private residential/composite buildings with more than three storeys in Hong Kong.  A total of 48 valid applications have been received since its launch, among which 39 have been approved involving 20,235 residential units.  

A spokesman for the URA said: "The URA believes the Government's initiative will encourage more property owners to join the Smart Tender scheme and carry out maintenance and repair to their ageing buildings." 

The URA will work with the Government on the implementation framework of this initiative, which is targeted for launching in the second half of this year. 

The facilitating services provided under Smart Tender scheme include:

  1. A DIY tool-kit, which includes guidelines, standard contracts and helpful tips, will be provided to guide participating OCs in the procurement of consultants and contractors to undertake the building rehabilitation works.  
     
  2. An independent advisor will be arranged to offer professional and technical advice at different stages of the maintenance and repair works and to give an assessment on the market price of the tender.
     
  3. An electronic tendering platform for participating OCs to issue tender documents to contractors registered in the platform.  Tender documents will be received with the identity of bidders being kept anonymous until the tenders are opened by Certified Public Accountants to reduce the risks of manipulation and interference in the tender procedures. 

The fees for joining the Smart Tender scheme range from $25,000 to $160,000 per application, depending on the number of units in the building and the average annual rateable value of the building.  

Application form and guidelines of Smart Tender can be downloaded from the website of Building Rehab Info Net (http://www.buildingrehab.org.hk).  Members of the public can call the Hotline at 3188 1188 for assistance and enquiries. 

(ENDS)