Following is a speech by the Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mrs Fanny Law, in moving the second reading of the Boilers and Pressure Vessels (Amendment) Bill 2001 in the Legislative Council today (May 9):
I move the second reading of the Boilers and Pressure Vessels (Amendment) Bill 2001.
The Bill aims to remove the ambiguities under the Boilers and Pressure Vessels Ordinance and the Boilers and Pressure Vessels Regulations and make other technical amendments.
The Boilers and Pressure Vessels Ordinance controls the use and operation of boilers and pressure vessels and provides for the holding of enquiries in case of accidents. It requires boilers and steam receivers within its coverage to be operated under the direct supervision of a "competent person" who should possess a certificate of competency issued by the Boilers and Pressure Vessels Authority (the Authority), who at present is the Commissioner for Labour. The Authority is empowered to collect fees to cover the cost in respect of certificates of competency.
In 1997, when proposals on review of fees and charges were examined by the then Legislative Council, ambiguities were identified in the provisions relating to the charging of fees under the Ordinance. The Administration undertook to review and clarify the relevant provisions in the Ordinance and the Regulations.
We now propose to introduce legislative amendments to clarify various fee charging and refund arrangements. In particular, the Bill expressly provides that the Authority may charge fees for conducting examinations, endorsement of an existing certificate, and general recovery of expenditure without being limited to the costs incurred in respect of each application. It also specifies the circumstances under which a certificate may be issued, endorsed or revoked and fees refunded. The issue or endorsement of a certificate will require the production of evidence or the passing of an examination to satisfy the Authority that the applicant is a fit and proper person with substantial experience, skill and knowledge in the operation of the classes and types of boilers and pressure vessels concerned. In line with other provisions of the Ordinance, the Bill also provides access to the Administrative Appeals Board for persons who may be aggrieved by administrative decisions in relation to the issue, endorsement or revocation of certificates under the Ordinance.
The proposed amendments are largely technical in nature and will not affect the existing control over the use and operation of boilers and pressure vessels. I recommend the Bill to honourable members.
Thank you, Madam President.
End/Wednesday, May 9, 2001