PAPER NO. HA 40/2005
THE HONG KONG HOUSING AUTHORITY
Memorandum for the Housing Authority
Total Maintenance Scheme
To seek Members’ endorsement on the proposed “Total
Maintenance Scheme” to improve estate maintenance services in public housing
2. It is one of the Housing Authority (HA)’s corporate objectives that
we should manage and maintain our assets with a view to maximizing their
economic life and contribution. Though common and external areas in public
housing estates are generally maintained in good conditions, the standard of
maintenance inside public housing flats is less satisfactory. This paper
attempts to work out a total approach for maintenance of public housing estates.
NEED FOR A SERVICE-ORIENTED CULTURE
3. To meet the rising expectations from our tenants, we consider that
there is a need to foster a service-oriented culture among our staff and all
service providers. In developing the Total Maintenance Scheme, we aim to lay
a foundation towards this target.
THE TOTAL MAINTENANCE SCHEME
4. This Total Maintenance Scheme sets out our proposed approach to
providing a more cost effective and customer-oriented maintenance service to
our tenants. The scheme is intended to develop comprehensive and proactive
service delivery methods and systems to improve housing maintenance and
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5. The Total Maintenance Scheme is to establish a comprehensive
maintenance service orientated around excellence in customer service featuring
a proactive in-flat inspection and enhanced service to tenants’ requests for
repairs. The three main approaches to the Total Maintenance Scheme as
diagrammatically illustrated in the Annex are as follows –
(a) proactive and comprehensive approach to identify maintenance
(b) prompt response to emergencies and tenants’ requests for repairs;
(c) enhanced promotional and educational programmes.
6. With the implementation of the Total Maintenance Scheme, it is
envisaged that more positive results can be achieved in the following areas –
(a) higher level of tenants’ satisfaction;
(b) better quality and effectiveness of repair and maintenance works;
(c) lower operations costs through reduction of bureaucratic
procedures and work processes to eliminate repeated occurrence of
(d) enhanced staff morale and self esteem with greater confidence in
dealing with problems and complaints; and
(e) enhanced corporate image for HA.
7. Tenants’ satisfaction surveys by independent survey consultants
will be carried out annually to measure the effectiveness of the scheme.
PROACTIVE AND COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH TO IDENTIFY
8. Early detection and rectification of defects will prevent
dilapidation, eliminate health and safety hazards, minimize breakdowns and
avoid unnecessary expenses on major corrective maintenance. We consider
that proactive inspections should be strengthened for timely tackling of latent
maintenance problems. Planned maintenance initiatives, as set out below, will
be taken to prevent the occurrence of more serious problems in the future.
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In-flat Inspection Ambassador
9. To ensure that building elements and services installations inside
domestic flats are maintained in a safe and serviceable condition, In-flat
Inspection Ambassadors will be appointed to carry out proactive in-flat
10. The main function of the team is to provide one-stop service for
inside flat inspection and repairs; to educate tenants on home caring and
maintenance issues; to record the maintenance conditions through flat-to-flat
inspections and to build a communication network with tenants.
11. For each In-flat Inspection Ambassador team, there will be one
In-flat Inspection Ambassador plus one works coordinator deployed from the
Term Maintenance Contractor to carry out minor repairs for the tenants. We
will engage In-flat Inspection Ambassadors from contractors/consultants and a
Headquarters Unit will be set up to look after the procurement and monitoring
process including recruitment, selection, training and performance auditing.
12. In-flat inspection will be implemented for 30 estates each year so
that all public housing rental flats will be inspected in the coming five years.
13. In parallel with the proactive in-flat inspections, there are other
frequent estate maintenance inspections, namely daily patrol by Estate
Assistants, technical inspections by District Maintenance Office staff and
maintenance appraisal by professional staff to identify building defects and
maintenance problems in common and external areas.
14. Planned maintenance programmes for the building fabric such as
spalling concrete and seepage repairs, re-roofing, re-plumbing, drainage
renewal and redecoration etc. will continue to form the basis of the planned
maintenance strategy for the common and external areas. The current
programs for cyclic testing and servicing of electrical, fire services, water
pumps and lift installations will continue under the planned maintenance
programmes to ensure reliability of these building services installations.
Dedicated Task Force for Major Maintenance Issues (MMIs)
15. From time to time, there are major maintenance issues which
arouse grave concerns from the public that require prompt and comprehensive
actions to be taken. We have in the past employed Drainage Ambassadors for
drainage inspections in 2003 to prevent the spread of SARS; set up the Building
Repair Task Force for repairing debonded tiles and formed Technical Teams for
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aluminium windows inspections. The setting up of these dedicated teams not
only enable us to respond promptly to the problems, but to ensure that necessary
precautionary measures could be taken to tackle any related latent problems.
16. To ensure any emerged MMIs, such as cantilevered structures and
building services issues, are handled in a speedy and coordinated manner, a
Chief Professional with expert knowledge on the issues will be assigned to lead
a dedicated Task Force on a need basis.
