Lowest-bid tendering system reviewed

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 October, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 19 October, 2000, 12:00am

The performance of contractors may be taken into account when the Government approves tenders as one way to enhance the quality of works, lawmakers were told.

Acting Secretary for Works Wong Hung-kin said the construction review committee was looking at various subjects related to the construction industry, including whether the lowest tender price system was affecting the quality of work.

'We are thinking about some initiatives which will take into account the contractor's past performance when awarding a tender,' he said when explaining objectives outlined in the Policy Address last week.

A series of piling scams in public housing works have been revealed over the past 12 months. Two 34-storey blocks found with substandard piles at Yuen Chau Kok, Sha Tin, are being pulled down, at an estimated cost of $250 million. It is believed the lowest-tender system was one factor behind the piling fraud.

Ip Kwok-him, vice-chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, said the Government usually awarded a tender to whoever offered the lowest price, but he asked whether this would affect the quality of work.

Non-affiliated legislator Abraham Razack, representing the Real Estate and Construction sector, also said the tender system was the construction industry's main concern.

'The problem facing the construction industry is not necessarily caused by the contracting and sub-contracting system, the system has its merits,' he said. The problem was the awarding of contracts to the lowest tender.