13pc rise in graft complaints against government departments
ICAC figures for the first 11 months show the largest number of gripes were against police
Corruption complaints against government departments rose 13 per cent in the first 11 months of the year compared with the same period last year, Independent Commission Against Corruption figures show.
The figures, released by the graft-buster yesterday, show the number of complaints overall rose 2 per cent to 3,731 between January and November.
Of the complaints, almost a third, or 1,134, concerned government departments.
The Housing Department had the biggest percentage increase of 43 per cent, from 54 complaints to 77 while the police received the largest number - 323 compared with 294 last year.
Other departments the subject of corruption gripes included the Lands, Leisure and Cultural Services and Food and Environmental Hygiene departments.
The ICAC update followed the release of a survey by Transparency International - an international corruption watchdog - that saw Hong Kong's global graft-free ranking fall two places to 14th this year.
Laura Cha Shih May-lung, chairwoman of the ICAC advisory panel on corruption, said the figures suggested the city's graft situation remained stable.
"There were a couple of high-profile corruption cases involving senior officials that were widely reported in the media. That might have a negative impact on people's perceptions," she said.
Among prominent anti-graft cases this year is the probe into the Kwok brothers of Sun Hung Kai Properties and former chief secretary Rafael Hui Si-yan, who led former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's election campaigns in 2005 and 2007.
Hui, Raymond Kwok Ping-luen and Thomas Kwok Ping-kwong were charged with bribery and misconduct in public office.
The ICAC alleges that Hui took more than HK$34 million in bribes from the billionaire brothers and two others in return for favours. The case is ongoing.
There were also reports earlier this year that the ICAC had launched an investigation into Tsang over allegations that he had acted improperly in his dealings with tycoons, such as accepting rides in their private planes and yachts and agreeing to rent a luxury penthouse in Shenzhen at a bargain rate.
The ICAC also reported that it received 1,950 election-related complaints in the first 11 months of the year. These included 1,604 complaints of alleged vote-rigging arising from last year's district council election. In 1,585 of the cases, the allegations were not substantiated. Forty-five people were prosecuted and 38 convicted for vote-rigging.