The Housing Electronic Building Records Online System (HeBROS) is a document management system available under the e-services of the Hong Kong Housing Authority that allows users to view and request copies of approved plans and related documents of properties owned and divested by the housing authority.

Background and Problem   The government plays a major role in the housing market in Hong Kong. The principal administrator of the public housing program, the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HKHA), provides homes to 2.13 million people under the public rental housing (PRH) portfolio and 1.16 million people under its subsidized home-ownership scheme. In the recent years, with redirection of HKHA priorities toward the revitalisation of homeownership through the secondary market scheme, more people take interest in acquiring building records when altering and renovating homes divested to them by the housing authority.

The HKHA, in recognition of the growing demand for better, faster, and more efficient delivery of services, started adopting information and communication technologies (ICTs) measures to continuously review and improve a variety of its frontline services. One area of focus is the accessibility of public documents such as building records, occupation permits, and other related documents of properties managed and divested by the housing authority.  

Solution and Impact To make the process of securing building records for properties owned and transferred by the HKHA easier and more convenient, the Independent Checking Unit (ICU) of the office developed a customer-oriented system called Housing Electronic Building Records Online System (HeBROS) which allows users to inspect approved plans and documents of building completed by the HKHA and to place orders for copies of these plans and documents, including occupation permits without inspection first. Building records covered by the system are those from public rental housing (PRH) and Home Ownership Scheme (HOS) courts and relegated properties.

There are over 270,000 records available in the system that people may access when they need to make building work design according to the provisions of the Building Ordinance or when they have related work to do, i.e. repairing and improving a property, applying for a license, and altering and renovating. HeBROS allows the public to save time because document requests can be made and paid online anytime, anywhere, without needing to visit an office to order copies of building records. The delivery of ordered copies only takes several days. Boasting that the system has zero downtime, the ICU informed that HeBROS accommodates an average of more than 200 inquiries and copy orders each month. Other government offices may also access the system using distributed tokens.

Milestones The ICU reported that there are currently over 2,300 registered users of HeBROS. Starting  November 12, 2018, new features to support mobile services and mandatory building and window inspection scheme (MBIS/MWIS) case submission status search were added.