National Security Agency doing its job

Collecting logs from any possible source is a perfectly legitimate programme of self-defence. Photo: AFP

Your editorial ("US surveillance policy shows it cannot be trusted", June 12) manages to confuse the aggressive and often overreaching promotion of democracy and human rights by US governments with a perfectly legitimate programme of self-defence.

Monday, 17 June, 2013, 4:23am 7 comments

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.

27 May 2013 - 2:26pm

Watchdog steps up pressure on non-transparent Hong Kong charities

With so many groups seeking funds, it can be tough figuring out which cause to give to.

With so many groups seeking funds, it can be tough figuring out which cause to give to. Are the organisations all they're cracked up to be and how much of the contribution really goes to people in need?

21 May 2013 - 9:52am

Audit office finds flaws at 13 big state firms

China Mobile, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and 10 other big state-owned firms have been accused by the National Audit Office of various management and accounting irregularities and failure to implement government policies.

11 May 2013 - 4:39am

Fresh call for China's top leaders to declare assets

President Xi Jinping

Chinese internet users have urged the country's top leaders to follow US, Russian and French leaders by making their personal assets public. A report by Xinhua on its Sina Weibo account on Sunday about asset disclosures by leaders overseas was reposted more than 7,000 times and racked up more than 2,000 comments, making it one of the account's hottest posts.

17 Apr 2013 - 4:52am 10 comments

Transparency may not always be a virtue

Carlson Tong Ka-shing, Chairman of The Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). Photo: Nora Tam

Full disclosure of company accounts the right thing to do but it is different story when it comes to stock market dealings.

26 Feb 2013 - 5:03am

Transparency a key lesson learned from Sars outbreak in mainland China

Mao Qunan. Photo: Simon Song

Ten years ago, after mounting criticism from governments around the world and the World Health Organisation, which were concerned about a possible cover-up of the severity of severe acute respiratory syndrome, the government changed its policy and revealed the true severity of the outbreak.

22 Feb 2013 - 4:12am

Open access to directors' names, but not their home addresses

A good case for limiting access to home addresses

The recent debate about the government proposals to restrict access to the personal information of company directors has been one-sided, so it is useful to re-examine the arguments carefully to see which elements, if any, of the proposals are justified, taking into account press freedom, access to information and privacy.

6 Feb 2013 - 4:26am 4 comments

The limits of open government

Members of Momentum 107 march to the old Central Government offices to stage a street parody of Donald Tsang and Edward Yau, urging them to step down back in June last year. Photo: Jonanthan Wong

A troubling outcome of the ongoing financial crisis has been a collapse of trust in democratic institutions and politicians. Can greater "transparency" - the new political mantra of civic activists and an increasing number of democratic governments - reverse this trend?

2 Feb 2013 - 2:04am

SMEs join chorus of concern over hiding of directors' identity

Privacy Commissioner Allan Chiang Yam-wang. Photo: May Tse

The changes to the Companies Registry, set to start next year, will also hinder researchers studying possible collusion between officials and industry power brokers, academics say.

27 Jan 2013 - 5:00am 3 comments

Journalists back petition against privacy law

Mak Yin-ting, Chairperson of The Hong Kong Journalists Association. Photo: Edward Wong

The Hong Kong Journalists Association says it has received a "record-breaking" response to an industry-wide petition against the proposed change to the Companies Ordinance, with hundreds of signatures from the city's local and foreign media.

27 Jan 2013 - 5:00am 1 comment

Improve public access to information

Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Hong Kong appears to stand out as a centre for the free flow of information in the region. But it lags behind countries that long ago enacted laws protecting public archives and access to information. The absence of legislation here means there is little control over what is kept and what is discarded by government departments.

26 Jan 2013 - 2:06am

Heavier penalties needed to deter cover-ups of accidents in China

Recent cover-ups recall the painful memory of the Sars outbreak in 2003. Photo: AFP

The attempted cover-up of two recent industrial accidents in Shanxi dealt yet another blow to government credibility in China.

In the first, the China Railway Tunnel Group - a supposedly "well-managed state-owned enterprise" - tried to cover up a deadly explosion at a railway tunnel project, even going so far as to move the bodies elsewhere for cremation.

24 Jan 2013 - 5:23am

Culture of secrecy has no place in arts hub

Workers work on the Bamboo Theatre at West Kowloon Cultural District. Photo: Edward Wong

Transparency is an essential component for good public governance. It enables people to keep a close watch on the government, give them a say on public affairs and it holds officials accountable in the event of wrongdoing. The principle, which applies to statutory bodies funded by taxpayers, has served Hong Kong well.

5 May 2015 - 11:40am

Rights to privacy may come at a high price

Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying. Photo: David Wong

How much privacy should be afforded someone who becomes a director of a listed company that raises money from the public and financial institutions, and how much transparency is in the public interest?

21 Jan 2013 - 3:35am 1 comment