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Government to gazette Fire Services (Amendment) Bill 2016
     The Government will publish in the Gazette on Friday (November 18) the Fire Services (Amendment) Bill 2016 (the 2016 Bill).

     A spokesperson for the Security Bureau said, "To give effect to the Registered Fire Engineer (RFE) Scheme, the Fire Services (Amendment) Bill 2015 (the 2015 Bill) was introduced into the Legislative Council (LegCo) in December 2015. After detailed scrutiny of the Bill, the Bills Committee of LegCo raised no objection to the Government's plan to resume the Second Reading debate. Nevertheless, the Second Reading debate of the 2015 Bill could not be resumed before prorogation of the Fifth LegCo and the Bill lapsed automatically.

     "Given the general support for the RFE Scheme, the Government will introduce the 2016 Bill, which is by and large a replica of the 2015 Bill but incorporates the Committee Stage Amendments to the 2015 Bill as agreed by the Government and the Bills Committee."

     Currently, a person who intends to run specified types of premises has to obtain a certificate or letter issued by the Fire Services Department (FSD), certifying that the premises have complied with all relevant fire safety requirements.

     In order to facilitate business operation and make better use of professional human resources, it is proposed to implement the RFE Scheme to allow qualified persons in the market to provide fire safety risk assessment and certification services.

     Under the proposed RFE Scheme, qualified personnel may register with the FSD as RFEs, and members of the public may engage RFEs to provide fire safety certification services. The RFEs will be categorised into three classes for carrying out risk assessment, compliance inspection for fire service installations and equipment and compliance inspection for ventilating systems. Meanwhile, the FSD will continue to provide fire safety risk assessment and certification services to members of the public if the latter so prefer.

     If the Bill is passed, the Government will make subsidiary legislation setting out the implementation details of the RFE Scheme as soon as practicable for early implementation of the Scheme. 
     The Bill will be introduced into the LegCo on November 30.
Ends/Wednesday, November 16, 2016
Issued at HKT 17:38
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