Surge in reports of graft in building management

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 11 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 11 March, 2007, 12:00am

The number of corruption reports concerning building management rose by a third in the first two months of the year, to 155, the ICAC said yesterday.

The complaints accounted for 45 per cent of the 348 corruption reports filed against private companies, That total was up 12 per cent from the 312 the Independent Commission Against Corruption received in January and February last year.

ICAC Commissioner Fanny Law Fan Chiu-fun said the watchdog was concerned about the problem. 'In recent years there was an increase in the ratio of these corruption reports. We think we should strengthen liaison with representatives from owners' corporations and explain anti-corruption measures to them,' she said.

The commission said most of the reports were of a 'minor nature' but some cases concerned renovation contracts that involved huge sums of money. Most complaints involved tendering for renovation, service contracts and the financial management of bodies corporate.

Speaking after opening a youth conference yesterday, Mrs Law expressed concern at the significant number of prosecutions of young people for corruption.

The ICAC completes 300-plus prosecutions a year, and Mrs Law said one in six of the offenders was aged under 30.

Mrs Law said the commission would step up youth education and planned more talks to students.

There were 542 corruption reports in January and February, a 2 per cent increase year on year. Complaints involving public bodies rose to 41, from 34. But reports involving government departments dropped 17 per cent, to 153.

Last year, the ICAC received 3,339 reports of corruption - a 9 per cent drop from 2005.