As part of the Government’s "Be the Smart Regulator" Programme, which aims to streamline licensing processes and reduce compliance costs for business, in December 2008 the Efficiency Unit set up a One Stop Centre (OSC) for Warehouse Construction Permits.
OSC provides a centralised office for receiving first submissions of plans and related applications as well as coordinating joint inspections for two-storey warehouses. OSC is an alternative arrangement to existing processes. Applicants, if they prefer, can opt for the existing procedures of submitting applications and applying for inspections with individual departments.
Relevant departments have implemented various regulatory reforms and streamlined the associated procedures.
With effect from February 2014, the Buildings Department undertakes to conduct inspection of the foundation bearing strata within one working day upon receipt of notification as promulgated in Practice Note for Authorized Persons, Registered Structural Engineers and Registered Geotechnical Engineers PNAP ADM-19.
For small scale building projects such as two-storey warehouses, the Buildings Department has since February 2016 combined the quality inspection to structural elements with the comprehensive inspection at superstructure construction stage into one joint inspection. The Buildings Department has further streamlined the unscheduled audit inspections. Subject to satisfactory results revealed from the initial auditing for foundation and/or superstructure works, the Department may not carry out further unscheduled audit inspections. Details of the reform measures are promulgated at the Department’s Practice Note for Authorized Persons, Registered Structural Engineers and Registered Geotechnical Engineers PNAP ADM-18 and Practice Note for Registered Contractors PNRC 49.
On 24 August 2009, the Highways Department launched the Excavation Permit Management System (XPMS), which is a new system to replace the former Utility Management System for processing Excavation Permits through internet. For registered XPMS users, the time required for processing applications for excavation permit has been reduced from 20 days to 5 days. A gazette notice has been published to announce the revised time limit for submission of applications under the XPMS.
Fire Services Department
In December 2009, the Fire Services Department reviewed and streamlined the process of handling applications for certificates of fire service installations. The Department has further shortened the processing time from 19 days to 18 days with effect from 1 January 2010 and from 18 days to 17 days with effect from 21 December 2012.
Having reviewed and streamlined the related procedures, the Lands Department has reduced the time for issuing certificates of compliance for two-storey warehouses from 21 days to 20 days with effect from 1 January 2010 and from 20 days to 19 days with effect from 21 December 2012.
Water Supplies Department
In February 2011, the Water Supplies Department reviewed and further streamlined the process of water supply applications to improve its customer service. Now, an applicant can submit both his applications for technical audit for water supply connection works and issue of Water Supplies Certificate in one go at the pre-construction stage.
For small scale building projects, the Water Supplies Department has since January 2016 established the performance pledge that water supply for two-storey warehouses is made available on the same day of satisfactory completion of the joint and final inspection. The performance pledge is published at paragraph 3.1.2 of the Department’s "Handbook on Plumbing Installation for Buildings".
Composite Form for Utilities Application/Notification
To further streamline the procedures for utility applications/notifications at the post-construction stage, the Government and some utility service providers collaborated to launch a composite form in March 2012. Now an applicant can submit applications for electricity and telecommunication services and notification to Water Supplies Department for completion of plumbing works in one go via the composite form to the OSC. Since the launch, the scope of the composite form has been extended to include more service providers. Other utility service providers are welcome to participate in the reform measure.
Click here for details of OSC and application procedures.