For discussion EC(97-98)1
on 30 April 1997
ITEM FOR ESTABLISHMENT SUBCOMMITTEE OF FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 60 - HIGHWAYS DEPARTMENT
Subhead 001 Salaries
Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following permanent post in the Highways Department -
1 Chief Engineer
Upon the contracting out of the management, operation and maintenance of the Tsing Ma Control Area (TMCA) to the private sector, we need to monitor the performance of the contractor in respect of, among other things, maintenance of highways facilities within the TMCA. We also need to develop and implement a bridge health monitoring system for the Tsing Ma Bridge, the Kap Shui Mun Bridge and the Ting Kau Bridge.
2. We propose to create one permanent post of Chief Engineer (CE) (D1) to head a Monitoring Team (MT) in the Lantau Fixed Crossing Project Management Office (LFCPMO) of the Highways Department (HyD) to monitor the performance of the contractor for the maintenance of the TMCA and to develop and implement a bridge health monitoring system for the three main bridges.
3. The TMCA is a 17-km long road network stretching from Mei Foo via Tsing Yi and Ma Wan to Yam O on northern Lantau Island, and to Ting Kau in the New Territories. It is an important strategic route and the only road access to the new airport at Chek Lap Kok. As shown on the plan at Enclosure 1, the TMCA comprises -
- the Kwai Chung Viaduct, the Rambler Channel Bridge, the Cheung Ching Tunnel, the Northwest Tsing Yi Interchange and the Ting Kau Bridge;
- the Lantau Link comprising the Tsing Ma Bridge, the Ma Wan Viaducts and the Kap Shui Mun Bridge;
- the Lantau Toll Plaza; and
- part of the North Lantau Expressway including the Yam O Section and the Yam O Interchange.
4. The TMCA will be open to traffic in May 1997 except the Ting Kau Bridge, which we will complete in late 1997. For more cost-effective operation of this complex road system, the Government has decided to contract out the management, operation and maintenance of the TMCA to the private sector. (the TMCA Operator) who has started the necessary gearing-up work before opening. The TMCA Operator will be responsible for -
- monitoring, patrolling and controlling traffic;
- collecting tolls;
- performing day-to-day road inspections and keeping associated records;
- carrying out routine inspection, maintenance and repair for facilities within the TMCA; and
- preparing design proposals, cost estimates and documents for non-scheduled works.
5. Under this arrangement, Government must ensure that the maintenance of all highways facilities within TMCA is up to the required standards so as to minimise problems that might arise from improper maintenance, which would have significant impact on road traffic. We therefore propose to set up a MT in the HyD to monitor the performance of the TMCA Operator in respect of highway maintenance works. This team will also be responsible for monitoring the structural behaviour and health of the three long span cable-supported bridges through measurements and analyses which we haveby the MT and has not included in the TMCA contract. The main functions of the MT include -
- administering the part of the contract on maintenance within the TMCA including co-ordination with other government maintenance authorities;
- carrying out random and regular inspections of work done by the TMCA Operator, including repair work on the three cable-supported bridges; and conducting end-of-term inspections jointly with the TMCA Operator;
- checking and approving proposals, cost estimates and tenders prepared by the TMCA Operator for non-scheduled works; seeking approval of the recommended tenderers from the Director of Highways (DHy); reviewing expenditure and exercising financial control;
- developing and implementing the Wind And Structural Health Monitoring System (WASHMS) for the three cable-supported bridges. This system involves the collection of data from measurement devices; field measurement of vibration for the cables, cross-frames and towers of the bridges at regular intervals and at times under abnormal environmental conditions such as strong wind and; calibration of the bridge computer models adopted in the design of the bridges; evaluation of the health and safety of the bridges; and exchange of information with local and other overseas authorities in the maintenance of cable-supported bridges;
- managing consultants responsible for providing advice on the WASHMS and the major repairs of the three cable-supported bridges;
- overseeing the implementation of the quality assurance and safety plans by the TMCA Operator; and
- during emergency situations, assessing effects and consequences of damages to facilities within the TMCA, co-ordinating with departments and parties concerned, as well as providing information and recommendations to the Administration.
