The ban will prevent OAP from bidding for about 20 consultancy agreements in the next three months and also puts at risk the firm’s bids for a further HK$100m (£10.3m) of projects currently being assessed.
The Development Bureau said that OAP did not comply with the terms of a government consultancy agreement in obtaining prior approval for undertaking a private development project, and did not follow strictly the company’s internal procedures in preventing improper use of information. This resulted in information obtained from the government consultancy agreement being quoted in the planning application of the private development project, said the bureau.
A memorandum has been issued by the Development Bureau requesting that all works and related departments remind consultants to comply strictly with the "confidentiality" and "conflict of interest" provisions in consultancy agreements.
A statement from the Development Bureau said: “We consider that temporary suspension of tendering by OAP in respect of all categories of consultancy agreements under the jurisdiction of the Engineering & Associated Consultants Selection Board for three months (from November 7, 2016 to February 6, 2017) is a proper penalty that will bring certain impact on the company.”
The Engineering & Associated Consultants Selection Board is chaired by the director of civil engineering and development, with members drawn from the Development Bureau and the Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau.
The Development Bureau anticipates that there will be about 20 consultancy agreements for which tenders will be invited between now and February next year. OAP will not be allowed to participate in the tenders.
For agreements currently under tender assessment, the tender assessment panels of the government departments will assess OAP’s submissions in detail “and seriously consider whether these tenders should be further processed”. The total value of these consultancy agreements is about HK$100m (£10.3m).