Estate Improvement Programme
17. Despite all public housing blocks are structurally safe, the building
conditions of the aged estates are deteriorating and a new strategy for sustaining
existing PRH blocks and comprehensive structural investigation for aged public
housing estates was recently launched by the HA. In carrying out the
necessary maintenance works to sustain the aged public housing estates, which
are identified structurally safe through the structural appraisal programme,
opportunity will be taken to study and implement Estate Improvement
Programme to enhance the living environment of these estates.
18. Multi-disciplinary teams with professional supports from the
Development and Construction Division (DCD) will be set up to
comprehensively review the improvement needs of the older housing estates.
Provisions for access, landscaping, elderly facilities, recreational and sports
facilities etc. will be studied with reference to the demographic profile of the
estate and in consultation with the Estate Management Advisory Committee
Enhanced Research and Development
19. A flat-to-flat maintenance database will be set up to record the
maintenance history. The database will provide much useful information for
future research and development as well as the preparation of the maintenance
and improvement programme and budget. A works requests and complaints
database will also be established to assist the management in maintenance
planning and financial monitoring.
20. With these technical databases, experienced technical subject
experts will be appointed to focus their efforts in knowledge and technology
updating in a specialized area with a view to bringing about enhancement to our
maintenance operations. For example, a more comprehensive approach would
be adopted for ceiling seepage and spalling repairs rather than simple patch
repairs with a view to improving durability and effectiveness.
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21. Research and Development in maintenance technology will also be
strengthened. Opportunities for improving design and construction quality such
as building performance, life cycle costing and efficiency of services systems
etc. will be communicated regularly to the design team in feedback sessions.
22. To further strengthen the liaison between Estate Management
Division and DCD, the Liaison Group on Construction Quality will be steered
by Deputy Director (Development and Construction), aiming to further
improving the construction quality, durability and maintainability of buildings.
PROMPT RESPONSE TO EMERGENCIES AND TENANTS’
23. Majority of the complaints received by the department are related
to maintenance and repair services. In order to deliver a quality housing
service that meets our tenants’ expectations, a number of initiatives will be
taken as elaborated in the ensuing paragraphs.
24. A hotline service will be set up to improve the efficiency in
handling maintenance requests and complaints. It will also serve to demonstrate
our commitment in providing good and efficient services to our tenants, and at
the same time fostering a pro-active corporate image. Service improvement is
expected through –
(a) providing a one-stop service for tenants at the hotline centre from
receiving complaints and requests to clearing of complaint cases
(b) speeding up actions on tenant’s maintenance requests by
re-engineering the minor day-to-day repair procedures to shorten
waiting time for inspection/repair, streamlining of
communication/workflow, and tightening up the monitoring on
contractors’ progress of work; and
(c) enabling management to closely monitor the system effectiveness
in handling complaint cases up to the satisfactory completion of
maintenance works through a central complaint monitoring system.
Feedback from tenants on the service satisfaction level will be
sought and followed up.
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25. To support the implementation of the Maintenance Hotline, we will
also review and enhance the following processes –
(a) repair procedures for fair, wear and tear items inside flats once
(b) provision of tenant-to-pay services for items not falling within the
scope of fair, wear and tear;
(c) emergency services to ensure early recovery in case of breakdown;
(d) protective measures for works inside flats to minimize nuisance.
Proactive Public Relations Management
26. It is necessary to strengthen our crisis management capacity to
enable us to handle public and media enquiries promptly and positively on
major incidents occurred in estates. Dedicated senior professionals are
appointed as Customer Service Co-ordinators to collate inputs from relevant
offices, handle the issue from the tenants’ perspective and report accurately to
senior management for consideration in addressing the public’s concern.
27. Communication with tenants will be strengthened with wider use
of the HA Channel to ensure policies and issues affecting the tenants are widely
publicized. Special feature articles will be placed in local newspapers on the
proper maintenance of building works and building services installations in
public housing estates and ensure that any dubious points are clarified before
they turn into some misunderstanding. Regular reporting on follow-up actions
to complaints and works requests will be made to the public to enhance the
transparency of our operations.
28. We will continue to gauge the views and expectations from various
stakeholders, including LegCo and District Council Members; Owners’
Committees; EMACs; government departments; non-government organisations;
social workers; utilities companies; contractors and local community on our
maintenance services frequently. The information gathered will form an
important basis in formulating our maintenance strategy.
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Management and Monitoring of Property Service Agents and Maintenance
29. The performance of Property Service Agents (PSAs) and
maintenance contractors is a crucial factor for delivery of quality services to our
tenants. We propose to enhance the management and monitoring of PSAs and
maintenance contractors as follows –
(a) to review the tendering and awarding process so that only
competent PSAs and maintenance contractors are selected;
(b) to streamline the quality auditing and performance verification
process so that it is more consistent, fair and proactive for
(c) to provide supportive guidance, coaching and training for PSAs
and maintenance contractors;
(d) to request PSAs and maintenance contractors to deploy a customer
services manager for each contract;
(e) to tighten the List Management functions, including more stringent
and timely regulatory actions against adversely performing PSAs
and maintenance contractors;
(f) to cultivate a partnering relationship among the tenants, PSAs and
maintenance contractors for quality property management and
maintenance services for the existing housing portfolio; and
(g) to review the contract renewal strategy so that continuity of quality
services can be maintained.
