EMSD will fully implement Ombudsman's recommendations

The Electrical and Mechanical Services Department (EMSD) will fully implement all the improvement recommendations for the regulatory system of lifts as proposed by the Office of the Ombudsman (the Ombudsman).

The Ombudsman announced today (August 27) the result of a direct investigation into the regulatory system of lifts administered by EMSD.

A spokesman for EMSD said that the department respected the Ombudsman's findings and concurred with the improvement recommendations made in the report.

"Out of the 13 improvement recommendations, six have already been implemented by EMSD in the past seven months.  Measures for the remaining seven improvement recommendations are being formulated and will be launched by the end of this year," the spokesman said.

Details of the six improvement measures implemented by EMSD are as follows:

On monitoring the performance of registered contractors, EMSD, after consultation with the trade, has developed and implemented the new "Maintenance Performance Rating of Registered Lift Contractors" Scheme in June 2009.  The first quarter result will be announced in early September 2009 through EMSD's website.

Four improvement measures on formulation of monitoring standards and procedures have been implemented. They include the introduction in July 2009 of an e-platform and new procedures to follow up overdue lift examinations and lift certificate submissions, and issuance of advisory or warning letters to registered lift contractors or registered lift engineers who repeatedly fail to comply with the regulations. EMSD has also issued internal guidelines to improve work procedures and strengthen follow-up actions over non-compliance detected during lift inspections.  

On promotion of the principles of "shared responsibility" and "user surveillance", EMSD has, since early 2009, organised 22 seminars for over 1,700 lift owners, members of incorporated owners and building management staff and conducted 11 presentations to District Councils.

Measures on the remaining seven improvement recommendations are being formulated and will be implemented by the end of this year. The procedures on disciplinary actions will be improved to increase the transparency of the record of disciplinary actions. EMSD will also review and consult the trade about the current Performance Monitoring Points System, including the procedures and criteria for issuing warning letters.  

"EMSD attaches great importance to the safety of lifts and will continue to vigorously enforce the law to ensure that the public can enjoy safe and reliable lift service," the spokesman said.

EMSD is also reviewing the current regulatory system for lift safety and is considering amendments to relevant provisions under the ordinance to raise the standard of lift maintenance and repair services. These amendments will include the introduction of a registration system for lift workers, higher requirements on qualifications and experience for registration of lift engineers, and increases in sanctions and penalties to ensure adequate deterrents against offences.

Ends/Thursday, August 27, 2009
Issued at HKT 11:30