Information Paper for the
Legislative Council Panel on Housing

Tendering and Monitoring Systems for
Quality Assurance of Building Works of the Housing Authority


This Paper informs Members of the tendering and monitoring systems adopted by the Housing Authority (HA) to ensure the quality of public housing production, and of the proposals of a current review for further improvement.


2. The HA takes construction quality seriously. It maintains an effective tendering system in the selection of contractors and a stringent monitoring system in ensuring quality of building works.


Tendering system

3. The HA operates selective tendering for its building projects in accordance with the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement. The HA has its own lists of contractors for various types of works and will only invite contractors on the relevant list to tender for its works. A contractor must have appropriate experience and organization, adequate plant resources and financial capability, and certification by the International Standards Organization before it will be considered for inclusion into the lists.

4. The HA has a Performance Assessment Scoring System (PASS) to assess the contractors' performance in terms of quality, progress and contract management. The system is also used to determine the contractors' tendering eligibility so that good performers with proven track records are given better tendering opportunity. In awarding a contract, tenderers' performance in the past 12 months together with their financial capability, workload in hand and tender prices will be taken into consideration.

Monitoring system

Site Inspection

5. Day-to-day inspection of the works under construction, final inspection and handover inspection of the completed works together form the first layer of the monitoring system.

6. Day-to-day inspection is carried out by site supervisory staff in accordance with defined procedures in the Site Inspection Manual and other quality assurance manuals. Any irregularities identified are brought to the attention of the contract manager who will then take actions as provided in the contract. This may include removal of sub-standard works and control of payment only for works satisfactorily done.

7. A final flat-to-flat inspection is carried out before the contract manager certifies completion of a building contract. It includes a watertightness test to all the windows and joints of precast facade, an infra-red scanning test of waterproofing, a pressurized water test for plumbing fitting and a CCTV drainage test. In respect of piling contracts, final set of each pile is witnessed by the site supervisory staff. Vibration test and loading test are carried out on a random sample of piles to verify their length and capacity before final acceptance.

8. Before a completed building project is handed over by the construction team to the management team, inspection of all the flats and external areas is carried out by HA's maintenance staff and property management agencies. Defects identified are recorded and rectified.

Performance assessment scoring system

9. The PASS forms the second layer of monitoring. Apart from assessing performance, it provides a means to compare the performance between different contractors and is used to alert them of the aspects which require improvement. It is a practical and continuous tool in persuading contractors to improve their performance.


10. The HA is conducting a comprehensive review to further improve the existing tendering and monitoring systems. The following principles set the direction for improvement.

Tendering System

11. The HA is looking into an alternative tender evaluation system in which emphasis will be placed on past performance and incentive to improve quality.

Monitoring system

12. At the commencement of a project, a clear and consistent benchmark of acceptance standards will be established through the provision of sample wings and sample trades. Emphasis is put on getting the right standards and rectifying malpractice at source.

13. During construction, critical milestone checks on quality and progress will be made. Inspection procedures will be streamlined to ensure more focused and effective checking.

14. At the completion of a project, efforts will be made to minimize outstanding work and rectify defects promptly.

15. The PASS will be improved by adopting a more consistent, balanced and comprehensive scoring system. Clear and measurable benchmarks will be established for compliance by the contractors.

16. The existing communication system will be revamped to enhance collation and dissemination of information, speed up feedback from the construction team, and strengthen the checking and early warning mechanism.

17. The HA has recognized the need for a positive change in the quality culture, which will involve its staff, contractors, and labourers of all trades. To this end, Housing Department's top management is scrutinizing quality standards at sample wing stage and pre-handover stage for each project. The HA will also actively liaise with other parties including the government, contractors and the public in motivating and publicizing a better quality culture for the entire industry.

Housing Department
February 1999