LC Paper No. PWSC83/98-99
(These minutes have been seen by the Administration)
Ref : CB1/F/2/2
Public Works Subcommittee of the Finance Committee
of the Legislative Council
Minutes of the eleventh meeting
held at the Legislative Council Chamber
on Wednesday, 20 January 1999, at 10:45 am
Members present :
Hon HO Sai-chu, JP (Chairman)
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP (Deputy Chairman)
Hon Kenneth TING Woo-shou, JP
Hon Cyd HO Sau-lan
Hon Edward HO Sing-tin, JP
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon Fred LI Wah-ming
Hon Margaret NG
Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Hon Christine LOH
Hon CHAN Yuen-han
Hon CHAN Kam-lam
Hon Gary CHENG Kai-nam
Hon SIN Chung-kai
Hon WONG Yung-kan
Hon LAU Kong-wah
Hon SZETO Wah
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting, JP
Hon TAM Yiu-chung, JP
Dr Hon TANG Siu-tong, JP
Members absent :
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Hon Albert HO Chun-yan
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Hon James TO Kun-sun
Hon Ambrose CHEUNG Wing-sum, JP
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP
Hon Mrs Miriam LAU Kin-yee, JP
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing, JP
Hon Andrew CHENG Kar-foo
Public officers attending :
Clerk in attendance:
- Miss Emma LAU
- Deputy Secretary for the Treasury (3)
- Mr Patrick LAU, JP
- Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands
- Mr H S KWONG, JP
- Secretary for Works
- Mr James HERD
- Principal Assistant Secretary for the Treasury (Works)
- Mr P L KWAN
- Deputy Director of Architectural Services
- Mr Patrick LI
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and
- Mr K B WAI
- Assistant Director of Education (Allocation and Support)
- Ms Ada Y S FUNG
- Project Manager/2, Housing Department
- Mrs Margaret CHAN
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and
- Mr Y P TSANG
- Deputy Commissioner of Police (Management)
- Mr Albert LAI, JP
- Government Property Administrator
- Mr Philip CHAN
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Security (E)
- Mr D G THOMAS
- Chief Superintendent of Police (Planning and Development), Hong Kong Police Force
- Mr Roy TANG
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Transport (6)
- Mr David TONG
- Deputy Commissioner for Customs and Excise
- Mr M K TANG
- Senior Principal Immigration Officer (Border)
- Mr Y M LEE
- Chief Traffic Engineer/New Territories West,
- Mr M S HU, JP
- Director of Water Supplies
- Mr H W TIN
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Housing (Project Management)
- Mr M K K CHEUNG
- Chief Civil Engineer of Housing Department
- MR J GABAY
- Principal Government Civil Engineer of Civil Engineering Department
- Mr N M CHAN
- Project Manager/1, Housing Department
Staff in attendance:
- Miss Polly YEUNG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)3
PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAMME
- Ms Pauline NG
- Assistant Secretary General 1
- Ms Anita SIT
- Senior Assistant Secretary (1)8
Upgrading of projects to Category A
HEAD 703 - BUILDINGS
PWSC(98-99)57 259EP Primary school in area 31, Tung Chung
The item was voted on and endorsed.
PWSC(98-99)58 89ET Special school in Yau Tong
2 Noting that the proposed special school for moderately mentally handicapped (MMH) children would be accommodated together with a nursery and a kindergarten in the same podium block, Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong pointed out that as MMH children had special needs, the sharing of facilities between the school and the nursery and the kindergarten might cause inconvenience and give rise to unnecessary problems. In response, Project Manager/2, Housing Department (PM2/HD) advised that the special school would be an independent 3-storey building provided with its own access facilities including staircases, vehicular and pedestrian entrances/exits. She further explained that the podium block design and the arrangement for accommodating the special school together with other community facilities at the same location were aimed at maximizing the permissible plot ratio of the site.
3 Mr CHEUNG said that as far as he understood, the school authorities of the existing Ngau Tau Kok Holy Word School (NTKHWS), which was to be reprovisioned to the present location, had only been informed of the reprovisioning plan on 18 January 1999. He stressed that the Administration should have consulted the school concerned on the reprovisioning plan at an earlier date so that the specific needs of the school and its users could be duly taken into account in the planning process. Mr CHEUNG's concern was shared by Mr LEE Wing-tat, who enquired whether a mechanism was in place under the existing school planning procedures to ensure timely consultation with the school authorities concerned.
