A number of engineers attending a recruitment exam for “Engineer’s Person-In-Charge” (EPIC) at MTR Corporation were allegedly given the answers beforehand.
Adjudicators were said to have offered tips during the examination as well ensured that the engineers gave the correct answers, Apple Daily reported, citing unnamed MTR staff members.
The railway company said it was very concerned about the report.
It said it will launch an investigation to determine if there was any infringement of standards and norms and take appropriate action in line with internal procedures.
It did not elaborate on the potential course of action.
Secretary for Transport and Housing Frank Chan said the Electrical and Mechanical Services Department is following up on the matter, stressing that public safety cannot be compromised.
The department also said it is very concerned about the report and that it has demanded an investigation and a detailed report from the rail firm, to ensure strict adherence to the MTRC regulations and guidelines during examinations.
Lawmaker Lam Cheuk-ting described the incident as “dreadful” and not acceptable if proven true.
To Kwong-yan, chairman of the MTRC Staff Union, said the subordinate engineers will face great danger if the EPICs are not qualified.
Cheating was unheard of in the previous exams, To said.
One of the possible reasons for the cheating is to pass more attendants so as to resolve the staff shortage, the Apple Daily report suggested.
According to MTRC rules, employees are required to attend courses, take exams, go through internships and oral exam before they can be qualified as EPICs. There are also regular and surprise assessments after they are qualified.
EPICs are responsible for the safety of the maintenance staff who enter the rail track facilities, but not directly involved in the maintenance works.
Employees who deceive MTRC management with false statements, resulting in damages to the company, may be deemed in breach of the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance.