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URA and HKHS: New tendering arrangement for OBB building contractors

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) and Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS) today (Wednesday) announced the introduction of a new tendering arrangement for building contractors under the Operation Building Bright (OBB) with an aim to provide an open and fair tendering platform free from interference during the tendering process.
The Government launched the OBB scheme in May 2009 which is a special operation to promote building rehabilitation and also an initiative to create employment opportunities. The Scheme involves a total subsidy of HK$3.5 billion and has been helping owners of over 3,200 buildings aged 30 years or over to carry out repair works. URA and HKHS in collaboration with the Buildings Department are responsible for the implementation of the scheme.
Under the new tendering arrangement, three tender procedures originally handled by the Authorised Person, building management company and/or owners’ corporation members of buildings under the OBB scheme would be managed by an independent accounting firm appointed by the URA and HKHS. The whole process from collecting, opening and recording the Expression of Interest (EOI), distributing tender documents as well as collecting and opening the returned tenders will be carried out and certified by a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in an open and equitable manner. 
In order to encourage more building contractors to take part in the tendering process and in line with the OBB Maintenance Guidelines, 10 additional Registered General Building Contractors will be drawn by the appointed independent accounting firm from a computer ballot to add to the list of tenderers. 
The new tendering arrangement will be applicable to about 200 applications involving about 255 buildings, which have been given approval in principle by either URA or HKHS and tender documents for the works have not been distributed. 
Executive Director of the URA, Mr. Calvin Lam, said the new arrangement would provide a tendering platform free of interference and protect the confidentiality of tender bidders, ensuring a fair, unbiased and hence competitive tendering process
“Through an impartial tendering platform, we hope to enhance the confidence of tender bidders and encourage them to proactively participate in the works tendering process providing their best bids, which in turn will help property owners find a reasonable and honest tender price among the many returned competitive tenders,” he said. 
General Manager (Property Management) of the HKHS, Mr. Sanford Poon, said the new tendering arrangement was one of the OBB’s enhancement measures. HKHS and URA had previously provided supplementary notes on the appointment of professionals and some other key procedures in the Maintenance Guidelines for OBB in 2009 and 2010 respectively. 
“As the implementing agencies of OBB scheme, HKHS and URA will continue to work hand in hand to review and enhance various stages of the tendering process to the best interest of the owners of old buildings under OBB,” he said. 
The implementation of the new tendering arrangement complements to the RenoSafe Scheme launched by the Hong Kong Police Force earlier this month. The scheme is a crime prevention initiative which aims to prevent consultant firms, building contractors or any person from employing unlawful means to affect the tendering and the progress of works in building renovation projects and request the participating owners and other people to provide crime information to Police.
Members of the public who wish to know more about the new tendering arrangement for OBB building contractors can call the Building Maintenance Assistance Scheme Hotline at 3188 1188.