4 In response, the Principal Assistant Secretary for Education and Manpower (9) (PAS/EM9) acknowledged that the school authorities of NTKHWS had not been consulted well in advance on the reprovisioning plan, partly because of the need to maintain confidentiality of the Lower Ngau Tau Kok redevelopment project. PM2/HD added that whilst it was necessary to maintain confidentiality of the redevelopment project at the early stage, the Housing Department (HD) had informed the Education Department (ED) of the reprovisioning plan in early 1998 and since then, HD had kept close liaison with ED on the project. She confirmed that where feasible, HD was prepared to alter the detailed design of the school to cater for any specific requirements not yet taken into account in the present design, as HD had previously responded promptly to ED's request for a major design revision in late November 1998.
5 As regards the planning procedures for school projects, the Assistant Director of Education (Allocation and Support) advised that upon identification of a suitable site for a school project, the Administration would proceed with drawing up a design and schedule of accommodation for the purpose of putting up a funding proposal. It was usually after approval of the relevant funding request that ED would approach the prospective school authorities. He remarked that the school in question had been planned with reference to the latest design and schedule of accommodation for a standard primary school. Upon reprovisioning, the NTKHWS would be provided with more space and additional facilities including a multi-purpose area, a multi-media room, a staff common room and a student activity centre.
6 Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong commented that unlike other new school projects, this project was for reprovisioning an existing special school and thus ED and HD should know at an early stage whether the school authorities of NTKHWS would continue to run the special school upon reprovisioning. He therefore did not consider the need to maintain confidentiality an acceptable reason for not consulting the school concerned beforehand.
7 Mr CHAN Kam-lam also considered it necessary to consult the school concerned at an early stage. He pointed out that although the school project had been discussed by the Kwun Tong Provisional District Board, ED should consult the school authorities of NTKHWS so as to understand their views on the design and schedule of accommodation of the proposed school. Nevertheless, he supported the proposal as there was a need to provide timely reprovisioning for the existing NTKHWS.
|8.In response to Mr CHEUNG's suggestion of deferring the present proposal to allow proper consultation with the school authorities on the reprovisioning project, the Deputy Secretary for the Treasury (DS/Tsy) stressed the need to commence the works as scheduled to provide timely reprovisioning for the existing NTKHWS. However, acknowledging members' concern about the need for consultation with the school concerned, she suggested that members make a decision on the proposal at this meeting and before the item was considered by the Finance Committee (FC), ED and HD would discuss the school project in detail with the school authorities and provide a supplementary information note on the consultation undertaken for members' reference. The Administration also undertook to set out in the supplementary information note the views of the school in respect of the school design and provisions and, if any of the views could not be accepted, the reasons for non-acceptance.||Admin.|
9 Mr CHEUNG and Mr LEE agreed with the DS/Tsy's suggestion but pointed out that ED should review the existing planning procedures for school projects to ensure timely consultation with school sponsors in future.
10 Regarding the provision of school places for MMH children, PAS/EM9 advised that presently, school places for MMH children were planned on a territory-wide basis and the current planning horizon was extended to the year 2003. In practice, when considering reprovisioning sites, account would be taken of the demand for such places in different regions. According to the latest forecast, the projected demand for school places for MMH children in the Kowloon region would reach its peak by 2001 with a slight decrease in 2002 and 2003, and 560 school places for mentally handicapped children would be required to meet the peak demand in 2001. At present, NTKHWS together with other special schools provided a total of 600 such places for the region. Upon reprovisioning, NTKHWS would continue to provide 100 places. Hence, there would be no shortfall in special school places for the Kowloon region up to the year 2003.
|11 As to whether all classrooms could be provided with air-conditioning in view of the special needs of the MMH children, PAS/EM9 advised that in view of limited resources, the Administration had to prioritize the provision of air-conditioning to different types of special schools outside the ambit of the Noise Abatement Programme. Government had recently announced the provision of air-conditioning to the classrooms and special rooms of schools for severely mentally handicapped and physically handicapped children. Extending this arrangement to schools for MMH children would have resource implications on other areas in education. In this connection, the Chairman requested the Administration to consult the school authorities of NTKHWS on the issue of air-conditioning and inform members of the Administration's decision before the relevant FC meeting.
12 Miss Cyd HO suggested that this item be voted on separately from other recommendations of the Public Works Subcommittee at the Finance Committee meeting concerned. The Chairman agreed to notify the Chairman of FC of the suggestion.
