For discussion
on 8 October 1997


Subhead 001 Salaries

Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the retention of the following supernumerary post for a period of nine months with effect from 1 January 1998 -

1 Government Engineer
(D2) ($110,000 - $116,800)


The Director of Highways (DHy) needs continued directorate support to oversee the construction and commissioning of the Ting Kau Bridge and Approach Viaduct (TKB) project. The present supernumerary post of Government Engineer/Ting Kau (GE/TK) created for the purpose will lapse on 1 January 1998.


2.We propose to retain the GE/TK (D2) post for a period of nine months up to 30 September 1998 to see through the completion and commissioning of the TKB project.


3.GE/TK is the head of the Ting Kau Bridge Project Management Team in the Lantau Fixed Crossing Project Management Office (LFCPMO) of Highways Department. He is responsible for supervising the work of all government employees and consultants engaged in the TKB project, controlling and monitoring the programmes and costs, administering contracts and consultant agreements, negotiating claims and managing mediation/arbitration.

4.The TKB design-and-build contractor will not be able to complete the project by the end of 1997 as originally scheduled because of -

  1. the slippage in completing a ship impact protection system for the construction of the main tower of the TKB due to unexpected difficult seabed conditions;

  2. the revision of the TKB design to take account of the wind tunnel test results; and

  3. the longer time required for completing the complicated steel fabrication works of the bridge superstructure.

5.The contractor has re-scheduled the outstanding works with a view to completing them by April 1998. In the light of the revised programme, it is essential to retain the GE/TK post up to the end of September 1998 to oversee the remaining works and the subsequent resolution of claims and finalisation of contracts which require the expertise and level of authority of the GE/TK. The officer will lead and manage the negotiation and arbitration processes which involve assessing the validity and reasonableness of claims and formulating negotiation strategies.

6.On 29 July 1995, Finance Committee approved the creation of the supernumerary GE/TK post up to 31 December 1997 to implement the TKB project. It was expected at the time that the project would be completed by the end of 1997 and thereafter the second most senior officer in the TKB Project Management Team - the Chief Engineer/Ting Kau (CE/TK) (a supernumerary post scheduled to lapse on 1 October 1998) - would be able to take up any outstanding contract administration matters and finalisation duties. Given his current and projected workload, CE/TK will still be fully committed to his main duties and responsibilities of construction supervision and financial control beyond December 1997. In addition, the scope and level of responsibilities of the GE/TK, as head of the TKB Project Management Team, in the final stage of the project cannot be effectively discharged by a Chief Engineer. The value of claims from the contractor and the technical and legal issues involved are greater and more complex than originally envisaged and call for a GE to manage and expedite the resolution processes.

7.DHy has considered the feasibility of assigning GE/TK's duties to the other GE in the LFCPMO - the GE/LFC (an Airport Core Programme post scheduled to lapse on 1 October 1998) - but concluded that this is not practicable as the officer will be required to take up and finalise all outstanding matters relating to the LFC contracts and consultancies by 1 April 1998 when the supernumerary post of Project Director/Lantau Fixed Crossing (D4) will lapse and by which time the LFCPMO will come under the Deputy Director of Highways.

8.The organisation chart of the department is at Enclosure 1. The existing and proposed job descriptions for the GE/TK post are at Enclosures 2(a) and 2(b).


9.The additional notional annual mid-point salary cost of this proposal is $1,273,200. The full annual average staff cost including salaries and staff on-cost is $2,155,092. We have included sufficient provision in the 1997-98 Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal. There are no other additional staffing or financial implications.


10.The TKB project, with an approved project estimate of $3.8 billion, is intended to provide a strategic transport link to reduce congestion on Tuen Mun Road. The project includes a long span high level bridge and a viaduct across the Rambler Channel, two elevated slip roads providing connections to Tuen Mun Road and the Tai Lam Tunnel Section of the Country Park Section of Route 3, and an extension of the Route 3 Interchange to link TKB with Tsing Ma Bridge and the Cheung Ching Section of Route 3.

