Message from BSD Chairman (January 2010)

Establishment of List of Expert Witness and the associated proficiency course You may recall in the last Surveyors Times that I had mentioned that a working group had been formed toexplore the use of Expert Determination to settle building maintenance related disputes. A pilot scheme on Expert Determination for water seepage cases is being formulated and studied whereby the parties in dispute agree to submit an issue on the cause and liability of water see page for determination by an expert. The adoption of Expert Determination is believed to be in line with the promotion of Alternative Dispute Resolution in the recentCivil Justice Reform with an added benefit of identifyingthe cause of water seepage, which is the crux of theparties' concern. Meanwhile, we are also considering the establishment of a list of expert witness on building maintenance matters. The list will serve as a platform for the public to approach our members with profound experience whenever expert witness services on these matters are needed. It is undoubted that a considerable number of our members are widely experienced in advising on technical aspects of building maintenance. On the other hand, acquirement of legal knowledge such as civil proceedings, admissibility of evidence, etc is also crucial for an expert witness as well as an expert in Expert Determination. In view of this, the working group is liaising with academics on the provision of a proficiency course for our members who are interested to register in the list of expert witness. Preliminarily, we are advised that the course will last for 60 to 100 hours. The working group will very soon invite expression of interest from our members on the registration and the course enrolment. Recruitment of Volunteers Task forces or working groups are from time to time being set up under the BSD Council to deal with issues arising from consultation papers or BS-related current affairs. If you are interested to join these task forces or working groups, please contact me through email ([email protected]) or you may inform any of our Council Members. Currently, HKIS is one of the professional institutes providing free preliminary advices on building management and maintenance issues through appointment arranged by the Property Management Advisory Centres (PMACs) operated under the Hong Kong Housing Society (HKHS). We have maintained a team of volunteers with Mr Gary Yeung as the coordinator. Our members will interview the enquiring parties to understand their building maintenance and/or management problems and provide verbal advice on possible causes as well as the way forward. No less than two members will attend each appointment and they are fully covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance of the Institute. As it is anticipated that the number of enquiries will keep increasing, we wish to recruit new blood to join our team of volunteers. If you are interested to join the team and take up this meaningful task, again please contact us in the ways as mentioned above. Mutual Recognition between Building Surveyors from Hong Kong and Members of China Association of Engineering Consultant (CAEC) Our Honorary Secretary, Mr Nathan Lee attended a meeting on CEPA in Beijing in December 2009, with representatives from other Divisions and other building related professional institutes in Hong Kong, which was arranged by the Development Bureau of HKSARG. The application status of our counterpart's membership was reported. Up to now, three CAEC members have obtained HKIS membership while two BSD members are being registered to practice as engineering consultant in Guangdong. Results of Practical Task 2009 I am pleased to inform that 47 out of 92 candidates passed in the Practical Task and the passing rate was slightly higher than that in 2008. A summary of results is listed below. This was the first time in the past 5 years that the passing rate for first time candidates was lower than the overall one. Prospective candidates are reminded to be more equipped before taking the Practical Task. Regular discussion and review with counsellors and supervisors will be beneficial. HKIS Retreat 2010 All of our representatives in the General Council,Mr Vincent Ho, Mr Robin Leung and I attended theHKIS Retreat held on 16 January 2010. During thisbrainstorming session, we shared with representativesf rom other Divisions and Boards our strengths,weaknesses, opportunities and crisis. There were fruitfuldiscussions which will aid the Institute to develop anaction plan. Thanks for the input from BSD Councilmembers before the Retreat as their suggestions werevery constructive. Standard Form of Contract for Decoration, Repair and MaintenanceWorks This Standard Form of Contract is designed for smallscale decoration, repair and maintenance projects witha project sum of up to HK$400,000 without professionalconsultancy service. It is being sold by the HKIS Secretariat Office at HK$20 per set (2 copies) andavailable in English or Chinese. I am pleased to inform you that this Form of Contract has been referred to in the recent issue of Choice Magazine (No. 399) published bythe Consumer Council. We would appreciate if member scould help promote this Form of Contract to your clients and working partners. In fact, it can be used even if aproject is under professional consultancy service!