Government's response to media enquiries on temporary suspension of tendering by engineering consultant
In response to media enquiries on the temporary suspension of tendering by MVA Hong Kong Limited, a Government spokesperson today (May 26) gave the following reply:
The Transport Department (TD) considered that MVA did not strictly implement measures to prevent improper use of information in accordance with the terms of its minor engineering consultancy agreement, entitled "Traffic Impact Assessment for Proposed Development near Junction of Lung Cheung Road and Lion Rock Tunnel Road", resulting in use of the Planning Department (PlanD)'s Territorial Population and Employment Data Matrix (TPEDM) information obtained through the government consultancy agreement by MVA in non-government development projects.
MVA has been temporarily suspended from tendering by the TD for minor engineering consultancy agreements under the jurisdiction of the department for not less than two months (from May 26 to July 25). The TD has reported the suspension of MVA to the Engineering and Associated Consultants Selection Board according to the prevailing mechanism for other government departments' reference in assessing tenders for engineering consultancy agreements. During the suspension period, for any engineering consultancy agreements involving tenders submitted by MVA before the commencement of the suspension period, the tender assessment panels of the government departments concerned shall, in accordance with relevant guidelines of the works technical circular, assess MVA's tenders in detail and seriously consider whether such tenders should be further processed.
Before the expiry of the suspension period, MVA shall implement improvement measures for access control of clients' information, which shall be audited by an independent audit company to ascertain the effectiveness of the measures.
To prevent recurrence of similar incidents, the Development Bureau issued a memorandum in November last year requesting all works and related departments to remind consultants employed by them to comply strictly with the "confidentiality" and "conflict of interest" provisions in consultancy agreements.
Furthermore, the PlanD aggregated the current TPEDM data into 26 larger districts for public dissemination in March this year. The data includes the population and employment projections for the base year (2014) and two years within the coming decade (2021 and 2026). Such data can be used as a reference by relevant professions in conducting technical assessments.
Ends/Friday, May 26, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:00