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Leaking confidential information on potential projects

CS034 (Case 166)
Trades / Industries:

A senior engineer of a construction consulting firm, who had obtained the information of a large scale private housing development project through participating in its planning work, attempted to make money by selling the restricted information.


The senior engineer sought his brother's help to carry out the plot.  Before formal invitations for tenders were made public, the senior engineer's brother approached a middleman and asked him to look for a contractor who would be interested in the project.  He said he had restricted information to offer which could assist the tenderer to obtain the contract.  In return, he asked for 10% of the contract price as a reward and promised to share part of the profits with the middleman.

Case Analysis

The senior engineer might breach the Rules of Conduct of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, which require an engineer to safeguard confidential information in relation to his employer and to refrain from receiving any advantage for disclosing such information or making use of it for personal gain.


Being an employee of his company, the senior engineer might also breach Section 9 of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance if he received an advantage to leak confidential information.  The offeror of such advantage would also breach the same law.


Although the advantage was solicited by the senior engineer's brother, the senior engineer himself could still be liable to the charge of a corruption offence as the advantage was to be received on his behalf.

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