Public Records

Hong Kong government clings to its secrets as fewer records declassified

Simon Chu Fook-keung, former Government Records Service Director. Photo: Dickson Lee

Unlike in Britain and the United States where declassification falls under freedom of information laws, here the 30-year rule principle is only part of a government code on public records access. And the release rate has dropped from 61 per cent in 2008, to 46 per cent in 2010, to 41 per cent in 2012, according to figures given by the GRS in response to an inquiry by the South China Morning Post.

Monday, 27 May, 2013, 2:26pm

Top officials bury 1978 idea to spy on civil servants

David Akers-jones

A confidential record from that year showed there was a suggestion that the newly formed Independent Commission Against Corruption should be able to collect pay-lists, leave rosters, postings and pictures of people in other law enforcement agencies.

27 May 2013 - 4:21am

Good governance depends on well-kept records

In 2011, then legislator Margaret Ng Ngoi-yee moved a motion in the Legislative Council on enacting an archives law. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

For issues that are neither on the government's agenda nor on the public's radar, it may take months or years to see any progress. Public records management is probably one of them.

22 Feb 2013 - 4:04am 2 comments

Why is the government destroying so many documents?

Legco's Cyd Ho raises questions

We are still astounded at the equanimity with which Chief Secretary Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor revealed that in the last six months of last year 23,189 metres of documents had been destroyed: equivalent to the distance between Kowloon and Hong Kong International airport.

25 Jan 2013 - 4:56am 2 comments

Huge destruction of government records continues

Police swinging into action.

It is with some regret that we feel obliged to take issue with our chief secretary, the admirable Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, over her written reply yesterday on the vexed question of Hong Kong's public records. Legislative Councillor Cyd Ho Sau-lan had asked, given Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying's support for an archive law during his election campaign, if any progress had been made so far.

11 Jun 2015 - 4:33pm 2 comments

Ministry eases passport restrictions for non-locals in six mainland cities

The Ministry of Public Security is to ease restrictions on passport and travel permit applications by non-local people working or studying in six mainland cities.

24 Aug 2012 - 3:12am

Visas and other woes

Over the past month, my expedition partner, Leon McCarron, and I have made fast progress south along the Yellow River, and then crossed from the province of Shanxi into Shaanxi, and out of the mountains and onto flat, fertile plains that will lead us to Xian, the capital of Shaanxi and the ancient capital of China.

28 Feb 2012 - 12:00am

Lai See

Government shrugs off damning report on records service arm

18 Nov 2011 - 12:00am

Scheme to check for sex offenders

A new police scheme will allow employers and organisations who work with children to check if job applicants have a history of sex crimes, according to the Security Bureau.

27 Apr 2011 - 12:00am

Files destroyed without approval, former official says

Many government records have been destroyed without the approval of the director of the Government Records Service, according to the former holder of the post.

12 Dec 2010 - 12:00am

Keep the trust

The basis of a good relationship is communication and trust. I learned that in my first psychology lesson at school, while training to be a journalist and, too late, from a book I encountered long after my divorce.

7 Dec 2010 - 12:00am

Records go into black hole instead of archives

Historians, journalists and the public interested in digging out details of controversial issues such as the scrapping of former chief executive Tung Chee-hwa's target of supplying 85,000 flats a year or his feud with former chief secretary Anson Chan Fang On-sang will not get any clues in the near future.

14 Jun 2010 - 12:00am

Right balance vital to safeguard our children

Striking a balance between protection of children and the rights of sex offenders who have paid their debt to society can be a difficult task. Yet Hong Kong's current system provides hardly any safeguards to shield children from sexual predators in child-related occupations.

5 Feb 2010 - 12:00am

How to protect children, and sex offenders' rights

How to strike a balance between the rights of sex offenders who have paid their debt to society and the protection of the community is a vexed issue. The conflict between residents of the Laguna Verde estate in Hung Hom and a convicted child molester who owns a flat in the estate has revived the debate. Yesterday, after being released from jail, the molester returned to the scene of his crime.

2 Mar 2009 - 12:00am

HK's ranking falls on index of visa-free travel

Hong Kong's ranking for visa-free access to countries around the world has fallen, according to a study of the visa requirements of more than 180 countries and territories.

27 Feb 2009 - 12:00am