13 The item was voted on and endorsed.
|PWSC(98-99)59||234LP||Redevelopment of Police Headquarters, Arsenal Street, Wanchai (Arsenal Yard phase 3 development)
14.Members noted that the present proposal was concerned with preparatory works for the redevelopment project. They however considered it necessary to examine the project in its entirety in deciding on the present proposal. They sought clarifications on the policy considerations underlying the proposal, the proposed provision of space and facilities, the justifications for the construction budget and its cost-effectiveness as compared to other similar projects.
15 With regard to the policy considerations, the Government Property Administrator (GPA) confirmed that it was Government policy to optimize the development potential of government sites, and to reprovision government offices presently accommodated in leased premises to government buildings as far as possible. He advised that the project had been drawn up against the following background -
- the Director of Audit had commented that the development potential of the site currently occupied by the existing Wanchai District Headquarters (WDHQ) and Divisional Station had not been optimized; and
- when considering a proposal to refurbish May House on 23 April 1997, this Subcommittee had suggested that a long-term development plan for the PHQ site should be drawn up with a view to identifying the most cost-effective development option.
GPA stressed that the proposed redevelopment project would optimize the development potential of the site and at the same time, make available two sites with high development potential, namely part of the Caine House site and the site at Gloucester Road where the Divisional Station and Quarters were located. As far as management of government property was concerned, he considered the redevelopment project a cost-effective option.
16 Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong pointed out that given the scarcity of land in Hong Kong, he supported the policy of optimizing the development potential of government sites. He was however gravely concerned about the cost-effectiveness of the present redevelopment proposal and whether the planned provision of office space and associated facilities were justified. He reiterated the concerns he raised at the meeting of the Security Panel on 13 October 1998 that the estimated construction unit cost of $16,360 per square metre for this project might be on the high side. In this connection, he referred to the discrepancy between the information given at the Panel meeting and the information set out in the present proposal; namely, the construction unit cost for the Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices (CSWGO) project and that for the North Point Government Offices (NTGO) project had been quoted as $20,200 and $20,800 per square metre respectively at the Panel meeting while they became $15,178 and $15,970 in the present proposal. Considering that tenders for the CSWGO and NPGO projects had probably been invited at a time of relatively high construction prices, he queried why the construction unit cost for the present project was even higher, at $16,203 per square metre, under the prevailing price levels.
17 In response, the Deputy Director of Architectural Services (DDArchS) advised that the comparison of the level of construction unit cost between this project and the CSGOB and NPGOB projects as set out in the present proposal was a realistic and up-to-date comparison as the relevant figures were based on the same tender price index. As for the imprecision of the information provided at the Panel meeting, DDArchS explained that the estimated construction unit cost given at the Panel meeting might have included the costs for piling and drainage works. For fair and accurate comparison, only the costs for the building works and building services works should be taken into account in computing the construction unit cost. He further explained that the slightly higher level of construction unit cost for this project was due to the need for a higher standard in building services installations and information technology systems to meet the operational requirements of the Police. In this connection, he informed members that the estimated building services cost for this project was around $5,800 per square metre while the same cost item was $5,600 per square metre for the CSWGO project and $5,700 for the NPGO project.
18 In reply to Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong's query about the need for the 4-level basement structure, DDArchS advised that the basement structure was only one of the factors for the slightly higher level of construction costs for the project. Notwithstanding, the Administration had re-examined the proposed basement structure pursuant to members' request at the Security Panel meeting and concluded the basement structure was needed so as to reserve the first few storeys above ground to accommodate those units which would be frequently visited by the public. Moreover, due to space constraints, it was not possible to provide the required number of carparking spaces at ground level at the subject site.
19 With regard to office space provision, GPA said that information on the schedule of accommodation and space allocation was available but it would probably be difficult to go into details on the occasion. Broadly speaking, the PHQ units to be reprovisioned and the existing WDHQ and Divisional Station now occupied a total gross floor area of 52 174 square metres. The proposed new complex would provide a gross floor area of 110 000 square metres, and a usable floor area of some 70 000 square metres. Of this 70 000 square metres, some 60 000 square metres would be used for office accommodation for the Police Headquarters and the WDHQ and Divisional Station and the remaining 10 000 square metres for new supporting facilities. GPA and DDArchS advised that when compared to the existing office accommodation, the increase in the provision of office space upon reprovisioning was only about 17%.
