WKCDA responses to FactWire’s latest revelation

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority issued a press statement in response to FactWire’s report on the direct appointment of Rocco Yim

Press release

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) issued a press statement at 9:30pm yesterday in response to FactWire’s report on “Direct Appointment of Famed Architect Violated West Kowloon Procurement Procedures”.

The statement states that “it should be noted that the Board as the authority that approves the Procurement Procedures, and for that matter and other WKCDA rules and procedures, retains the discretion to interpret their application and make necessary amendments as and when necessary.”

However, FactWire’s reports revealed that West Kowloon Palace Museum architect Rocco Yim Sen-kee commenced the design without the knowledge of the Board of WKCDA. He began the works in June last year, four months before government officials formally presented the proposal to Board members of the WKCDA. The WKCDA later admitted that Yim was “directly appointed” to carry out advanced study works for the project, code-named “Project P”.

FactWire later discovered that Yim’s architectural firm commissioned engineering firm Ove Arup & Partners on November 8 last year to carry out consultancy works for at least two years. The commission was made before Yim was appointed by the Board of WKCDA to be the design consultant on November 28.

The WKCDA also repeatedly stressed that “the award of a consultancy agreement with a value of less than HK$5 million through single tendering is within the delegated authority of the Chief Executive Officer, the Director, Project Control and Executive Director, Finance”, and that “the eight criteria set out in Article 10 of the Procurement Procedures are not exhaustive. They are included as examples to illustrate generally the circumstances under which single or restricted tendering can be adopted in procurement”.

The WKCDA missed out point 11 of the procedures, which states that “single or restricted tender procedures shall only be initiated with the prior approval of the relevant approving authority. Tenderers shall not be informed that tenders are being invited on a single or restricted basis, and shall be required to submit their tenders in the same manner as open and selective tender procedures. Notice of tender invitation shall be sent by letter to the tenderers.”

This means that Yim’s direct appointment by then Chief Secretary for Administration Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and the WKCDA did not belong to the authorized procedures stated.

Point 6 of the procedures also stated that ‘single or Restricted tendering is only used when circumstances do not permit the use of other types of tendering, for example, on grounds of extreme urgency or security, for proprietary products or for reasons of compatibility’. Point 10 also lists out the criteria for determining when restricted or single tendering can be used, but the contract does not meet the criteria mentioned.


Press Statement from the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

(22 February 2017, Hong Kong) The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) has noted the FactWire’s article on the WKCDA’s procurement procedures and wishes to make the following statement:

In June 2016, Rocco Design Architects Limited (RDA) was engaged by WKCDA to provide consultancy services under which it would conduct a preliminary technical study of the Mega Performance Venue (MPV) /Exhibition Centre (EC) site (i.e. land parcels P46/P47) and the adjoining U-shaped site for the integrated development of an Exhibition Centre, hotels, offices and a proposed new facility, and to provide a conceptual design for reference and cost estimation. The professional fee involved was HK$4.5 million. This study was commissioned in response to the Board’s advice in November 2015 that further studies on the future use of the P46/47 site should be conducted to facilitate further consideration.

The appointment of RDA was made under WKCDA’s Procurement Procedures for Capital Projects (Procurement Procedures) whereby the award of a consultancy agreement with a value of less than HK$5 million through single tendering is within the delegated authority of the Chief Executive Officer, the Director, Project Control and Executive Director, Finance.  

The eight criteria set out in Article 10 of the Procurement Procedures are not exhaustive. They are included as examples to illustrate generally the circumstances under which single or restricted tendering can be adopted in procurement. 

It should be noted that the Board as the authority that approves the Procurement Procedures, and for that matter and other WKCDA rules and procedures, retains the discretion to interpret their application and make necessary amendments as and when necessary.

In general, WKCDA will normally adopt Open or Selective tendering for the procurements of consultancy agreement in respect of capital projects. 

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