Ombudsman chides Lands Department for lax attitude to pet columbarium

The Ombudsman has chastised the Lands Department for being lax in cracking down on an illegal pet funeral business. Photo: Reuters

The department did not consider the case "high priority" because there were no fire safety breaches, so it issued only warnings to the company over the years, Alan Lai Nin said.

Friday, 10 May, 2013, 4:46am

Policy on al fresco dining 'has no bite'

Illegal al fresco dining may cause street obstruction, noise and hygiene problems. Photo: SCMP

The watchdog, in an investigation, identified a list of problems in the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department's enforcement policy.

10 May 2013 - 5:58am 2 comments

'Disappointing' response on access code investigation

'Disappointing' response on access code investigation

Fewer than 20 submissions have been received by the Ombudsman a month after he announced an investigation into the proposal to restrict the city's access to information code, the watchdog's office told the South China Morning Post yesterday.

5 Feb 2013 - 5:02am

Veteran archivists press for legislation in Hong Kong

Veteran archivists press for legislation in Hong Kong

Veteran archivists will assist the Ombudsman in an investigation into management of and public access to government records, in the hope that it will lead to archival legislation in Hong Kong.

25 Jan 2013 - 4:13am

Confusion over social security means test

The Ombudsman has hit out at the Social Welfare Department for setting "contradictory criteria" that led to an elderly couple initially losing a month's payments in Comprehensive Social Security Assistance.

The issue revolves around whether the CSSA asset means test should still be applicable if the person is old or infirm.

11 Jan 2013 - 4:10am 1 comment

Ombudsman investigates information access code

Ombudsman Alan Lai Nin. Photo: David Wong

The Ombudsman has launched an investigation into the government's access to information code and records management system, after years of calls for legislation to better protect government archives and the public's right to see them.

5 Jan 2013 - 4:15am

Call for archive law to protect valuable government data

Simon Chu, former director of the Government Records Service, is concerned about the destruction of official information. Photo: Dickson Lee

The city needs a law to protect archives from being lost under the maladministration of government departments, a problem that has not been handled properly despite repeated advice, a veteran archivist has warned.

5 Jan 2013 - 4:06am

Officials need to ensure better public access to sports venues

Officials are expected to take good care of public resources and facilities. Regrettably, they have once again been put to shame by the Ombudsman, who found serious flaws in the way the city's sport venues are managed.

24 Sep 2012 - 1:28am 1 comment

Leisure and Cultural Services Department targets booking touts

The pitch at Quarry Bay Park is one of several facilities being abused by touts who buy up bookings and resell them online. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

Officials in charge of public sports venues plan to impose penalties and booking restrictions to curb online touting of permits to use the facilities after coming under fire again for tolerating such activities.

20 Sep 2012 - 4:34am

Ombudsman probes textbook publishers

The Ombudsman is investigating the government funding of two Beijing-loyalist centres that published textbooks for the national education course starting next month and sent them to schools.

The Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union said yesterday it had received a letter informing it that the Ombudsman had launched a probe.

15 Aug 2012 - 10:54pm

Lantau school denies HK$1 land abuse claim

An international school on Lantau has accused the Ombudsman of making a groundless allegation that it cheated on its previous non-profit-making status to take advantage of a HK$1 plot of state land.

2 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Ombudsman's criticism gets short shrift

The Development Bureau has openly rejected advice from the Ombudsman in the first such instance in three years after the watchdog criticised the Lands Department for being loose in granting land leases at HK$1 a month.

But the Ombudsman stood its ground, saying it would deal directly with the department, which falls under the bureau.

1 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Officials stalled over hawker stall for 2 years

The ombudsman criticised three government departments that allowed a hawker to trade from an illegal structure on a pavement for two years while they bickered among themselves about what to do.

1 Jun 2012 - 12:00am

Lands officials have to set good example

Nothing is more irritating than having your complaint shunted aside by government red tape. The latest example was one we wrote about last Friday after the Ombudsman looked into a simple water seepage case and found that the Lands Department had dragged its feet in fixing a problem arising from an illegal structure left in its custody 20 years ago.

29 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Guarding the truth

The Office of the Ombudsman is an independent watchdog between the public and the government administration. It was established in 1989 with the aim of investigating complaints about the administration, a job that requires keen analytical and communication skills, says Tommy Wong, chief investigation officer, who has worked there for the past 10 years.

25 Feb 2012 - 12:00am