Procuring professional housing maintenance services

Terence Yat Ming Lam*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study aims to develop an evaluation model for public managers in Hong Kong to assist in the procurement of best value consultants for professional housing maintenance services as part of the privatisation process.

The model developed is termed the “strategic evaluation model”, in which the strategic objective of improving the efficiency and effectiveness of resources through privatisation is used as the basis for evaluation. A value for money (VFM) ratio can represent both efficiency and effectiveness. This ratio refers to the output service quality versus the input costs, which are assessed independently. Production and transaction costs are quantitative figures, and as such the key issue in the analysis is the forecast of the output quality. It was hypothesized that there was a correlation between output quality and input management and economic factors. A triangulation methodology was used to develop and test out the correlation whereby the literature review and qualitative interviews with the maintenance consultancy management practitioners of the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HKHA) were used to generate the hypothesis, which was then tested by quantitative regression, using data from the maintenance consultancies of the Authority. The hypothesis was validated, and hence an authentic, objective evaluation model was substantiated.

The main hypothesis was “In evaluating the competitive consultants for providing professional services for housing maintenance, the decision approach to ensuring the optimum use of resources can be determined by an objective comparison of the value for money of the respective services”. The sub‐hypotheses considered the relationships between output service quality and individual input factors of competition level, past performance, project leadership and quality benchmarking. The results of the qualitative and quantitative studies confirmed and validated the hypotheses, and hence substantiated the strategic evaluation model which is based on objective VFM assessment.

Research limitations/implications
While the model was developed in the context of housing maintenance in the Hong Kong Housing Authority, it can form the baseline from which further research can build to provide an evaluation model for procuring property management and construction professional and contractor services in many other public‐ and private‐sector settings.

Practical implications
The weighted quality and price assessment method previously used is unable to obtain value services. This combined assessment method should therefore be replaced by the strategic model in order to achieve an optimum use of resources.

This paper establishes an evaluation framework for public managers to obtain best value services and hence ensure optimum use of resources in outsourcing of those facilities management (FM) services.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1/2
Pages (from-to)33-53
Number of pages21
Issue number1/2
Publication statusPublished - 2008

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