Housing report secrecy attacked

Linda Choy

THE Housing Authority and the Housing Department were both criticised yesterday for refusing to disclose information on a review of the controversial housing subsidy policy.

A planned discussion of the issue by the Legislative Council Housing Panel yesterday was cancelled because of the lack of information available.

Legislators were reluctant to accept an explanation by the Senior Assistant Director of the Housing Department, Mr Chan Pak, that the decision on whether to make public the report rested with Housing Authority chairman Sir David Akers-Jones.

Co-operative Resources Centre legislator Mr Gilbert Leung Kam-ho said: ''So, you are not going to mention anything on the report, and we are going to sit here saying nothing throughout the whole meeting.'' Legislator Mr Szeto Wah described the Housing Department as a ''speaker'' for the Housing Authority, a central policy-making body.

''And why it is you, instead of representatives from the Housing Authority, who sit at this meeting?'' Despite the fierce criticism, Mr Chan insisted it was inappropriate for the department to reveal the report before it was shown to Housing Authority members.