Two amendment regulations under the Buildings Ordinance in respect of fee adjustments of oil storage installation licences and registration of Authorized Persons, structural engineers, geotechnical engineers and contractors were gazetted today (December 31).
The relevant fees will be revised to cover the full cost of providing the services based on the "user pays" principle.
It is proposed to reduce the fees for licences and annual renewal of licences for oil storage installations under the Building (Oil Storage Installations) Regulations from $52,400 for both granting and annual renewal of licence to $45,250 and $23,100 respectively.
Seventeen types of fees in respect of the registration of Authorized Persons, structural engineers, geotechnical engineers and contractors under the Buildings (Administration) Regulations will also be revised, with seven increases up to 12% and 10 reductions up to 80%.
A government spokesman attributed the proposed reduction in fees to the streamlined work procedures.
In the 2004-05 Budget Speech, the Financial Secretary indicated the need to resume revision of government fees and charges, starting with those that did not directly affect people's livelihood or general business activities.
A costing exercise at 2004-05 price level was conducted to review the costs of processing applications for granting and renewal of licences in respect of oil storage installations and for the registration of building professionals and contractors.
"The Buildings Department regularly reviews the work procedures involved in processing the applications for licence or registration concerned in order to achieve streamlining and to keep the manpower requirements to the minimum," the spokesman said.
"The proposed fee adjustments reflect efficiency enhancement which enables reduction of a majority of the types fees. Mild upward adjustments are proposed for seven types of fees," he said.
The spokesman noted that the proposed increases should have relatively little impact on the operating costs of industry practitioners. "We have consulted relevant stakeholders of the industry and no objection to the proposal was raised," he said.
Following the gazettal today, the Building (Oil Storage Installations) (Amendment) Regulation 2004 and Building (Administration) (Amendment) Regulation 2004, to be effective on February 25, 2005, will be tabled at the Legislative Council for negative vetting on Wednesday (January 5).
Ends/Friday, December 31, 2004