For discussion EC(95-96)50
on 2 November 1995
ITEM FOR ESTABLISHMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
OF FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 62 - HOUSING DEPARTMENT
Subhead 003 Recoverable Salaries and Allowances
Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following permanent post in the Housing Department -
1 Chief Building Services Engineer
(D1) ($80,450 - $85,400)
The existing establishment of the Building Services(BS) Section of the Housing Department (the Department) is in need of additional support at the directorate level to cope with the increasing volume and complexity of work.
2. We propose to split the existing BS Section into two and create one permanent post of Chief Building Services Engineer (CBSE) (D1) to head the new BS Section 2.
3. The BS Section of the Maintenance Division is responsible for maintaining all building services installations/equipment in properties managed by the Housing Authority (HA). It is organised into ten units comprising some 700 professional and technical staff. An existing organisation chart of the Section is at Enclosure 1. The head of the Section is CBSE/Maintenance (CBSE/M) who, apart from supervising staff in a wide range of building services maintenance work, has to review and formulate policies and programmes with a view to improving the standard of service in estates.
4. Since the creation of the CBSE/M post in 1976, there has been a significant expansion in the responsibilities of the Section due to -
- expansion of the housing stock from some 362 000 rental flats with only basic ancillary facilities in 1976-77 to some 657 000 rental flats and 59 000 Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) flats with enhanced ancillary facilities, including large commercial centres, in 1995-96;
- an increase in total expenditure on building services maintenance and improvement work from about $18.5 million in 1976-77 to $1,090 million in 1995-96 (+1 150% in real terms);
- the growing complexity of engineering services resulting from the need to comply with stringent technical standards governing the performance, testing and inspection of the affected building services installations which were introduced with the enactment of new legislation, including the Water Pollution Control Ordinance in 1980, the Noise Control Ordinance in 1988, the Ozone Layer Protection Ordinance in 1989, the Gas Safety Ordinance and the Electricity Ordinance in 1990; and
- the implementation of accelerated maintenance and improvement programmes, such as the electrical reinforcement and rewiring programme, fire services conversion works, lift modernization, vacant flat refurbishment and lighting improvement projects, estimated to cost $387 million in 1995-96.
5. The responsibilities of CBSE/M have correspondingly increased. In addition, he has to provide directorate input to the development and implementation of new and improved services in the following areas -
- Security System Installations - To improve the security of existing rental blocks, HA has decided to provide a full security system comprising security gates, entry control system and closed circuit television (CCTV) system for 297 Trident and Harmony blocks, and a basic system consisting of CCTV system only for 643 blocks of other designs. There will also be a centralised monitoring system for each estate. The CBSE has to formulate and implement a maintenance programme to ensure the proper functioning of these systems.
- Fire Services Installations - To provide better fire protection for tenants, the Department has decided to extend its fire services conversion programme to older housing blocks not yet due for redevelopment. The new programme, covering some 54 additional buildings in ten estates, will be completed in three years time. In addition, there will be improvement work to emergency vehicular access and fire services installations which include the provision of fire fighting apparatus, emergency exit indications, etc. The Department is also critically examining its procedures to deal with maintenance and testing of fire services installations with a view to tightening control.
- Water Pump Installations - The Department has decided to introduce a rolling programme to replace its less efficient pumps and associated equipment. The work involves refitting 40 pump rooms, replacing 160 pumps each year and upgrading older water pump installations to modern standard. Planning, coordination and monitoring of the progress of work at directorate level are essential.
- New Telecommunication Services - With recent changes in telecommunication policies, more new services including satellite TV, cable TV are being made available to public housing estates. The provision of these new services requires a considerable amount of negotiation at the directorate level with the senior management of the related companies.
- Electrical Energy Management - For conservation reasons, we will launch a large scale electrical energy management programme in 1995-96 to encourage tenants in public housing estates to use electrical energy more efficiently. We will also consider initiatives to improve the energy efficiency of HAs commercial centres and offices. The CBSE is currently serving on inter-departmental committees such as the Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee and the Demand Side Management Working Group.
- Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Plants - As most of the existing 23 LPG plants in public housing estates/HOS courts were built before the enactment of the Gas Safety Ordinance in 1990, the Department is assessing the risk associated with these plants against present-day safety standards. If necessary, we will consider risk mitigating measures, including the possible relocation of the central plants or switching over to Towngas. It is thus necessary to formulate strategic planning on the safety of the LPG installations in public housing estates.
- Central Control and Monitoring - To better monitor the operation of building services equipment installed in HAs properties, the Department has decided to develop a computerised system which will give an early indication of system faults. Since the system is still in its development stage, it will require substantial input at chief professional level to ensure success of the programme.
- Maintenance Infrastructure Support - Since April 1995, the Department has started an ambitious phased Maintenance Infrastructure Support and Information System which will eventually provide 24-hour on-line service to tenants for reporting defects and to maintenance staff for follow-up action. Continuous review and improvement of the system is necessary in order that it meets its objective.
6. The above work require considerable professional input and direction by the CBSE/M. In addition, with ten senior professional officers under his direct command, compared with only two in 1976 when the post was created, the span of control is too wide.
7. We therefore propose to create an additional CBSE post to share the heavy workload of CBSE/M. With the creation of the proposed post, we propose to reorganise the BS Section into two, each consisting of five units headed by a CBSE. The existing CBSE will be redesignated as CBSE/M(1) to head Section (1). He will mainly be responsible for work relating to regional maintenance. The proposed CBSE will be designated as CBSE/M(2) to head Section (2). He will mainly be responsible for work relating to specialist services units.
8. The proposed organisation chart of the two Sections is at Enclosure 2. The job descriptions of the proposed posts of CBSE/M(1) and CBSE/M(2) are at Enclosures 3 and 4.
9. The additional notional annual salary cost at mid-point of the proposal is -
No. of Post
New permanent post
10. The HA will reimburse the Government the full salary costs, including on-costs, of this proposal.
11. The ranking and grading of the proposed post are appropriate having regard to its duties and responsibilities.
12. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading of the proposed post would be appropriate if the post were to be created.
Enclosure 3 to EC(95-96)50
Rank : Chief Building Services Engineer (D1)
Duties and Responsibilities
- To supervise the work of the regional maintenance units and the Central Services Unit and their professional staff.
- To assist Assistant Director/Maintenance in formulating policies relating to maintenance and improvement of building services installations in public housing estates.
- To coordinate the planning, design and implementation of building services maintenance and improvement programmes in public housing estates.
- To represent the Housing Department on issues related to electrical, fire services, communal aerial TV system, gas supply systems, etc. in public housing.
- To liaise and negotiate with utility companies to protect the interests of the Housing Authority and to liaise with other professional discipline heads in the Department and in other Government departments on matters relating to building services.
- To undertake resource planning and manage resources for regional maintenance.
- To formulate operation procedures and to oversee the development and implementation of quality manuals related to building services maintenance.
- To provide central services to the two BS Sections including the development of the Maintenance Assessment Scoring System and management of consultants.
Enclosure 4 to EC(95-96)50
Rank : Chief Building Services Engineer (D1)
Duties and Responsibilities
- To supervise the work of the specialist services units and the professional staff in these units .
- To assist Assistant Director/Maintenance in formulating policies on issues related to the maintenance of specialist equipment.
- To coordinate the planning, design and implementation of building services maintenance and improvement programmes on specialist equipment.
- To represent the Housing Department on issues related to specialist equipment such as lift, security system, pump and the maintenance/improvement of commercial properties.
- To liaise and negotiate with other Government departments and companies on the provision of telecommunication service to tenants.
- To work in collaboration with the Commercial Properties Division of the Department in enhancing the commercial viability of commercial complexes through upgrading of building services.
- To undertake resource planning and manage resources for maintenance of specialist equipment.
- To formulate operation procedures and to oversee the development and implementation of quality manuals related to specialist equipment maintenance.
- To provide general duties services to the two BS Sections such as computerisation and staff training.
Last Updated on 3 December 1998