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Expedition of payment

CS067-01 (Case 133)
Trades / Industries:

A Government Department (the Department) awarded a slope maintenance  contract  to  Chongs  Construction  Company  Ltd,  which  then sub-contracted the works to JKW Subcontracting Company (JKW), of which CHEUNG was the proprietor.


From time to time, the Department issued to the contractor works orders (WOs) describing the work required, location and estimated value of the work. Upon completion of work, an Inspector of Works (IoW) of the Department would physically inspect and verify whether the work done was in compliance with the required standard.   Based on the recommendation made by the IoW, the project engineer would approve payment to the contractor by signing on the WO concerned.   He was not required to physically inspect every piece of work completed as over a hundred WOs were issued every month.


When the engineer signed on the WO, the contractor could apply for payment by submitting the WO to the Accounting Section of the Department. A contractor could only apply for payment on completion of work as certified on the WO.


In conjunction with the payment process, the Quantity Surveying Section of the Department counter-checked the work of the contractor.   However, the Quantity Surveyors of the Section could only randomly check 10% of the WOs issued.   Both the project engineer and the quantity surveyors might therefore not be able to detect abuse in relation to the WOs.


YAU was an IoW of the Department responsible for overseeing the works carried out by JKW.   In March 2000, CHEUNG approached YAU and urged YAU to expedite the checking of WOs. Hence, CHEUNG could receive payment earlier.   In return, CHEUNG offered YAU a part-time job with $8,000 a month.


Between April 2000 and December 2001, YAU accepted a part-time job from CHEUNG as a reward for expediting the checking of WOs issued to CHEUNG.   On many occasions, YAU certified work completion on the WOs though the work concerned had not even commenced.


YAU and CHEUNG were later arrested by the ICAC and were found guilty of offences under Section 4 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO).   Both YAU and CHEUNG were sentenced to imprisonment.




  1. How did YAU and CHEUNG violate Section 4 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance?
  1. Besides the offer of a part-time job, what else can be classified as an“advantage”?
  1. What should be watched out for in site supervision to prevent malpractice?

Case Analysis

Section 4 of the Prevention of Bribery  Ordinance


YAU and CHEUNG were convicted of offering/accepting an employment as a reward for abusing YAU’s official position as a public servant, contrary to Section 4 of the POBO.   Under this section, it is an offence for:

  • a public  servant  to  solicit  or  accept  any  advantage  offered  as  an inducement to or reward for any action or inaction in connection with the performance of his official duty; and
  • any person who offers such an advantage.




As stipulated in the POBO, an offer of employment or contract is defined as an advantage.   Attention should also be drawn to the fact that loans from contractors are also classified as advantages. Such dealings are often precursors to more serious corrupt arrangements and should be avoided.


Site Supervision


Site supervision is crucial in different stages of work.   Reliance on a single individual should be avoided.   Senior officers should conduct spot checks, closely monitor the quality and progress of work and keep thorough and accurate records.   The role of independent auditing should also be strengthened to provide a means to detect possible malpractice at an early stage.   In addition, corruption prevention awareness amongst all tiers of supervisory staff should be raised.

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