Lai Tung-kwok

Lawmaker questions police spending

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 May, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 07 May, 2015, 5:14pm

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A lawmaker has pledged to keep chasing details of how much police spend on entertaining mainland officials after the security chief gave figures showing a 30 per cent increase in entertainment expenses in the past five years, but with no breakdown.

James To Kun-sun said that without a breakdown, fears remained of a new scandal like that surrounding former chief graft-buster Timothy Tong Hin-ming.

Lawmakers heard that as well as the 30 per cent rise in entertainment payments, police recorded a 60 per cent rise in the cost of duty visits.

It came against a background of a general rise in such expenses by all the disciplined services.

The figures, in a written reply from Secretary for Security Lai Tung-kwok to a question from To, show the force spent HK$2,637,000 on entertainment in the 2012-13 financial year, up 30 per cent from the HK$2,008,000 in 2008-09.

It spent HK$11,332,000 on duty visits in the last financial year, up 63 per cent from HK$6,928,000 five years ago.

Expenses were also up for the immigration, fire services, customs and excise, and correctional services departments.

All of the departments attributed the rise to more exchanges with their counterparts.

To said he was dissatisfied that the figures were not broken down into spending on mainland officials and spending that exceeded official limits. "Without the breakdown, I can only say that I am afraid there would be more scandals similar to the one of Timothy Tong," he said.

Tong former Commissioner for the Independent Commission Against Corruption, faces a criminal probe over his allegedly lavish spending on entertaining mainland officials.