February 24, 2005

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From Phil, with love

Hong Kong's Public Accounts Committee delivered its report yesterday. Amongst other things the PAC was "astonished and seriously dismayed" by the Discovery Bay debacle. Sir David Akers-Jones, the public servant most directly involved, was not directly criticised because, in the words of PAC Chairman Philip Wong, "Over the years, the committee seldoms names a particlar official to criticise. What we normally do is focus on the departments." So that's OK then. The developer got to avoid paying a land premium, drop a public golf course and turn a tourism development into a luxury residential one with no documentation. That's why they are called the good old days. While they were at it the PAC got stuck into the ESF, although the ESF are already reforming themselves after the lashing they got from the Audit commission report in October. They've got a subvention to protect. Anyone for vouchers yet?

But best of all was PAC Chairman Philip Wong Yu-hong's rejection of the need for a press conference to present the PAC's report. The SCMP reports:

The committee chairman said he only met the media for "PR" reasons, after being lobbied by fellow committee members to hold a news conference. But Mr. Wong insisted he had nothing more to add to the report and repeatedly told reporters to dig out the answers themselves..."I really don't see the need for a press conference. As the chairman, I shouldn't go beyond what has been said in the report...It is rather difficult to respond to reporters' questions in an hour or so."
Or in other words...


Courtesy of Phil

It is a shock to expect the committee chairman to be able to talk about his committee's report. Even more of a shock to discuss the contents with reporters. Hell, that could mean Mr. Wong would have to read the thing.

posted by Simon on 02.24.05 at 01:59 PM in the


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