Thumbs down for disclosure proposal
By CATHERINE NG
AIRPORT Consultative Committee members yesterday rejected an ICAC recommendation that they declare their financial interests.
Instead, they voted for a system under which they will have to disclose their interests only if they relate to the issue being discussed.
The two systems were suggested by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) for the committee, which was established three years ago.
But the ICAC backed the tougher disclosure guidelines, saying they were needed because of the wide range of matters and the sensitivity of some information the committee considered.
The tougher guidelines have been generally adopted by the Government's representative bodies.
A committee member, Leung Kwong-cheong, said the information the committee handled was not sensitive.
'Ironically, the administration always makes use of the excuse of 'sensitivity' to restrict the information we requested,' he said.
Mr Leung said the two-tier system, which required members to make public all their shareholdings in companies, public or private, would drive many to give up their membership if it was adopted.
'It is not worthwhile to sacrifice so much for such a body with no power to make any decision,' he said.
Member Lau Kwong-wah said: 'For the past three years, I have never recognised the need for that system as the matters we would touch are not sensitive.' The committee consists mainly of professionals and academics and was appointed by the Government.
Its primary duty is to give the Government advice on a wide range of issues, including the environment, town planning and finance, relating to the airport projects.