Proposed institutional changes to upgrade the construction industry

The proposed amalgamation of the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and the Construction Workers Registration Authority (CWRA) will enhance the institutional arrangements related to the construction industry in Hong Kong. This will be another milestone in strengthening Hong Kong's construction industry further, after the amalgamation of the CIC and the then Construction Industry Training Authority in 2008.

The Construction Industry Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2012, which proposed the amalgamation and other measures to further streamline the CIC's institutional operation to ensure the healthy and sustainable development of the construction industry as a whole, was gazetted today (February 24).

A spokesman for the Development Bureau said that in its report "Construct for Excellence", published in January 2001, the Construction Industry Review Committee (CIRC) recommended the establishment of an industry co-ordinating body to provide a focus for the construction industry's reform efforts and to foster better co-ordination within the industry. The CIRC also supported in principle the implementation of a worker registration scheme through legislative means. When the CIC Bill was introduced into the Legislative Council (LegCo) in February 2004, it was the policy intent for the CIC to ultimately undertake both training and registration of construction workers.

The CWRA was established in September 2004 and commenced the registration of construction workers in December 2005. The CIC was established in February 2007 and amalgamated with the former Construction Industry Training Authority in January 2008 to take over the training functions and powers discharged by the latter.

"To meet the legislative intent for the establishment of the CIC, there is a present and pressing need to amalgamate the CIC and the CWRA to achieve synergy and support the Government's massive infrastructure programme at the earliest opportunity.

"After due consultation with the LegCo Panel on Development, trade associations and labour unions of the construction industry on the proposed amalgamation and amendments to the Construction Industry Council Ordinance (CICO) and the Construction Workers Registration Ordinance (CWRO), we have drawn up the proposals which are now contained in the Bill," the spokesman said.

The Bill also includes an amendment to the CICO to provide flexibility for the Council to finance educational, publicity, research or other programmes relating to occupational safety and health, environmental protection or sustainable development in the construction industry.

The Bill seeks to introduce amendments to the CWRO to extend the period for the renewal of worker registration from three months to six months and to allow extension of the period for provisional registration under circumstances beyond the control of the workers concerned to assist workers in the registration process.

A new provision is included in the CWRO to pave the way for the workers registration card issued under the CWRO to store and display information of other construction-related cards/certificates in order to reduce the number of cards that a worker needs to carry while at work.

The Secretary for Development will introduce the Bill into the LegCo on February 29. The LegCo Brief on the Bill is available at the Development Bureau's website:

Ends/Friday, February 24, 2012
Issued at HKT 15:17