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LCQ15: Publicity videos on Directors of Bureaux

     Following is a question by the Hon Frederick Fung and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Lau Kong-wah, in the Legislative Council today (June 1):


     Recently, quite a number of members of the public have relayed to me that they have seen, on franchised buses, a series of publicity videos on various Directors of Bureaux (D/Bs). For example, individual D/B and Deputy D/B displayed their cooking skills in the videos while another D/B rode a bicycle for a short journey to demonstrate the hard work he had put in. These members of the public consider that the contents of some of the publicity videos are frivolous and meaningless, which have nothing to do with the official duties of the D/Bs concerned, and that such videos are merely used as a means of soft promotion for D/Bs to blow their own trumpets in order to boost the reputation of D/Bs. Such members of the public also opine that instead of wasting public money in an attempt to use public relations tactics to cover up its incompetence in policy implementation, the Government should identify its deficiencies in policy implementation. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the respective policy bureaux or government departments (B/Ds) responsible for the production of various parts of the aforesaid publicity videos; the reasons for producing such publicity videos, and whether such reasons include the persistently low popularity ratings of the governing team of the Government of the current term; the purposes of producing such publicity videos, and whether such purposes include rebuilding the personal image of the D/Bs concerned;

(2) how various D/Bs had participated in conceptualising the contents of the relevant publicity videos; whether it has reviewed if the contents of such publicity videos contain fictitious stories or exaggerated and misrepresented scenes;

(3) whether public relations firms or production companies have been hired for the purpose of producing the aforesaid publicity videos; if so, of the selection procedures and the names of the companies hired;

(4) of the various items of expenditures involved in the aforesaid publicity videos; the B/Ds the estimates of expenditure of which the said expenditures were paid from; how the authorities assess the effectiveness of such publicity videos;

(5) whether there is currently any plan to produce similar publicity videos for the Chief Executive (CE); if there is such a plan, of the reasons for and timetable of it, and whether it will shelve such a plan to avoid wasting public money and provoking criticism against CE for electioneering for his re-election; and

(6) whether the authorities will, in the light of the aforesaid public views, identify the deficiencies in policy implementation and listen carefully to public views to enhance its policy implementation, instead of producing publicity videos of the aforesaid nature; if they will not, of the reasons for that?



     My reply to the Hon Frederick Fung's question is as follows:

     The Government has all along attached great importance to communication with various sectors of the community. We maintain close liaison with the public through different channels with a view to keeping the community informed of the work and updates of various bureaux/departments (B/Ds), and at the same time, gauging public views for policy formulation and continual improvement in administration and service delivery. Apart from attending publicity activities conducted by the Information Services Department (ISD) and various B/Ds, Secretaries of Departments (SoDs), Directors of Bureaux (DoBs) and government officials will also, from time to time, meet with the media and accept media interviews to elaborate on policy initiatives and respond to matters of public concern, as well as to share their experience and insights so as to facilitate exchanges with the public.

     Regarding the programme which the question refers to, it was produced by RoadShow, which wrote to various SoDs and DoBs early this year to invite their participation in interviews and filming for the production of an interview programme aiming to enhance public knowledge of SoDs and DoBs. SoDs and DoBs considered and decided on their own whether the invitation should be accepted.

     The programme is not a publicity initiative arranged by ISD. The relevant B/Ds were not involved in the planning of the programme and have not made any payment for it.

     We will continue to maintain communication and connection with various sectors in the community to promote public policies and disseminate information to the public through various means.

Ends/Wednesday, June 1, 2016
Issued at HKT 13:05


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