6. In light of the strategic importance of TMCA, the MT will be responsible for minimising the occurrence of partial or complete closure of the network. The MT will co-ordinate with other government maintenance authorities to ensure smooth progress of the Operators maintenance work. The head of the MT should possess adequate experience and professional knowledge in order to be able to administer this complex contract, ensure smooth co-ordination, approve the Operators proposals on major repair work and lead the MT in the development and implementation of the WASHMS. During emergencies, he will also need to exercise judgement and make accurate assessment and sound recommendations on the appropriate measures to be adopted. We consider the level of responsibilities and complexity of the tasks to be handled by the head of the MT comparable to those of the CE posts in the Regional Offices of HyD.
7. DHy has reviewed the staff resources of the LFCPMO, which is the project office responsible for construction of majority of the projects within the TMCA, in order to ascertain whether the three following existing supernumerary CE posts in LFCPMO can absorb the additional responsibility -
- the Chief Engineer/Tsing Ma (CE/TM), responsible for the Tsing Ma Bridge, the Tsing Ma Bridge Rail Movement Joint, the Northwest Tsing Yi Interchange and the Advance Earthwork contracts;
- the Chief Engineer/Kap Shui Mun (CE/KSM), responsible for the Kap Shui Mun Bridge, the Ma Wan Viaducts, the Lantau Toll Plaza Advance Earthwork, the Lantau Toll Plaza Road works, the Toll Collection System and Lantau Administration Building contracts; and
- the Chief Engineer/ Ting Kau (CE/TK), responsible for the Ting Kau Bridge and Approach Viaduct contract.
The three CEs are fully engaged in financial control, management and implementation of contracts and associated works, which include electrical and mechanical works, traffic control and surveillance system and lighting works.
8. Although we will have substantially completed the construction works for the Tsing Ma Bridge and the Kap Shui Mun Bridge in May 1997, we will still require the two CEs to deal with claims, arbitration and contract finalisation matters after the substantial completion of the contract works. They will not have spare capacity to take on maintenance monitoring of the TMCA. Likewise, although we will complete the Ting Kau Bridge in late 1997, the CE/TK will have to handle similar claims and contract finalisation work and will not therefore be able to take on the monitoring work. In fact, the CE/TM post will lapse on 1 April 1998 while the CE/KSM and CE/TK posts will lapse on 1 October 1998 when we have settled all outstanding matters in respect of those projects.
9. DHy has concluded that there is a need for the creation of a permanent proposed CE post to head the MT, and permanent CE post, to be designated as Chief Engineer/Tsing Ma Control Area (CE/TMCA). The proposed organisation chart of the LFCPMO and the job description of the proposed CE/TMCA post are at Enclosures 2 and 3 respectively. As we will disband the LFCPMO upon the completion of all TMCA related projects, we will review the organisation and establishment of the HyD in 1998 and consider how the MT should be subsumed under the permanent set-up of the department.
10. The additional notional annual mid-point salary cost of this proposal is $1,070,400 and the full annual average staff cost of the proposal including salaries and staff on-costs, is $1,940,280. In addition, the setting up of a MT will necessitate the creation of 25 non-directorate posts as detailed in paragraph 12 below at a total notional annual mid-point salary cost of $9,564,900 and a total full annual average staff cost, including salaries and staff on-costs, of $17,896,596. We have included sufficient provision in the 1997-98 Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal.
11. The HyD, the Transport Department (TD), and the Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund (EMSTF) will have separate teams to monitor the performance of the TMCA Operator and to deal with additional responsibilities arising from the opening of the TMCA and associated road links and development.
12. The proposed CE will lead the HyDs team. One unit, comprising two Senior Engineers, five Engineers, and three Inspectors of Works, will be responsible for monitoring the Operators performance on maintenance work. Upon the opening of the TMCA, a Bridge Health section, comprising one Senior Engineer, two Engineers and one Assistant Inspector of Works, will be responsible for monitoring the structural behaviour and health of the long span cable-supported bridges. These two units will have 11 supporting staff, comprising one Senior Technical Officer, two Technical Officers, one Senior Clerical Officer, one Clerical Officer I, two Clerical Officers II, two Typists, one Personal Secretary II and one Office Assistant.
