Secretary for Development speaks on "Operation Building Bright"

Following is the transcript of the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, meeting the media after attending the Legislative Council’s Finance Committee meeting today (April 24):

Reporter: ....How to ensure that there will be no corruption?

Secretary for Development:  I don’t think I have said we are going to do more, what I have said is this Operational Building Bright based on the positive response that we have received, apparently is a very effective project that is going to create jobs within a very short period of time.  So far you have seen that it is generally welcome by Legislative Council members and by all the stakeholders.  So what I was saying was that in the light of the applications that we were going to receive from Category 1 buildings between May and June, and if there were a very strong demand, and by that time if the Hong Kong economic situation and unemployment situation has worsen, the Financial Secretary, as he has pledged, was going to consider enhanced measures of relief, then I would think that this "Operational Building Bright" would stand a very high chance of being supported as an enhanced relief measure.  As a responsible Principal Official, I will do my utmost to recommend that this is a very effective relief measure for society.  As far as corruption prevention, this is a very important area in taking forward the "Operational Building Bright".  As a result, in the last few months we have been working very closely with the ICAC to ensure that we have all the needed safeguards.  The most effective safeguard is to ensure that we follow through each building and each owners’ corporation in doing the building maintenance.  So the Housing Society and the Urban Renewal Authority will send staff to each building to operate and to help the owners’ corporations in every stage of the process, in deciding on the approved maintenance work, so that there would not be excessive building works, to look at their tendering procedure and also to provide advice on the vetting of tenders.  And in this particular operation, because it is funded by public revenue, we would also require owners' corporations to do a transparent and competitive public tendering process.  In other words, the owners' corporations could not just nominate any contractor they wish to undertake the works. They have to have a competitive tendering to ensure that there will be competition to get the contractor to do the work.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Friday, April 24, 2009
Issued at HKT 20:58