CE's remarks at media session (with video)

     Following is the translation of remarks by the Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, at a meet-the-media session at the ground floor lobby of the Office of the Chief Executive at Tamar today (June 1):

     First of all, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Independent Review Committee for the Prevention and Handling of Potential Conflicts of Interests led by The Honourable Mr Andrew Li and to colleagues of the Audit Commission. They have completed the tasks I entrusted to them within a very short period of time and made substantive recommendations to improve the current systems. I accept both reports and will implement the recommendations as soon as possible.

     Earlier this morning, I discussed the reports with my team of principal officials and we agreed unanimously with the overall contents of the reports. It is our firm conviction that maintaining a clean government is a core value of our society. We also fully understand that the public have very high expectations of the integrity of public officers. Hence, it is crucial to put in place a sound system to prevent and handle potential conflicts of interests involving public officers.

     We will progressively implement the recommendations through measures in the short, medium and long term. We will implement as soon as possible those measures which can be put in place in the short term, such as uploading to the websites the declarations of interests by politically-appointed officials and statistics of Executive Council members withdrawing from meetings. I will also explore with the Chief Executive-elect how best to put in place the other proposed measures, such as amendments to the relevant legislation, and lay the ground work.  

     I know that my mishandling of the various events has undermined the community's confidence in the integrity of the system and has disappointed my colleagues in the civil service. For this I would like to, once again, offer my sincere apologies.

Ends/Friday, June 1, 2012
Issued at HKT 18:42