Watchdog funding 'must stay'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 April, 2000, 12:00am

The security chief has made a last-ditch appeal to legislators to oppose a proposal that would scrap funding for a police watchdog and payments to informers.

The amendment will be discussed tomorrow when lawmakers vote on the Appropriation Bill, which sets funding for government spending in the coming financial year.

Democrat James To Kun-sun proposes to cut $64 million for the Complaints Against Police Office (Capo) and $105 million for special services - including payments to informants.

He said Capo had failed to be independent in investigating allegations of abuse of police power. He also hoped the Government would disclose more details on payments to informers.

In a submission to legislators, Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said Mr To's purpose in scrapping the $105 million was to demand more details.

She admitted the Government should be accountable to lawmakers, but added: 'We should strike a reasonable balance between accountability and confidentiality.

'Should Mr To's proposal be passed, it will greatly affect the operation of the police in keeping law and order.' She also said Capo did work independently as complaints were handled by a special team.

Mr To's amendment is likely to be defeated as it lacks the support of other major parties.