20 On members' concern about over-provisioning of office space and facilities, the Deputy Commissioner of Police (Management) (DC/P) advised that the purpose of the high-rise design for the proposed office tower was to optimize the development potential of the subject site, at the same time providing adequate office space to meet the projected accommodation requirements. He assured members that the proposed facilities and the future allocation of office space at the new office tower would not be more than that necessary to meet the operational needs of the Police. To elucidate, he explained that the projected accommodation requirements had been drawn up according to the relevant government standards and the only major additional facility to be provided was a multi-purpose hall for exhibitions and seminars. Some of the building services requirements relating to the communication system and the computer network for the PHQ units were pertinent to the operational requirements of the Police while the other requirements were designed to conserve energy and minimize maintenance costs.
|21 Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong remained unconvinced of the information given by the Administration and maintained his concerns on whether there would be over-provisioning of office space and facilities and whether the relatively high level of construction costs were fully justified on operational grounds. His concerns were shared by Mr SIN Chung-kai, who sought quantitative information on the existing and future office space provision including the construction floor areas, gross floor areas and net floor areas as well as details of the 17% increase in provision. In view of members' concerns, the Chairman requested the Administration to provide the additional information for members' reference as soon as possible after this meeting.||Admin. |
|22 Miss Cyd HO recalled that more detailed information on the existing and future office space allocation for potential user departments, as well as the space allocation for associated and supporting facilities were provided in an earlier proposal for the Shatin Government Offices Building. DS/Tsy explained that pending commissioning of the detailed design of the project, the Administration was not in a position to provide very detailed and precise information on the project at this stage. She nevertheless assured members that the detailed information would be provided in the future proposal for the construction works. In this regard, the Chairman suggested that the Security Panel be consulted on the proposal for construction works before submitting it to this Subcommittee for consideration.||Admin. |
23 Mr LEE Wing-tat commented that to enable members to assess the cost-effectiveness of funding proposals, it would be useful for the Administration to provide more quantitative information on the savings that could be derived from the projects. On the present project, he enquired about the estimated dollar value of the 7 800 square metre site that the Police would relinquish upon reprovisioning of the WDHQ and Divisional Station to the PHQ Complex. In response, GPA advised that it would be difficult to specify a dollar value of the said site at the present stage, as the future use of the site was not yet decided and the land price was very much subject to market conditions. He however assured members that in drawing up the proposal, the Administration had made a thorough cost-benefit analysis based on various assumptions, and concluded that the estimated $2.7 billion capital cost for the redevelopment project would be a worthwhile investment.
24 Miss Margaret NG expressed concern that the proposed 43-storey office tower might project a dominant and imposing image of the Police. She also enquired about the security implications of centralizing various PHQ units in the same location. In response, DC/P explained that the present Arsenal House was already 30-storey high. Due to the lack of space at the existing PHQ Complex, some PHQ units had been accommodated in leased premises at different locations and reprovisioning these units to the PHQ Complex would enhance operational efficiency and the effective use of common facilities. The high-rise design was aimed at maximizing the permissible plot ratio of the site and meeting the projected accommodation requirements.
25 On the security aspect, DC/P confirmed that the present design would not pose security management problems. The reprovisioning of WDHQ to the PHQ Complex would enhance the efficiency of security resources deployment as presently, security management resources for PHQ were deployed from WDHQ. On the other hand, to ensure PHQ's internal security, the design of the proposed office tower would take into account the need to separate the offices of WDHQ from those of PHQ.
26 As regards the provision of carparking spaces for the public, the Chief Superintendent of Police (Planning and Development) advised that the number of carparking spaces for the public would be decided at a later stage but he assured members that the redeveloped PHQ Complex would provide a user-friendly environment for the public and sufficient carparking spaces would be allocated for visitors' use.
27 The item was voted on and endorsed.
|PWSC(98-99)61 6GB ||Expansion of kiosks and other facilities at Lok Ma Chau boundary crossing
28 Mr Edward HO declared his interest as a partner of the consultancy firm commissioned for the design of this project. He said that he would not take part in the discussion and would not vote on the proposal.
29 In reply to Mr SIN Chung-kai's enquiry about the feasibility of constructing a multi-storey passenger hall at the Lok Ma Chau boundary crossing (LMCBC) to cater for the future growth of passenger flow, the Principal Assistant Secretary for Transport (6) (PAS/T(6)) advised that this option, though technically feasible, was not cost-effective. Instead, the Administration was examining the feasibility of providing additional land boundary-crossing points at the Shenzhen Western Corridor and the Sheung Shui to Lok Ma Chau rail spur line to divert some of the passenger and vehicular flows away from the existing four land boundary-crossing points.
