Former deputy privacy commissioner Tony Lam Wing-hong is to appear in court today on four corruption charges related to overseas trips he made while in office. Lam, whose contract was not renewed last September after media reports alleging misuse of public funds led to an ICAC investigation, has been charged with one count of misconduct in public office and three of using documents with intent to deceive the privacy commissioner. It is alleged that Lam, 58, dishonestly claimed the cost of return air fares, accommodation, meals and other expenses for travel to Melbourne to attend meetings between February and July last year. Lam was acting privacy commissioner after his boss, Raymond Tang Yee-bong, moved to head the Equal Opportunities Commission. It was not until August last year that the present commissioner, Roderick Woo Bun, was appointed. A statement from the Independent Commission Against Corruption also alleged that between August 2001 and October 2003, Lam used false documents to apply for overseas subsistence allowances, with intent to deceive the privacy commissioner. The charges involve a total of A$4,288 (HK$25,446). Mr Woo yesterday had no comment, but commission spokeswoman Shirley Lung said the statutory body had reformed its internal policies to enhance transparency since the ICAC investigation into Lam began. Soon after his appointment, Mr Woo suspended Lam from his duties and barred him from the privacy watchdog's offices or from contacting colleagues. Lam continued to receive his salary until the end of September, when his contract ended. Mr Woo said the measures were necessary as anti-graft officers were collecting evidence and interviewing staff at the commission's office. He also decided to cancel a tradition of using part of the office's entertainment fund to give support or gifts to staff. Instead of using taxpayers' money, he would fund the gifts from his own pocket, he said. The ICAC investigation prompted the Home Affairs Bureau, the policy bureau responsible for the Privacy Commission, to amend the Memorandum of Administrative Arrangements applicable to the commission, giving the bureau more control over its budget. If Lam - who has been released on bail - is convicted, his HK$1.1 million end-of-contract gratuity may be jeopardised.