THE Housing Authority's building committee will sue Ngo Kee
Construction, the contractor involved in the Sha Tin piling scandal,
for the cost of tearing down and rebuilding two tower blocks.
The committee has also imposed a permanent ban on Zen Pacific Civil
Contractors from doing any future foundation or demolition work for
But it stopped short of banning companies in the Wai Kee Group, to
which the two firms belong, from all work while the authority seeks
compensation, as had been recommended by a report on the scandal.
Committee chairman Daniel Lam Chun said the penalties were
"appropriate" and according to the spirit of the Strickland Report.
Both Ngo Kee and Zen Pacific are part of the Wai Kee Group which was
responsible for work on the Home Ownership Scheme project in Yuen Chau
Kok, Sha Tin, where two 34-storey buildings were found to have faulty
piling. The demolition and rebuilding cost is estimated at $250
This and other public housing construction scandals led to the
resignation of Housing Authority chairwoman Rosanna Wong Yick-ming 11
days ago and last week's passing of a vote of no confidence in Legco
against her and Housing Director Tony Miller.
The building committee announcements followed the publication in May
of the Strickland Report into the Sha Tin scandal.
The three-member panel, headed by John Strickland former chairman of
the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation had recommended that
Zen Pacific and other firms in the Wai Kee group be barred from
bidding for all housing and public works contracts until the
compensation issue had been settled.
Speaking after yesterday's five-hour meeting, Mr Lam said the
committee had had detailed discussions and "will act according to the
spirit of the recommendations of the Strickland Report".
Mr Lam said Zen Pacific would be delisted from the authority's list of
large-bored piling and demolition contractors, while Ngo Kee would be
suspended from tendering while legal action was in progress.
He said both companies would have a chance to present their cases to
the Housing Department's Listed Management Committee.
This building committee decisions will come before the Housing
Authority for final approval on Thursday.
Staff of 10 companies in the Wai Kee Group had earlier called on the
building committee not to take punitive action against member firms,
saying it would threaten the jobs of 2,000 workers.
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