11.The TKB contract, awarded in August 1994, requires the contractor to design and construct a 1 177 metres long bridge, and a 700 metres long approach viaduct. The four-span cable stayed bridge is designed to carry a dual three lane carriageway over the Rambler Channel. This project is the largest of its kind managed by the Highways Department.


12.Civil Service Bureau recognises the need to retain the post to resolve all issues essential to the timely construction and commissioning of the Ting Kau Bridge project, and considers the grading, ranking and duration of the post to be appropriate, having regard to the responsibilities and professional input required.


13.As the post is proposed on a supernumerary basis, we will report its retention, if approved, to the Standing Committee in accordance with the agreed procedure.

Transport Bureau
September 1997

Enclosure 2(a) to EC(97-98)22

Highways Department

Existing Job Description

Post title : Government Engineer/Ting Kau (GE/TK)
Rank : Government Engineer (D2)
Responsible to : Project Director/Lantau Fixed Crossing (D4)

Main Duties and Responsibilities :

1.Administer Contract HY/93/38 - Ting Kau Bridge and Approach Viaduct (the Contract) in his capacity as the Supervising Officer of the Contract in accordance with the terms thereof, in particular, to -

  1. manage the review of the contractor's design submissions in accordance with the programme and ultimately to endorse the submitted working drawings as good for construction;

  2. chair meetings with the Joint Venture Supervisory Board and initiate such meetings as and when necessary to minimise delays to the programme and resolve contractual claims;

  3. grant extensions of time for completion; instruct acceleration measures; variations; and agree claims; and

  4. certify payments due to the contractor and issue certificates of completion.

2.As Project Manager for the TKB project to -

  1. supervise all in-house and consultants staff;

  2. control and monitor the programme and costs;

  3. manage all consultants engaged;

  4. control expenditure on existing consultancies and seek funds for new consultancies;

  5. negotiate and process consultants agreements through the Engineering and Associated Consultants Selection Board;

  6. ensure compliance with statutory procedures for road works, offshore works, and any land clearance/resumption connected with the Project;

  7. coordinate the acquisition and clearance of work sites, and resolve land problems, if any, during the contract period;

  8. liaise with engineers and clients of several interfacing contracts and projects and resolve difficulties arising therefrom;

  9. initiate and chair meetings of the inter-departmental "Project Control Group" to resolve problems arising during the contract that require the agreement of several departments; and

  10. assist in the franchise arrangements for the Tsing Ma Control Area, ensuring that TKB aspects are fully taken into account.

Enclosure 2(b) to EC(97-98)22

Highways Department

Proposed Job Description (from 1 April 1998)

Post title : Government Engineer/Ting Kau (GE/TK)
Rank : Government Engineer (D2)
Responsible to : Deputy Director of Highways (D3)

Main Duties and Responsibilities :

As Project Manager for the TKB Project to -

  1. supervise all staff working on the project and ensure sufficient resources are deployed to complete the work;

  2. control and monitor the programme of outstanding works and cost of the project;

  3. manage all consultancy agreements;

  4. ensure compliance with statutory procedures and regulations;

  5. liaise with Route 3 Country Park Office of Highways Department to ensure smooth interface with Route 3 Ting Kau Bridge on opening of Route 3 Country Park Section;

  6. ensure that the Tsing Ma Control Area franchisee is provided with all necessary information to enable the proper maintenance of the TKB project works;

  7. chair meetings with the contractor's Joint Venture Supervisory Board;

  8. manage mediation and arbitration arising from the Ting Kau Bridge contract;

  9. manage the outstanding issues arising from the traffic control and surveillance system contract for the Tsing Ma Control Area, including Ting Kau Bridge and the interface with Route 3 Country Park Section;

  10. prepare reports to Secretary for Transport and Secretary for Works on programme, expenditure, staff and standards issues relevant to their respective fields of policy;

  11. expedite completion of final accounts for contracts and consultancies;

  12. keep abreast of development, operation and maintenance of other similar large bridge projects;

  13. provide assistance, based on knowledge gained in the TKB project, to project teams involved in the Sham Tseng Link and Stonecutters Bridge (Route 9) project; and

  14. undertake further duties as assigned by the Deputy Director of Highways from time to time.