Corruption Cases on Building Maintenance

Obtaining maintenance works contract of substantial amount over bribery and tender-rigging exercises

A proprietor of an engineering company conspired with others to offer about $40 million in bribes to secure consultancy and renovation contracts of a residential estate through bid-rigging exercises, contrary to Section 9 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.

At the material time, the defendant was a proprietor of an engineering company. Upon request by the property management company of the estate, he arranged a dinner meeting at a restaurant with representatives of a renovation consultancy firm, an architectural firm, the management company and an office bearer of the owners’corporation (OC) of the estate to discuss the matter. The renovation consultancy firm and the architectural firm agreed that two property managers and the office bearer of the OC would be given a part of the project sum as rewards for assisting the consultancy firm and the architectural firm to be engaged in the project. As a result, the consultancy contract and the renovation contract were awarded at about $0.9 million and over $200 million respectively. The two property managers and the office bearer of the OC accepted over $15 million and $25 million.

The proprietor of the engineering company, lined up meetings that procured bid-riggings involving substantial amount of money and conspired to offer bribes to agents, was sentenced to 35 months’ imprisonment.

Accepting bribes for disclosing confidential tender information over renovation project at an estate

A maintenance manager of a property management company accepted bribes of $200,000 for divulging confidential tender information on a renovation project of a residential estate to the operator of an engineering company.

The owners’ corporation of the estate had resolved to conduct a renovation project and the property management company subsequently conducted an open tendering exercise to select a contractor for the project. The defendant was coordinating the tendering exercise. One of the bidders requested the defendant to provide a list of tender prices submitted by other 18 bidders. The defendant agreed to help and sent him the price list by email. The defendant, accepted advantage for divulging confidential tender information, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment and ordered to repay a restitution to the ex-employer.

Using bogus quotations to secure repair works

A chairlady of the owners’ corporation (OC) of an industrial building and three contractors had conspired to use bogus quotations to help an engineering company secure in total $500,000 worth of mandatory building inspection and necessary repair works. They were charged of conspiracy to use false instruments, contrary to the Crimes Ordinance.

The Buildings Department had previously issued a notice to the OC of the industrial building, requiring it to conduct mandatory building inspection and necessary repair works at the building. To secure the contract for her favourite contractor and fulfil the requirements of the OC, the chairlady asked the contractor to submit four sets of backdated quotations at different prices issued by other contractors. The contractors concerned acknowledged and agreed with the arrangement.

The chairlady subsequently handed over the false quotations to the OC and in the minutes of the OC meeting falsely represented that the OC had resolved to award the works to the contractor after discussing over the quotations received. The chairlady and the contractors involved were jointly charged of conspiracy to use false instruments and sentenced to jail.

Declining bribery and reporting substandard works

A proprietor of an engineering company, offered $600,000 in bribes to a manager of a property management company responsible for monitoring the work for lax supervision, was in breach of Section 9 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. The manager declined the offer and reported to ICAC.

The engineering company was subcontracted at $46 million from the main contractor to carry out a renovation project at a residential estate. Though the main contractor submitted to the property management company four applications for works payments totalling $12 million in four months, only payments for $4 million were issued due to serious delays of the works.

With intent to smoothen the certifying of payments, the defendant offered bribes to the manager of the property management company for exercising lax supervision on the substandard work. The defendant was sentenced to eight months’ imprisonment.

Smart Tips from iSir – Other Cases on Building Maintenance
Obtaining service contract without disclosing conflict of interest

Three employees of the management company of a private residential estate were given suspended sentence for fraud in relation to the award of the event production contracts of its clubhouse to a company owned by them without disclosing their financial interests in it.

At the material time, the trio were employed by the management company of the private residential estate and worked for its clubhouse. As employees of the management company, the trio were under a duty to make full disclosure of any financial interests which they might have in any business or corporation with which the management company or the owners' committee had business dealings. After establishing a company, the trio concealed from and failed to disclose to the management company and the owners' committee of their interests in the company owned by them and induced the management company to engage the company to provide services to the owners' committee. The company owned by the trio was awarded seven contracts worth about $150,000 in total for organising events and interest classes for the clubhouse. The trio were given suspended sentence for fraud.

Disclosing identities of persons under ICAC probe

A garage operator, having disclosed that two office-bearers of an owners’corporation (OC) of a residential building were under the investigation of the ICAC, was guilty of offence under Section 30 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.

An ICAC officer interviewed the defendant and took a witness statement regarding a corruption allegation against the chairlady and vice-chairman of the OC. The ICAC officer on two occasions reminded the defendant not to disclose to others that certain persons were subjects of an ICAC investigation or any details of the investigation, otherwise, he would be breaching of the law. The defendant responded that he understood the provision.

Subsequently, about 60 copies of the defendant’s statement and relevant documents were found displaying outside different units of the building. The defendant admitted placing the document with intent to raise concerns of flat owners over the alleged corruption in OC. The defendant was sentenced to 4 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 30 months, and also fined $3,000.

Attempting to mislead ICAC officer

A caretaker of a residential estate was in breach of Section 13B (b) of the ICAC Ordinance for misleading an ICAC officer by making a false statement.

The defendant was a day-shift caretaker employed by a residential estate. When interviewed under caution by two ICAC officers, the defendant admitted that he had accepted advantage from a man for referring the man to attend a recruitment interview for the post of a night-shift caretaker in the estate. During the cautioned interview, the defendant also stated that he had reported the offering to the treasurer of the estate.

ICAC officers subsequently interviewed the treasurer who denied the above. The treasurer further elaborated that the defendant had requested her to lie that she was informed of the offering should she be questioned by the ICAC officers. The treasurer refused to do so, and advised the defendant to tell the truth to the ICAC. The defendant eventually admitted that he had provided false information to the ICAC officers.

The defendant was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, and fined $2,000.

ICAC 24-hour Report Corruption Hotline: 25 266 366
Integrity Building Management Enquiry Hotline: 2929 4555
Last Review Date: