Two persons fined for contravention of regulations under Mandatory Window Inspection Scheme


Hong Kong (HKSAR) -      An authorized signatory (AS) of a qualified person (QP) was convicted and fined $3,900 for not carrying out a window inspection personally under the Mandatory Window Inspection Scheme (MWIS), while another QP engaged by the aforementioned QP for the window inspection was convicted and fined $2,900 for carrying out an inspection in such manner as was likely to cause risk of injury to other persons or damage to property.

     The former case is the first successful prosecution against a representative of a QP for not carrying out an inspection personally under the MWIS, while the latter case is the first successful prosecution against a QP who carried out a window inspection in such a manner as was likely to cause risk of injury to other persons or damage to property.

     In July 2013, a notice under section 30C(4) of the Buildings Ordinance (Cap 123) (BO) was served by the Building Authority on the owner of a residential unit in Ngau Tau Kok Road, requiring the owner to appoint a QP to carry out the window inspection and, if necessary, to appoint a registered contractor to carry out the repair. On February 20, 2014, the QP appointed by the owner submitted a certificate to the Building Authority, certifying that the window inspection and repair had been completed and the windows were safe.

     Afterwards, in response to a report about the poor performance of the QP in carrying out the window inspection at the subject premises, the Buildings Department (BD) carried out an investigation which revealed that the AS of the appointed QP in fact did not carry out the window inspection personally, but engaged another QP (the engaged QP) to carry out the inspection.

     As the AS failed to carry out the window inspection personally under section 30E(4)(a) of the BO, he was prosecuted by the BD for the offence under section 40(2AD) of the BO. He was convicted and fined $3,900 at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts on April 13, 2016.

     The engaged QP failed to take action to replace a cracked glass pane that was likely to cause a risk of injury to other persons or damage to property.

He was then prosecuted by the BD for the offence under section 40(2B)(b) of the BO. He was convicted and fined $2,900 at Kwun Tong Magistrates' Courts on February 6 this year.

     A spokesperson for the BD reiterated that it is an offence for a QP or a representative of the QP not to carry out a window inspection personally, or to carry out a window inspection in such manner as is likely to cause risk of injury to other persons or damage to property. Upon receipt of reports or arising from audit checks, the BD will conduct investigations and take appropriate actions against irregularities committed by the relevant persons, including instigating prosecution and/or disciplinary action.

     Pursuant to section 40(2AD) of the BO, an appointed QP or a representative of the QP who does not carry out a window inspection personally commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $250,000.

Also, pursuant to section 40(2B)(b) of the BO, a QP who carries out inspection in such a manner as is likely to cause risk of injury to any person or damage to any property commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $500,000 and imprisonment for 18 months.



Published on: 2017-04-19

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