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LCQ9: Declaration of investments by civil servants

Following is a question by the Hon Ng Leung-sing and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr W K Lam, in the Legislative Council today (Wednesday):

Question:

Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of key government officials holding Tier I posts who failed to comply with the requirements to declare personal investments and financial interests within the prescribed period in the past three years, and the reasons for and details of such non-compliance cases;

(b) whether it has taken disciplinary actions against the above government officials who were in default of declaration; if so, of the details of such actions; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) whether it has reviewed if the prescribed period for declaration is reasonable; if it has, of the results of the review; if it has not, of the reasons for that?

Reply:

Madam President,

The existing system for declaration of investments by civil servants was introduced in September 1998. Under the system, 27 key posts in the Government are designated as Tier I posts. Officers holding Tier I posts are required to declare annually their personal investments and financial interests to the Civil Service Bureau (CSB). In addition to the regular declaration, they should also report to CSB any single investment transaction equivalent to or exceeding HK$200,000, within seven days of the transaction. CSB is responsible for seeking and examining declaration returns from these officers and maintaining the register of financial interests for public inspection.

As key Government officials. Tier I officers are mindful of the importance of strict compliance with the prescribed declaration requirements. Since the introduction of the new requirements in 1998, all Tier I officers submitted their declarations according to instructions and within the time frame agreed by CSB. No officer was disciplined for not complying with the instructions.

The CSB has recently reviewed the prescribed declaration periods for Tier I officers. It is considered that they are appropriate and no change is necessary at the present stage.

End/Wednesday, January 12, 2000
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