Architect guilty of misconduct

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 October, 2007, 12:00am

A Housing Department landscape architect has been convicted of misconduct for failing to declare a conflict of interest with a director and shareholder of a building materials firm over the recommendation of supplies for four housing projects, the District Court heard yesterday.

District Court Judge Patrick Li Hon-leung adjourned Paul Wong Kwong-shun's sentencing to October 26, pending background and community service reports.

Wong, 54, had pleaded not guilty to one count of misconduct in public office.

The court heard that Wong got a friend to set up Nikka Building Materials Company with a businessman in 1999.

Prosecutor Newman Wong Hing-wai told the court the offences were committed between January 25, 2000, and September 2, 2001, when Wong recommended using a landscape material, Epox, which was supplied by Nikka for the projects. The contract was worth HK$507,000.

However, Wong failed to disclose his friendship with the director and shareholder of Nikka.

Delivering his verdict, Judge Li said that Wong, given his experience in the field, should have been aware of the need to declare his interest. The judge also found Wong's testimony in court to be contradictory.

Moreover, Wong's failure to declare his interest was unfair to other building materials suppliers.

His dishonesty had also greatly affected public confidence and the credibility of the department's contracting mechanism.

The judge did not accept Wong's claim that only recommendations were given concerning the use of Epox and that he did not have decision-making power.

The judge said Wong's expert advice would have affected the decision-making process.