Ethical Management Seminar for Testing and Certification Industry was organized by Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification (HKCTC), Hong Kong Accreditation Service (HKAS), Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and Vocational Training Council (VTC) on 3 Nov 2011. The seminar aimed to enhance the awareness of ethic in T&C industry and introduced the new Code of Conduct guideline in HKAS. The content of seminar was summarized as follows.
Beginning, Prof. CHING Pak-chung (Chairman of HKCTC) gave welcoming remarks. He said that Testing & Certification Industry had a good foundation in two levels. The first level was to maintain competitive edge of four potential trades. The second level was our ethic system to provide reliable service since ICAC established.
Then Mr. TSE Man-shing (Director of Corruption Prevention of ICAC) gave opening remarks that Justice is the core value in Hong Kong. He introduced the new Corruption Prevention Guide for Testing and Certification Industry which was established by ICAC which partner with HKCTC and HKAS.
All guests took a group photo.
First session was "Experience Sharing by Trade Representatives".
The first speaker was Mr. Michael LEE (Chairman of Association of Construction Materials Laboratories) and his presentation was “Experience Sharing on Construction Material Testing”.
Mr. Lee introduced Association of Construction Materials Laboratories which was established in July 1990 with 12 largest Construction Material Laboratories in Hong Kong. The business covered 90% of the local construction material testing. Mr. Lee shared four cases below.
Case 1: Concrete Slump (site test)
The problem wass to make up result without performing the test and measurement. They proposed the solutions such as taking video, retaining test sample and frequently site visit by supervisor.
Case 2: Concrete Cube
The problem was same as case 1 and exchange of sample. They solved the problem by using computer print out result, taking video, signed on sample sticker or using RFID, as well as retaining sample for a few days.
Case 3: Steel Reinforcement and Structural Steel
The problem wass also to make up result without test and exchange of sample. The solutions were same as case 2.
Case 4: Sand Replacement Test
The problem identified that hole was not dug and makeup result. The proposed solution was taken three photos: before test, after digging the hole and after test.
Case 5: Non-Destructive Testing on Welds
The problem was to sprayed white and black paints without test. The solution was proposed to take more photos and supervisor to check capacity and site visit.
Finally, Mr. Lee suggested the ultimate solutions as follows:
1. Pay by developer through architect or consultant
2. Report send to architect or consultant directly, not through contractor.
The second speaker was Mr. Chapman CHAN (General Committee member of Hong Kong Association for Testing, Inspection and Certification) and his topic entitled “Ethical Management Seminar (Experience Sharing)”.
First of all, Mr. Chan introduced HKTIC which established in 1981 and now has 60 member companies. Recently, HKTIC started a Professional Certification Scheme for Testing Personnel (PCSTP) for industry practitioners.
Then Mr. Chan shared three cases to us.
Case 1: A Sealed Envelope
During on site system audit, a sealed envelope was suddently passed by the factory representative. Mr. Lee said it should be reject immediately.
Case 2: Suspicious Behaviour
During on site product inspection, inspector demonstrated furious face and unfriendly comments. The factory representative might be misled to corrupt the inspector. Mr. Lee suggested the factory representative should call the inspection company for compliant.
Case 3: An Indecent Request
For in-house product test but the result was failed. Customer call expressed the anxiety to get a pass result. Mr. Lee suggested to explain the test situate to customer and assist them to improve their product until it fulfilled the requirement.
Then he briefed an effective ethical management system should included "Code of Ethics", "Self-Declaration", "Education and Propagation" and "Monitoring and Surveillance". Finally, he concluded that ethical culture earns credibility and it is the differential competitive edge.
After tea break, there were two speaker from HKAS and ICAC to introduce the new practice.
The third speaker was Mr. WONG Wang-wah (Executive Administrator of HKAS) and his topic entitled “New HKAS Supplementary Criteria on Code of Conduct”.
A new HKAS Supplementary Criteria No. 6 on Code of Conduct was published on 3 November 2011. Accredited organisations are required to establish and implement a code of conduct based on their own circumstances. Accredited organisations shall comply with the requirements of this document after 3 February 2012.
In the clause 5.12, accreditation organization should have a clear policy in writing about Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (Cap 201) by its staff. It shall document and implement a code of conduct in accordance with this supplementary criteria.
The code of conduct shall cover, but not limited to, the items in the following photo.
Mr. Wong said HKAS executive would evaluate the effective implementation of the code of conduct in assessment visits. Other requirement such as HOKLAS SC No.11 & 36; HKIAS SC No.1, 2 & 3; and HKCAS SC No.2 had similar requirement of establishing a system to safeguard against any impropriety manner.
The last speaker was Ms. Rita LIAW (Assistant Director of Corruption Prevention of ICAC) and her presentation named “The ICAC Model of Ethical Management”
Ms. Liaw concerned Reliability, Consistency and Impartiality in T&C Industry.
She identified some external temptation at work such as acceptance of advantage included product sample, loan, part-time job and hospitality; and external advantage for competition included offering discount and bribes.
For internal, abuse of trust was a threats such as preparing reports and procurement. Conflict of interest was another threat.
Then she introduced the Integrity Management Framework which stated the "Key to Success" was cooperated among Staff Integrity, Code of Conduct and Internal Control.
Corporate culture building was very important to implement this Integrity Management Framework included Leadership, System Safeguards, and Reward & Punishment.
After that Ms. Liaw introduced the new corruption prevention guide, which had 114 recommended measures for good governance principles. There were involved four operation areas such as "Sales and Marketing", "Handling of Samples", "Inspections" and "Security of Reports and Certificates".
At the end, she mentioned the ICAC Model of Ethical Management as follow:
Code of Conduct
During Open Forum for discussion, Prof. KWAN Hoi-shan (Chairman of Accreditation Advisory Board of HKAS) was forum moderator.
One of questions was interesting. If suspected corruption case happened, did ICAC or HKAS to be informed first? Ms. Liaw said it should be considered the legislation first. Mr. Wong added the organization should provide a reason why not inform to HKAS timely. I guessed that it might be cooperated with ICAC for investigation.
ICAC guide book - http://www.icac.org.hk/filemanager/en/Content_1031/t_and_c.pdf
HKAS Supplementary Criteria No. 6 on Code of Conduct - http://www.itc.gov.hk/en/quality/hkas/doc/SupplementaryCriteria/HKAS_SC006.pdf