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Ombudsman invites public views on management of markets by Food and Environmental Hygiene Department

The following is issued on behalf of the Office of The Ombudsman:

     The Ombudsman, Ms Connie Lau, today (January 7) invited members of the public to provide information and/or views on the management of markets by the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD).

     The FEHD currently operates 101 public markets with a total of more than 14,000 market stalls. The day-to-day management of some of these markets has been outsourced to contractors. When vacancies of market stalls arise, the FEHD conducts open auctions to let the stalls to the highest bidders. Meanwhile, existing stall tenants are allowed to renew their tenancies without rent adjustment.

     In recent years, there have been media reports and public complaints alleging various kinds of management problems in certain markets under the FEHD, such as prolonged idling or abuse of market stalls, obstruction of passageways by stall operators, and poor hygiene conditions at the markets.

     The Ombudsman has decided to initiate a direct investigation into this area of work of the FEHD. The investigation will cover the FEHD's system of leasing market stalls as well as its enforcement of the relevant legislation and tenancy conditions for management of the markets. Her Office will examine whether there are inadequacies in the current system and enforcement practices, with a view to making recommendations to the FEHD for improvement.

     To make the investigation more thorough, The Ombudsman now invites all sectors of the community, particularly users and stall tenants of FEHD markets, to send in information and/or views to the Office of The Ombudsman by February 11, 2016.

Address: 30/F, China Merchants Tower, Shun Tak Centre
         168-200 Connaught Road Central, Hong Kong
Fax: 2882 8149

Ends/Thursday, January 7, 2016
Issued at HKT 11:00


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