30 As regards the improvements in processing capacity and vehicle waiting time as a result of the proposed works, PAS/T(6) and the Chief Traffic Engineer/New Territories West, Transport Department advised that upon completion and commissioning of the proposed additional 10 pairs of kiosks at LMCBC and associated facilities, the optimal processing capacity would be increased from the present 1000 to 1200 vehicles per hour to about 2200 vehicles per hour. They envisaged that the waiting and actual processing time would be substantially shortened from the present 45 to 90 minutes to just a few minutes depending on the volume of traffic at a particular time.
31 Addressing the concern on whether the boundary-crossing facilities on the Shenzhen side would be able to cope with the projected increase in passenger and traffic flows at LMCBC, PAS/T(6) confirmed that there had been frequent informal liaison with the Mainland authorities and the most recent discussion was held on 8 January 1999. The Administration had sounded out the Shenzhen authorities on the traffic implications of the additional kiosks. As far as the Administration gathered, the Shenzhen side would be fully geared up to meet the projected increase in passenger and traffic flow. PAS/T(6) also confirmed that all the proposed additional kiosks and associated facilities at LMCBC would be located within the territory of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.
32 Regarding the transportation of vegetables and meat from the Mainland by land, PAS/T(6) advised that while the subject did not fall under the purview of the Transport Bureau, he understood that presently, vegetables and meat from the Mainland underwent custom clearance at the Man Kam To boundary-crossing where there were comprehensive facilities for conducting the necessary checks. The Administration was planning for similar facilities at LMCBC.
33 The item was voted on and endorsed.
HEAD 709 - WATERWORKS
|PWSC(98-99)62 227WF||Mainlaying between Au Tau treatment works and Yuen Long Town - remaining works|
34 The item was voted on and endorsed.
HEAD 711 - HOUSING
|PWSC(98-99)60 567CL||Site formation for redevelopment of Hung Hom Estate phase 2
35 The item was voted on and endorsed.
Revision in approved estimate of projects in Category A
HEAD 711 - HOUSING
PWSC(98-99)56 196EP Primary school at area 105, Tin Shui Wai
36 The item was voted on and endorsed.
ANY OTHER BUSINESS
|Award of contract for 46JA - ||Departmental quarters at Lee On Road, Kwun Tong
37 The Chairman advised members that in response to a request from Mr LEE Wing-tat, the Administration agreed to provide information to members at this meeting on the award of the contract for the Departmental Quarters at Lee On Road, Kwun Tong. He pointed out that strictly speaking, issues relating to the award of contracts for individual projects were not within the terms of reference of the Subcommittee. However, in order to allay unnecessary concerns about the procedure in awarding works contracts, the Administration had kindly offered to clear any doubts which members might have on this particular project. The Chairman however stressed that it should not be taken as a precedent that such matters could be discussed at a normal meeting of the Public Works Subcommittee. It was more appropriate for a subject of this nature be raised at the relevant Panel(s). The Chairman then referred members to the information note tabled by the Administration, and invited Mr LEE Wing-tat to briefly explain his concerns.
38 Referring to a press report, Mr LEE Wing-tat said that the contract for the project had been awarded to the tenderer with the highest bid at around $2.3 billion, which was $300 million higher than the lowest bid. As the design and construction of government quarters usually did not involve complicated technical issues, he enquired about the selection criteria and the technical merits of the winning bid which warranted the award of contract despite its highest price offer. He also sought clarification on the allegation that the winning bidder had proposed the use of lavish fittings which had led to higher project costs.
39 On the tender procedures, DDArchS advised that a pre-qualification exercise had been conducted for the tendering of this project and three contractors had been pre-qualified, which meant they were considered technically competent for this particular project. These contractors were invited on 31 July 1998 to submit tenders for the project. Thereafter, assessment of the tenders was conducted in strict compliance with a pre-determined marking scheme, under which there was a comprehensive set of criteria for assessment of various technical components including the design for the quarters and associated facilities (which comprised a shopping centre), the method of construction, the programming of works and the staff deployment plan etc. He stressed that details of the assessment criteria had been included in the tender documents which were made known to the tenderers prior to the bidding process.