ENHANCED PROMOTIONAL AND EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMME
Publicity and Tenant Education Programme
30. Publicity on home care should continue to promote our in-flat
inspection service, to motivate tenants’ participation in home caring and
reporting defects, to assist them to identify the typical defects, and to educate
the tenants on proper usage of sanitary fitments and installations inside flats and
in public areas. A comprehensive promotional and educational plan will be
worked out to promote the Total Maintenance Scheme in order to win the
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support from the tenants and general public.
31. To create greater impact on the public, various means of publicity
including pamphlets, posters, road shows, HA channel, tea gatherings with
tenants and setting up local Maintenance Education Paths are to be carried out
under the publicity programme of Total Maintenance Scheme.
32. To manage the expectations from tenants, it is necessary to clearly
communicate to tenants our service level and performance pledges. Policy
guidelines concerning tenants’ rights and obligations such as “Tenant-To-Pay”
items should be reviewed and promulgated to all staff and tenants.
Enhancement of Customer Services
33. A customer-focused service requires our staff to be committed to
customer care. Customer services seminars are arranged for professional and
technical staff to instill a sense of quality and commitment to customer services.
In-house seminars will be held by inviting staff to share their experience in the
delivery of quality works and services. To reinforce the sense of partnership,
we will collaborate with contractors and consultants in jointly organizing
34. Our partnering contractors will be required to enhance customer
services, particularly on punctuality, communication, politeness, workmanship,
site safety, protection and trade test requirements to support the implementation
of the Total Maintenance Scheme. This will be supplemented by the system of
Quality Maintenance Contractors and the Department’s supervision procedures,
performance verification and in-house staff training which are already in place.
FINANCIAL AND STAFFING IMPLICATIONS
35. A Headquarters Unit will be set up to drive the new initiatives.
The Unit will be headed by a Chief Maintenance Surveyor, with the support of
22 professional and technical staff Note and four clerical staff. The staff
requirements will be met through internal redeployment. The notional staff
cost is estimated to be $19.9M per annum.
36. Other costs for implementing the Total Maintenance Scheme are as
Other supporting staff include 1 Senior Maintenance Surveyor, 4 Maintenance Surveyors, 1 Chief
Technical Officer, 1 Senior Clerk of Works, 4 Clerks of Works, 8 Assistant Clerks of Works, 1 Building
Services Engineer and 2 Building Services Inspectors.
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(a) works expenditure for all maintenance and repair works generated
by the proposed initiatives is estimated to be $1,257M per annum,
amounting to $6.3B over a five-year period. Funds are available
in the Estate Operating Accounts, with breakdowns as follows –
- planned maintenance works - $512M per annum;
- estate improvement programme - $320M per annum;
- MMIs - $169M per annum; and
- minor maintenance and repairs - $256M per annum.
(b) cost for hiring In-flat Inspection Ambassador Teams is estimated to
be $18.2M per annum.
(c) expenditure for logistic support is estimated to be $6.5M,
- equipment and system costs for the In-flat Inspections, Hotline
and Maintenance History database - $4.8M;
- research and development costs - $1.2M per annum; and
- publicity and Tenant Education Programme - $0.5M.
CONSULTATION AND IMPLEMENTATION PLAN
37. Consultation with EMAC Members on the Total Maintenance
Scheme would be carried out in two months’ time. We expect that the Scheme
will be well received by EMAC Members. We aim to implement the proposed
initiatives from 1 January 2006.
PUBLIC REACTION AND PUBLICITY
38. The public housing tenants would welcome measures to enhance
maintenance services to them. We would promote the Total Maintenance
Scheme as a comprehensive approach in identifying maintenance problems and
improving the quality and effectiveness of our repair and maintenance services.
We would also emphasize the importance of cooperation from tenants and other
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39. Enhancing customer services would be appreciated by our tenants
but it would also raise their expectations. We are confident that these
expectations can be met.
40. It is recommended that the three main approaches to implement the
Total Maintenance Scheme as highlighted in paragraph 5 be endorsed.
41. At the meeting of the Housing Authority to be held on
25 October 2005, Members will be requested to approve –
(a) the recommendation to implement the Total Maintenance Scheme
(paragraph 40); and
(b) the consultation and implementation plan (paragraph 37).
Secretary, Housing Authority
Tel. No.: 2761 5003
Fax No.: 2762 1110
File Ref. : HD(MB) MII 10/1/1
(Estate Management Division)
Date : 20 October 2005
Total Maintenance Scheme Framework