Fightback against whistle-blower
Tanna Chong, Fanny W.Y. Fung and Amy Nip
Jeremy Godfrey had a chance to stop the 'political assignment' he claims tainted the awarding of a HK$220 million IT contract but did not take it, according to official documents that emerged last night.
The restricted documents, issued by the government to the Legislative Council's IT and broadcasting panel, appeared to signal the start of an official fightback against Godfrey's claims, ahead of another crunch meeting of lawmakers this week.
The papers show that after the former government chief information officer alleged he was given a 'political assignment' by Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Elizabeth Tse Man-yee last August, he was asked by Tse to remedy the fairness and integrity of the selection process to award the internet-learning contract. This came after Godfrey said a collaborative approach should be adopted between the International Professional Association and the Council of Social Services to offer online services for underprivileged pupils.
Tse asked Godfrey to advise her on 'specific remedial measures'. But in a reply to Tse 10 days later, Godfrey said: 'I do not consider remedial measures are needed.'
Godfrey could not be reached for comment last night.
The documents also reveal that the panel evaluating who should be granted the contract concluded in a draft report that the project should be given to the Council of Social Service, but this recommendation did not appear again in its final report.
Three more officials - political assistant for the financial secretary Frankie Yip Kan-chuen, then permanent secretary for commerce and economic development Duncan Pescod and Godfrey's then deputy, Bassanio So Chek-leung - will join the financial chief in a special meeting at Legco tomorrow to discuss the case further.