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CE writes to members of the civil service

     The following is a letter by the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, to members of the civil service today (February 28):     

                                    28 February 2012

Dear Colleagues,

     I write to you with a heavy heart. After 45 years of public service, I never expected that I would have to address questions about my integrity, a core value that I cherish.

     I know that the recent media coverage of my travel and retirement plans must have been unsettling for the civil service that I lead and with which I work so closely. What I find especially hurtful are the criticisms that I have been tough on the civil service but lenient on myself.

     Let me assure you all that I expect no less of myself when it comes to integrity, the cornerstone of good governance.  In fact, I expect more of myself and I certainly hope that those of you who have worked with me over the years would know that to be true.

     I have provided an account of recent events and announced the establishment of an independent committee headed by the former Chief Justice of the Court of Final Appeal, Mr Andrew Li, to review the existing rules that guard against conflicts of interest for the Chief  Executive, political appointees and non-official members of Executive Council. You may have seen newspaper coverage on these developments but I have attached the statements that I have made as well as an article that I wrote for the Sunday Post.

     In the spirit of transparency, I have just accepted an invitation from the Legislative Council to answer Members' questions on Thursday. I will try my utmost to clear any residual doubts about my actions at this meeting.

     I have learned a hard lesson, but I remain hopeful that something constructive will come out of it.

     In the meantime, I will continue to dedicate myself to the service of Hong Kong and its people and to work in the best interests of the public. For this, I will continue to count on the support, dedication and professionalism of our fine civil service.

                                    Yours sincerely,

                                     (Donald Tsang)
                                    Chief Executive

Ends/Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Issued at HKT 21:54


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