Speech at Establishment Subcommittee

Proposed creation of one supernumerary post of Deputy Chief Fire Officer (DS(C)1 or D1- equivalent) in the Fire Services Department with immediate effect upon approval of the Finance Committee up to 31 March 2025 to supervise the amendment of the Fire Safety (Buildings) Ordinance (Cap. 572) and steer the implementation of measures related to policies on enhancing fire safety of old buildings

Mr CHAN Chun-ying noted that the main duties of the proposed supernumerary post included formulation of a suitable mechanism of default works and implementation plan. Since the candidate must, in addition to being knowledgeable of and experienced in fire safety, gain an understanding on BD’s enforcement requirements in relation to planning, design and construction of buildings, he enquired whether the Administration would consider selecting a suitable multi-disciplinary candidate among the serving staff of FSD and BD to take up the proposed post.

The Administration explained that the candidate for the proposed post had to be equipped with the relevant professional knowledge of and experience in fire safety and fire engineering, as well as the policies of FSD. Hence, it would be more appropriate for the candidate of the post to be selected within FSD.

Measures for assisting buildings in complying with Fire Safety Directions

Mr CHAN Chun-ying noted that as at 31 March 2022, FSD and BD had inspected about 10 130 target buildings and issued over 315 000 Directions in total. Among the Directions issued, about 60% were yet to be complied with or required follow-up action. He was concerned whether the Administration would set phased or specific work targets for the progress to be made in processing the Directions yet to be complied with or followed up over the next three years.

The Administration responded that the Administration had been providing owners with assistance, in the financial and technical aspects as well as in terms of coordination among owners, for their compliance with Directions. The Government would, on the premise that basic fire safety would not be compromised, adopt a flexible and pragmatic approach in handling each individual case and roll out facilitation measures to help target buildings solve their technical difficulties. The compliance rate had risen in recent years as a result of the aforementioned assistance. The Government would continue to conduct timely review of the feasibility of introducing other assistance and facilitation measures.