The Audit Commission has urged the Buildings Department to speed up the removal of signboards identified a long time ago as unauthorized or dangerous, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.
In a report released on Wednesday, the commission said as of April, 1,414 removal orders issued for signboards had not been cleared and 425 dangerous structure removal notices (DSRNs) had not been complied with.
For any signboard issued with a DSRN or removal order, building department officers have to perform a compliance inspection within the specified period stated in the DSRN (normally 14 days) or the removal order (normally 60 days) to examine whether the removal or alteration has been done.
The department may take prosecution action against anyone who fails to comply with the DSRN or removal order without reasonable excuse.
Of the 1,414 removal orders issued for signboards, 598 have remained outstanding for more than a year, with one as long as 12 years, according to the audit report.
The report also noted that, as of April 2018, confirmed dangerous or unauthorized signboards arising from 256 public reports had not been issued with a DSRN or removal notice, and 37 percent of them have not been acted on more than 180 days after screening or inspection was conducted.
The commission recommended that the buildings department keep a comprehensive, computerized record of the progress of work related to signboard removals and warnings and take measures to ensure that prosecution action is carried out against those who fail to comply with removal orders, among other recommendations.
The director of buildings agreed with the audit recommendations.
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