13. In TD, eight non-directorate staff, comprising one Chief Transport Officer, two Senior Transport Officers, one Transport Officer I, one Transport Officer II, two Transport Controllers, and one Accounting Officer I, will be responsible for monitoring the Operators gearing up arrangements before the opening of the TMCA to ensure that the TMCA will be ready for commencement of operation in May 1997. After the opening of the TMCA, they will monitor the Operators performance to ensure that its standards of performance meet the contract requirements. They will also discharge such duties as auditing revenue collected by the Operator on behalf of the Government and resolving contractual disputes. Upon the opening of the TMCA and associated roads and developments, including the North Lantau Expressway, West Kowloon Expressway and Tung Chung New Town, a further 21 staff will be required to handle additional work. Such work includes the manning of a 24-hour communications centre, prosecutions against traffic offenders, software development and modification for traffic control, surveillance and toll systems, and traffic management and traffic engineering issues. These 21 staff will comprise one Senior Engineer, three Engineers, one Transport Officer II, Traffic Engineers, eight Transport Controllers, one Senior Transport Inspector, two Senior Technical Officers, two Technical Officers, two Clerical Officers II and one Typist.
14. EMSTFs team will comprise 11 non-directorate staff, namely, two Senior Engineers, two Senior Inspectors, two Inspectors, and five Assistant Inspectors. It will mainly be responsible for monitoring the Operators performance in the operation and maintenance of the electrical and mechanical and electronic systems. It will also be responsible for ensuring that the systems are used and maintained properly in accordance with government requirements. The team will also deal with additional work arising from the opening of the TMCA, e.g. providing technical advice to TD and HyD on contractual penalties, claims and disputes arising from the contract.
15. We consider the above staffing levels in the three departments concerned to be essential to ensure effective monitoring and operation. Members may wish to note that the Subcommittee of the LegCo Panel on Transport has examined in detail the duties and justification of the 65 non-directorate posts in the three departments. In supporting the proposed staffing levels, the Subcommittee suggested that they should be reviewed in two years time following the opening of the TMCA. We will conduct the reviews in due course.
CIVIL SERVICE BRANCH COMMENTS
16. Civil Service Branch considers the ranking and grading of the proposed post to be appropriate, having regard to the span of control, level of responsibility and professional input required.
ADVICE OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON DIRECTORATE SALARIES AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE
17. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading proposed for the post of Chief Engineer would be appropriate if the post were to be created.
Enclosure 3 to EC(97-98)1
|Rank ||: Chief Engineer (D1)
|Post ||: Chief Engineer/Tsing Ma Control Area (CE/TMCA)
|Responsible to ||: Government Engineer/Lantau Fixed Crossing (D2)
Main duties and responsibilities
- overall in charge of the Government Monitoring Team in respect of the maintenance of the TMCA;
- contract administration on maintenance aspects including co-ordination with other government maintenance authorities;
- day-to-day liaison with the TMCA Operator;
- monitoring the highway maintenance and repair works of the TMCA Operator;
- approving design proposals, contract documents, cost estimates and tender procedure; vetting tender reports prepared by the TMCA Operator; reviewing expenditure and exercising financial control;
- developing and implementing the Wind And Structural Health Monitoring System (WASHMS) for the three cable-supported bridges;
- managing consultants responsible for providing advice on the WASHMS and the major repairs of the three cable-supported bridges;
- overseeing the implementation of the quality assurance and safety plans by the TMCA Operator;
- for emergency situation, assessing effects and consequences as well as providing information and recommendation to the Administration;
- liaising with Route 3 Country Park Section Franchisee and MTRC on maintenance matters; and
- reviewing and recasting maintenance requirements for the future TMCA contracts.
Last Updated on 12 August 1999