The basic principles governing government procurement are : open and fair competition, value for money, transparency in procedures and practices, and accountability to the public.

Tenders for public works are usually invited from contractors on the Approved Lists, i.e. selective tendering. The composition of the current Approved Contractors under the Roads and Drainage Category is shown in Figure 4. Both local and overseas contractors may apply for inclusion in the Approved Lists at any time (for details please contact the Works Branch of Development Bureau). Tenders are notified by various means such as the Government Gazette, the Works Digest (published by Works Branch of Development Bureau) and the Internet. Major contracts are notified to consulates, trade commissions and overseas offices of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.

Figure 4

Figure 4 - Composition of the List of Approved Contractors for
        Public Works under the Roads and Drainage Category

In major contracts where the works is complex and of a very high value, tenders have to be evaluated with marking scheme. Under some special circumstances and in the case of design-and-build contracts, tenderers have to go through a pre-qualification process and their tenders will be evaluated with marking schemes. Tenders are assessed on the basis of tenderers' financial and technical capabilities to undertake the work, past performance, timely delivery and the whole life costing of the project.

Decisions on the award of contracts are made by the Central Tender Board or subsidiary tender boards.

In terms of the number of public works contracts, 91 percent were awarded by selective tendering procedures, 7 percent by restricted tendering procedures and 2 percent by open tenders (Figure 5).

At present, railway projects are implemented by either the MTR Corporation Limited or the Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation. These organisations are also bound by the WTO GPA and are thus committed to open and fair tendering procedures. To obtain further information about railway projects, please contact the two railway corporations. For rail projects which do not form a natural extension of the existing network, such as SCL, we allow companies other than the two railway corporations to bid for the project. 

Figure 5

Figure 5 - Tendering for Public Works in Hong Kong