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Speech by CS at Annual Dinner of Hong Kong Institute of Facility Management cum Presentation Ceremony (English only)
     Following is the speech by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, at the Annual Dinner of the Hong Kong Institute of Facility Management cum Presentation Ceremony of the Excellence in Facility Management Award 2017 today (October 31):

Edmond (President of the Hong Kong Institute of Facility Management, Dr Edmond Cheng), Council Members of the Hong Kong Institute of Facility Management, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen,

     It gives me great pleasure to join you all tonight at the Annual Dinner cum Presentation Ceremony of the Excellence in Facility Management Award 2017 organised by the Hong Kong Institute of Facility Management (HKIFM).

     First of all, my warmest congratulations to the winners of this year's Award!  The HKIFM has been organising the Excellence in Facility Management Award since 2010.  The increasing number of nominations and awardees reflects the continuing expansion of the facility management industry over the years as well as the recognition by stakeholders and the community at large of the Award and the Institute's success in staging such a meaningful event for the industry.  I also express my gratitude to the Judging Panel for their hard work in completing a challenging task and contributing their valuable advice in the process of adjudication.

     As announced by the Chief Executive, Mrs Carrie Lam, in her maiden Policy Address earlier this month, this term of Government is determined to develop Hong Kong into a liveable city.  Our people's aspiration for a liveable city has grown in step with social development.  Among all necessary elements, quality facility management is an indispensable building block that makes up a quality city, where people will be keen to stay and make it their home.  To this end, the HKIFM provides a valuable platform for facility management professionals of different disciplines to provide training, enhance professional standards, promote facility management techniques and know-how, and develop ties and mutual recognition with other facility management organisations in Hong Kong, the Asia-Pacific region and even worldwide.

     The excellence awards under the 12 categories to be presented tonight cover commercial buildings, shopping malls, residential buildings as well as declared monuments.  The Award recognises excellent facility management in Hong Kong and the wider Asia-Pacific region.  Each award affirms the strenuous efforts made by each recipient and the remarkable achievement of the Hong Kong facility management industry in the past year, achieving the objective of the facility management profession, that is, integrating people, work process and physical assets to serve the strategic objectives.

      These awards echo well with the Government's policy on developing a quality city that is well managed and equipped with various public facilities.  Our standard of city management has always been acclaimed internationally.  As one of the safest cities in the world, Hong Kong attaches great importance to safeguarding the safety of our citizens' homes.  With this in mind, we have put in great efforts to promote the maintenance of our ageing building stock over the years.  There are over 5 000 residential and composite buildings aged 50 years or more in Hong Kong.  Without timely inspection and maintenance, they will pose hazards to both the residents and passers-by.  The Operation Building Bright initiative launched in 2009 has largely been completed, benefiting 3 000 buildings.  To further improve our building stock, thereby safeguarding public safety, we plan to launch Operation Building Bright 2.0 at a cost of around $3 billion.  The initiative will adopt a risk-based approach, focusing on the most needy owners and providing more targeted assistance.  Subsidy will be provided to owner-occupiers of aged residential or composite buildings with rateable values not exceeding the prescribed level for undertaking primarily inspections of their buildings and repair works as required under the Mandatory Building Inspection Scheme.

     Apart from structural safety, enhancing fire safety of old buildings is also critical in protecting lives and properties.  In view of this, the Government also plans to devote about $2 billion to subsidise owners of old composite buildings to undertake fire safety enhancement measures as required by the Fire Safety (Buildings) Ordinance.

     We hope to launch Operation Building Bright 2.0 and the subsidy scheme for fire safety works in the second half of next year to assist owners in tackling structural hazards and enhancing the fire safety standards of their buildings.  In addition, the Urban Renewal Authority (URA) is carrying out a study on the Building Rehabilitation Strategy with a view to prolonging the serviceable lifespan of buildings and arresting urban decay.  The URA is also setting up a one-stop Building Rehabilitation Platform, with the participation of professional bodies and members of the industry, to provide comprehensive information and technical assistance to owners.

     The enactment of the Property Management Services Ordinance in June 2016 and the appointments to the Property Management Services Authority in December 2016 are important milestones in providing a legislative framework to regulate and promote the development of the property management industry.  In implementing the regulatory regime, the Property Management Services Authority will engage with stakeholders, including those in the facility management and property management fields.  I am delighted to note that many associations in these fields, including the HKIFM, have been offering constructive views to the Authority.  I look forward to the further co-operation among the Government, the Property Management Services Authority, and the facility management and property management industries for early implementation of the regulatory regime to achieve a "win-win-win" situation.

     Apart from promoting quality facility management, the facility management industry also provides an increasing number of employment opportunities for people of varied education background and, more importantly, quality job opportunities to facilitate the development of their career path.  This ties in well with our policy objective of nurturing a wider pool of talent of diverse expertise to sustain the economic and social development of Hong Kong.  The Government will assume a more active role in planning our human resources.  We will establish the Commission for the Planning of Human Resources, to be chaired by me, early next year.  The Commission will consolidate the resources and efforts of the Government and various sectors such as the business, education and professional sectors, and collectively formulate, examine, co-ordinate and take forward policies on human resources in a holistic manner.  Through this initiative, we aim to ensure that our human resources will cater for the short-, medium- and long-term development needs of Hong Kong and keep up with our country's latest developments as well as the evolving trends in the global market.  This will enable our citizens to seize the manifold and enormous opportunities ahead for upward mobility.  The Government will also draw up a talent list for attracting professionals to Hong Kong in a more effective manner to support our development as a high value-added and diversified economy.  We welcome any views and suggestions from facility management professionals on how our planning of human resources for the industry and Hong Kong should be taken forward.

     With the mission of promoting facility management as one of the leading disciplines and professions in the management of built asset and facilities in the territory, the Institute will certainly continue its unrelenting efforts in fostering and promoting good facility and city management in Hong Kong.  My congratulations again to the awardees and the Institute on the successful staging of this year's event.  I wish you all continued success in the years ahead.

     Thank you.
Ends/Tuesday, October 31, 2017
Issued at HKT 21:27
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