Arts hub jury told of winners at last minute
The jury of a 2001 arts hub design competition only learned of the identities of the winners it had picked four hours before the government announced the results, according to the jury's report.
Earlier, a Chinese-language newspaper had suggested chief executive hopeful Leung Chun-ying, a member of the jury, had knowingly voted for a design from international architect Dr Ken Yeang's company, with whom Leung's surveying firm, DTZ had done business.
The report, a copy of which was obtained by the South China Morning Post, explains the vetting procedures in the contest.
It records that the jury was told of the winners' names at noon on February 28, 2002. The results were unveiled at 3.45pm. Up until then, the entries were identified by serial numbers to ensure anonymity during judging.
This detail was also mentioned by the jury's chairman, Lord Rothschild, at the press conference announcing the results.
'In keeping with Hong Kong policy, the competition was open to all qualified participants and the applicants were anonymous to the jury,' he said.
'In fact, no member of the jury knew the individual identity of the winning schemes until noon today, although we made our choice yesterday.'
The West Kowloon Cultural District contest is at the centre of a conflict-of-interest row in which Leung is accused of failing to declare his business connection with Malaysian architect Dr Ken Yeang, whose architectural team joined the competition and listed Leung's surveying firm DTZ as a consultant.
Yeang's design was disqualified after its link to Leung emerged.