EOC chief accused of secrecy

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 April, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 April, 2009, 12:00am

Equal Opportunities Commission chairman Raymond Tang Yee-bong has been challenged for his handling of the value-for-money audit report, which will be made public tomorrow.

Some EOC members said they were kept in the dark about the report, which was conducted by the Audit Commission, and expressed disappointment because their opinions might not be fully reflected in the report's final version.

Mandy Tam Heung-man, an EOC member whose term ends next month, wrote to Mr Tang expressing her disappointment. 'Your failure to provide us with the report prevented us from providing comments and more information on the audit report, with the result that the report may not accurately reflect a true picture of the entire board, especially on the performance of the board and its members,' she wrote.

In a meeting in the middle of last month, Mr Tang faced questions about covering up the report and failing to seek commission members' opinions. Ms Tam said the chairman had insisted that the Audit Commission wanted the report to be kept confidential.

But she noted that board members from organisations that faced an audit, such as the Tourism Board, had been given reports and asked for their comments.

After agreeing not to disclose its contents, EOC members were given the report and the chairman's reply to the Audit Commission late last month. But members had no idea whether their verbal comments would be in the final version.

Lo Wing-lok, another EOC member, said members were told that the deadline for replies to the Audit Commission about the report had passed by the time they read it.

'The meeting was held after the deadline,' Dr Lo said. 'The chairman simply bypassed all EOC members.'