Following is a question by the Hon Eric Li and a written reply by the Secretary for Works, Mr Lee Shing-see, in the Legislative Council meeting today (January 16) :
The Chief Executive announced in the 2001 Policy Address that the Government and the two railway corporations planned to invest $600 billion in infrastructural projects. Regarding the professional or consultancy services contracts for these projects, will the Government inform this Council of:
(a) the number and the total value of the projects which involve the outsourcing of professional or consultancy services; and
(b) the measures the authorities concerned will take to ensure that local tertiary institutions and professionals will have the opportunities of being awarded the contracts, and to facilitate the development and retention in Hong Kong as far as possible and their transfer from foreign companies to local professionals of the specialized technologies used in such projects?
(a) The Government and the two railway corporations have planned to invest about $600 billion in public infrastructural projects and railway projects in the coming years. Of the $600 billion, about $400 billion will be spent on the Government's own capital works programme and $200 billion will be spent on railway projects.
The Government's capital works programme consists of roughly 1,600 projects at different stages of planning or construction. Among these projects, about 850 are designed and supervised by engaging consulting firms. The outstanding investment in these projects is about $340 billion representing about 85% of the total investment in the whole capital works programme.
There are 12 railway projects at different stages of planning or construction by the two railway corporations. The design and supervision of these projects involve the corporations' own staff as well as consultancy firms.
(b) The procurement of consultancy services by the Government is guided by the principles of transparent, open and fair competition, public accountability and value-for-money. When letting government consultancy contracts, we treat all bids on equal footing. We do not, for any reason, favour or discriminate any consulting firms, local or overseas. Furthermore, many consulting firms practising in Hong Kong may have an overseas origin but have established their offices in Hong Kong for many years. Their registered principals as well as employees are mostly locals or professionals who have resided in Hong Kong for a long period of time. We agree that transfer of technology to the local workforce is important. Therefore, for contracts involving complex technologies, we have included specific requirements for technology transfer to local employees. Examples are the contract of technical support for the inspection, maintenance and structural health monitoring of long span cable-supported bridges in the Tsing Ma Control Area and the contract for the design and construction supervision for the Stonecutters Bridge, etc.
End/Wednesday, January 16, 2002