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HK Housing Authority bans sub-sub-contracting

HONG KONG'S Housing Authority last week banned multi-layered subcontracting in its battle to boost construction quality and fight piling fraud.

From October it will only allow main contractors to subcontract work once.

The move is in response to recent piling scandals where it was found that specialist contractors were several steps below the main contractor.

It follows news that the Housing Authority had banned contractor Zen Pacific from piling work after a high rise housing estate it worked on had to be demolished when piles were found to be too short (NCE 13 July).

News of the tighter procurement regime coincides with a plea by the head of Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption for clients to stop awarding contracts to the lowest bidder.

The decision to end multi-layered subcontracting is part of a draft package of measures approved last week by the Housing Authority's building committee.

The proposals will come into force in October. Building committee chairman Daniel Lam Chun said the group discussed the report and put forward some suggestions for changes before the measures come into force.

Other measures include tighter criteria for inclusion on approved contractor lists, tighter site supervision and more rigorous use of design consultants.

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