Exhibition organiser did not comply with all the Mega Events Fund's conditions

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 03 July, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 03 July, 2011, 12:00am


I refer to the article ('Where's our HK$2m, artist asks mega fund', June 26).

The report asserts that the government failed to meet its funding commitment through the Mega Events Fund for a multi-media arts exhibition called Hope & Glory which took place from April to May 2010. It also referred to a lack of support from the fund for the organiser of the exhibition, which is inaccurate.

The organiser of Hope & Glory entered into an agreement with the government which stipulated the upper limit of fund support approved by the Mega Events Fund Assessment Committee for the event (that is, a maximum of HK$2 million).

The agreement specified, and the organiser accepted, all terms and conditions, including the roles and responsibilities of the organiser, the project deliverables/targets, proper ways to utilise public funds, and the necessary procedures with which the organiser needed to comply.

Funding from the Mega Events Fund would be disbursed in full if and only if the event was implemented satisfactorily, the predetermined targets were achieved and the organiser was in full compliance with all terms and conditions of the agreement.

As a matter of fact, HK$1.3 million was paid to the organiser for carrying out the project.

In determining the funding amount payable, the assessment committee has taken into account all relevant factors, including the organiser's failure to comply with various terms in the agreement.

For example, the organiser did not fully meet the requirement to feature the BrandHK Signature prominently at the event; failed to maintain and dispose of the inventory bought using public funds properly; and the auditor's report of the project was first prepared by the organiser's own treasurer. Also, there was a prolonged delay in submitting all the evaluation reports and audited accounts, and the organiser failed to develop tourist packages with the Hong Kong Tourism Board and travel agents.

I would also wish to stress that despite the Mega Events Fund being primarily a funding body, its secretariat in fact rendered a great deal of support to the organiser both before and after the project period to facilitate the delivery of the event, and provided advice on proper compliance with the requirements under the agreement.

Vincent Fung, for commissioner for tourism