Sudden resignation sparks controversy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 May, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 May, 2011, 12:00am


The abrupt resignation of a former information technology chief has sparked concern about the misuse of government resources and a bureaucratic conspiracy regarding a programme that provides internet support to low-income families.

Jeremy Godfrey, a former government chief information officer who headed the Internet Learning Support Programme, abruptly quit his position on February 12. He said his resignation was due to 'the conduct of government business'.

The HK$200 million programme was announced in February last year to subsidise computers and internet education for students from low-income families.

The government initially planned to select just one of the five proposals it received, but it eventually picked two - the Hong Kong Council of Social Service and eInclusion Foundation Limited.

In a Legislative Council meeting yesterday, lawmakers expressed concern about the political affiliation of eInclusion Foundation Limited's founder, Elizabeth Quat. Quat is a Sha Tin District Council member of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong.

Lawmaker Fred Li Wah-ming was concerned about a possible conflict of interest, and that the conflict between the two organisations may lead to the misuse of personal data collected through the programme.

Undersecretary for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, Greg So Kam-leung, said that because the two organisations did not want to jointly run the programme, they would each work in different districts.

'The tender is fair and there is no favouritism.'