Qualified Person fined for contravention of regulations under Mandatory Window Inspection Scheme
Hong Kong (HKSAR) - A qualified person (QP) was convicted of three charges under the Buildings Ordinance (Cap 123) (BO) and fined a total of $13,500 for misrepresenting a material fact in the certificate submitted to the Building Authority (BA) under the Mandatory Window Inspection Scheme (MWIS) and for failing to provide proper supervision of the window repair and ensure all the defective windows had been rendered safe.
This is the first prosecution case against a QP for failing to provide proper supervision of window repair to ensure all the defective windows had been rendered safe, which was revealed in an audit check carried out by the Buildings Department (BD) under the MWIS.
In March 2014, a notice under section 30C(4) of the BO was served by the BA on the owner of a residential unit in On Chee Road, Tai Po, requiring him to appoint a QP to carry out window inspection and, if necessary, to appoint a registered contractor to carry out the repair under the supervision of the QP. In October 2015, the QP appointed by the owner submitted a certificate to the BA, certifying that the windows of the premises were safe and no repair was required.
Afterwards, the BD conducted an audit check on the windows of the premises. During the inspection, the connecting rivets and screws of some windows were found defective.
It was also revealed that the QP had arranged some repairs to the windows. As the QP had knowingly misrepresented a fact in the certificate submitted to the BA, he was prosecuted by the BD for the offence under section 40(2A)(c) of the BO. He was convicted and fined $6,000 at Fanling Magistrates' Courts on March 28 this year.
Moreover, the QP had neither properly supervised window repair nor ensured all the defective windows had been rendered safe, contravening sections 30E(5)(a) and 30E(5)(c) of the BO.
He was prosecuted by the BD for the offence under sections 40(2AE)(b) and 40(2AF)(b) of the BO and was convicted and fined $1,500 and $6,000 respectively at Fanling Magistrates' Courts on the same day.
A spokesperson for the BD reiterated that it is an offence for a QP to knowingly misrepresent a fact in the certificate submitted to the BA, or to fail to supervise window repair properly, or to fail to ensure all windows are safe or have been rendered safe. Upon receipt of reports or arising from audit checks, the BD will conduct an investigation and take appropriate actions against irregularities committed by the relevant persons, including instigating prosecution and/or disciplinary action.
Pursuant to section 40(2A)(c) of the BO, an appointed QP who knowingly misrepresents a material fact in any document submitted to the BA commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $500,000 and to imprisonment for 18 months.
Pursuant to section 40(2AE)(b) of the BO, an appointed QP who fails to provide proper supervision of the carrying out of the repair commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $150,000. Also, pursuant to section 40(2AF)(b) of the BO, an appointed QP who fails to ensure the windows concerned are safe or have been rendered safe commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine of $500,000 and to imprisonment for 18 months.
Published on: 2017-07-17
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