Following are the opening remarks by the Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands, Mr Michael Suen, at the Legislative Council Subcommittee on West Kowloon Cultural District Development today (April 22):
Chairman and Members,
We have submitted earlier a paper to the Subcommittee, explaining in detail relevant issues concerning the Concept Plan Competition for the West Kowloon Cultural District and the subsequent adoption of the winning design. I would like to repeat three points here:
First, the arrangements for the competition held in 2001 are fully in line with international practice. All entries of the competition underwent a fair and impartial adjudication process. A jury consisting of local and overseas experts, who had the ultimate adjudication responsibility, assessed the entries comprehensively. The Technical Panel provided advice to the jury only on the technical assessment of the entries. It was not charged with the responsibility to screen out or shortlist the entries. In fact, the jury had fully considered the advice of the Technical Panel in the adjudication process and addressed the technical issues of the winning design in its report.
Second, the competition was governed by the Competition Document. Specifically, paragraph 33 of Section I of the Competition Document stipulates that the assessment process will be carried out in strict confidence. The organiser shall not disclose the details of the assessments. It binds the Government as the organiser, the competition entrants and parties involved in the assessment and adjudication of the entries. In order to allow the public to better understand the work of the Technical Panel, we have, without breaching the above rule on confidentiality, obtained the consent of the Chairman and members of the Technical Panel to disclose the main body of the Report of the Technical Panel. However, information concerning the details of the assessments shall not be disclosed.
Third, when adopting the winning design and drafting the Invitation for Proposals, the Government had duly considered the technical feasibility of the winning design. Through modifications to the winning design, introducing relevant requirements in the Invitation for Proposals and formulating appropriate criteria for assessing the proposals, we have addressed in full the technical concerns. Details are set out in the paper.
We are willing to take Members' questions.
Ends/Friday, April 22, 2005