Fears of tight leash for police watchdog

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 14 February, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 14 February, 2009, 12:00am

Some pan-democrat lawmakers have threatened to veto the setting up of a statutory police watchdog until they are satisfied that the new body will have sufficient government funding.

A Legislative Council subcommittee meeting yesterday to discuss the start date for the Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) Ordinance boiled down to a debate about whether lawmakers could get an estimated budget for the new body before Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah delivers the government's 2009-2010 budget on February 25.

The commencement notice was supposed to be a last, procedural step in the creation of the new IPCC after the ordinance was passed in July.

But the pan-democrat camp fears the government will seek to prevent the IPCC from doing its job properly by allocating insufficient funds.

Democratic Party legislator James To Kun-sun said he could not endorse the notice without more funding details.

Jessie Ting Yip Yin-mei, deputy secretary for security, argued the details would probably be included in Mr Tsang's budget and it would be improper to release them. She said there would be 'sufficient resources'.