The central Government is empowered to alter Hong Kong's human rights reports to the United Nations but a senior official believes Beijing will not do so. SAR government reports to be submitted under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights would be ready in the next two weeks, Secretary for Home Affairs David Lan Hong-tsung said yesterday. The reports will be handed to the Hong Kong Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They will be forwarded to the UN through the central Government's Permanent Mission in New York. Mr Lan told legislators the reports would not be amended by Beijing. 'I have heard more than once in public functions [the central Government] said they will not amend it and I believe them,' he said. He rejected suggestions from legislators Ma Fung-kwok and Emily Lau Wai-hing that the reports ought to receive more public consultation before being submitted, claiming this would delay the drafting process. 'We consulted the public on the implementation of the two covenants in Hong Kong when we issued the outline reports in March this year,' Mr Lan said. 'I invited some 28 non-governmental organisations to a special meeting to seek their views and comments on the outline reports . . . a further round of consultation would unnecessarily cause further delay in submitting the reports to the UN.' The public was free to submit its own comments or alternative reports for discussion to the UN, he said. The reports will be made available to the public for comment as soon as they have been submitted to the UN.