The recent jailing of a subcontractor for his part in a HK$260 million bid-rigging scandal at a Shatin housing estate has again highlighted a problem that is rampant in Hong Kong. Although bid-rigging attracts attention due to the large sums of money involved it is only a part of a more complex problem.
The real problem which encourages bid-rigging is the rampant illegality which pervade Owners Committees (OC) and the feebleness of the government’s Home Affairs Department(HAD) in administering the Building Management Ordinance. OCs are formed from owners on the estate who together with the property management company it appoints, are supposed to manage the estate for the benefit of the owners. The activities of the OC and management company are supposed to be regulated by the Building Management Ordinance (BMO) which is administered by the HAD. Continue reading