Website details approval of charity hawking

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 24 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 24 October, 2009, 12:00am

The public can check on a government website launched yesterday whether charities' street-hawking activities are approved.

The Food and Environmental Hygiene Department said information about organisations that had applied for temporary hawker licences for selling food or goods on the street for the purpose of fund-raising would be available and updated on its website every Friday.

The date, time and location of approved sales activities and the type of goods for sale would be listed.

The website was only in Chinese yesterday, but an English version would be provided soon, a spokesman for the department said.

Both charitable and other organisations are required to apply for temporary hawker licences.

Applications for licences have almost doubled. In the first nine months of the year, 912 applications were received from charities - up from 414 in the same period last year - and 126 from others, up from 119.

About a third of applications in the first nine months of this year were unsuccessful, being either rejected or withdrawn during the application process. Of the applications made in the first nine months of last year, 38 per cent were unsuccessful.

During the application process, the hygiene department may consult other government bodies, including the police, the Lands Department, the Home Affairs Department or the Social Welfare Department.

The hawker-control team will inspect the fund-raising activities daily to ensure holders comply with their licence conditions.

The public can make a report through the government hotline 1823 if they have a suspicion about street sales. Any person who hawks in public without a licence commits an offence that bears a maximum penalty of HK$5,000 and one month in jail.

Hong Kong Council of Social Service business director Cliff Choi Kim-wah welcomed the online availability of the information. He said it would help to promote transparency in fund-raising.