In response to media enquiries on temporary suspension of tendering by Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong Ltd (OAP), a spokesman for the Development Bureau today (November 15) gave the following reply:
OAP did not comply with the terms of the government consultancy agreement in obtaining prior approval for undertaking a private development project, and did not follow strictly the company’s internal procedures in preventing improper use of information, resulting in information obtained from the government consultancy agreement being quoted in the planning application of the private development project. We consider that temporary suspension of tendering by OAP in respect of all categories of consultancy agreements under the jurisdiction of the Engineering and Associated Consultants Selection Board for three months (from November 7, 2016 to February 6, 2017) is a proper penalty that will bring certain impact on the company. The Engineering and Associated Consultants Selection Board is chaired by the Director of Civil Engineering and Development, with members drawn from the Development Bureau and the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau.
We anticipate that there will be about 20 consultancy agreements for which tenders will be invited from this month to February next year. OAP will not be allowed to participate in the tendering of these consultancy agreements.
Also, for OAP's tenders for consultancy agreements currently under tender assessment, the tender assessment panels of related government departments shall, in accordance with the related guidelines of the technical circular, assess them in details and seriously consider whether these tenders should be further processed. The total value of these consultancy agreements is about $100 million.
To prevent recurrence of similar incidents, we have issued a memorandum requesting all works and related departments to remind consultants employed by them to comply strictly with the "confidentiality" and "conflict of interest" provisions in consultancy agreements.
Ends/Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Issued at HKT 22:54