40 On the allegation of lavish fittings proposed by the winning bidder, DDArchS clarified that the cost for bathroom fittings was $8,000 per unit. The standard of the proposed fittings was comparable to that of South Horizons at Ap Lei Chau, and this standard had been adopted for some years for new government quarters of Grades G and H. Responding to Mr CHAN Kam-lam's enquiry about the rationale for using this standard, DDArchS advised that as a result of a comprehensive review on government quarters conducted some years ago, the standard sizes for various grades of government quarters had been reduced whilst the standard for internal fittings had been upgraded slightly. Subsequent to this review, the Government had purchased some units at South Horizons for use as quarters.
41 As to how the winning tender compared more favourably with the other two tenders on the technical side, DDArchS pointed out that overall, the technical proposals of the winning tender were able to earn the assessment panel's confidence in the bidder's abilities in quality control and in ensuring the completion of the project on schedule. He gave the following examples to illustrate the technical advantages the winning tender had over the other two tenders -
- the design for the shopping centre provided a better layout of shops and circulation areas;
- more experienced and qualified professionals would be engaged to supervise the project; and
- a new construction method involving the use of aluminum moulds and prefabricated construction materials was proposed, providing a better guarantee of the quality of finish and the timely completion of works.
42 Given that all three bidders had been pre-qualified and that the contract would provide for liquidated damages for delays , Mr LEE Wing-tat questioned the need to give heavy weighting to the bidders' relative ability to complete the project on schedule. In response, DDArchS said that timely completion of the project was critical in this case as the sites of the existing quarters to be reprovisioned to the proposed site had to be released before a given date for land disposal. As such, the contractor was required to construct 2 220 quarter units in 28 months, which was indeed a very tight schedule. From local and overseas experience, the construction method proposed by the winning tenderer had proved to be highly efficient. Moreover, the tenderer had already obtained approval from the relevant authorities for transportation of prefabricated construction materials on two local expressways. This further strengthened the assessment panel's confidence in the tenderer's capability to deliver the project on schedule.
43 Mr HO Chung-tai expressed reservation over the high scores given to the construction method proposed by the winning tenderer, which he considered might not necessarily result in a better finish and greater working efficiency. In reply, DDArchS advised that the weighting accorded to the method statement components was only 4%, but the winning tender also scored higher marks under most of the other criteria for technical assessment.
44 Mr LEE Wing-tat enquired about the potential savings that could be derived from the construction method proposed in the winning tender. He pointed out that from the angle of cost-effectiveness, if the savings which could be derived within a reasonable period of time, say 10 years, were more than the price difference between the winning bid and the lowest tender bid, then the selection of the highest bid could be considered worth the investment. In response, DDArchS indicated that no such information was available. He however stressed that to ensure fair and objective assessment of the technical proposals, the tender price bids were only disclosed after the completion of the technical assessment. Thus, the assessment panel had no knowledge of the tender price bids in the course of the technical assessment.
45 Mr Edward HO commented that one shortcoming of the Design and Build tender, under which the present project was awarded, was the difficulty to make comparisons between tender proposals as the technical proposals were drawn up on the basis of different designs. While he personally was not in favour of the Design and Build approach, given that it had been used for the project in question, he considered it prudent to place more emphasis on the quality and time control aspects in the assessment of tenders. Mr LEE Wing-tat shared Mr HO's view that the Design and Build tendering approach was more susceptible to subjective judgement. Given the highly standardized features of government quarters, he queried the appropriateness of using this approach. In response, DDArchS said that the approach was cost-effective for projects with fairly defined scopes and requirements; the Government could obtain a reasonably good quality product within a short period of time with relatively less manpower input as compared to the traditional approach of tendering the construction works after undertaking a detailed design. He added that a number of government projects, including two similar government quarters projects in Chai Wan and Ngau Chi Wan had been successfully completed using this approach.
46 In reply to Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong's enquiry about the size of the quarter units to be constructed under the project in question, DDArchS advised that the quarters would provide accommodation to mainly junior officers and the size of the units would range from 400 square feet to 800 square feet according to the prevailing standards.
47 As to how the outturn tender price compared to the approved project estimates, DDArchS advised that the approved project estimate in February 1998 was $3.2 billion and the estimate made immediately before invitation of tenders was $2.8 billion. He added that the lower outturn price of $2.3 billion was the result of competitive bidding.
48 The meeting adjourned at 12:50 pm.
Legislative Council Secretariat
22 March 1999