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Ombudsman welcomes passage of Apology Bill
The following is issued on behalf of the Office of The Ombudsman:

     The Ombudsman, Ms Connie Lau, today (July 13) welcomed the passage of the Third Reading of the Apology Bill by the Legislative Council. She expressed her thanks to the Government for its efforts in introducing the apology legislation.

     Ms Lau said, "We believe that the enactment of the Apology Ordinance, which the Office of The Ombudsman has strongly advocated, will encourage government departments and public organisations to be more forthcoming in extending apologies where due. This will certainly help soothe the sentiments of aggrieved citizens and even facilitate speedy settlement of disputes. I think apologies can lead to effective resolution of disputes, thereby restoring social cohesion and mutual trust."

     In its Annual Report 2013, the Office urged public organisations to adopt a more open attitude towards making apologies, and encouraged public officers to apologise to complainants for any injustice that they have sustained. The Office subsequently further urged the Government to initiate study and discussion on legislation in this area with a view to formulating laws for the protection of parties making apologies.

     In the year 2016-17, in the 248 cases pursued and concluded by the Office of The Ombudsman where apologies were given by the organisations under complaint, 92.7 per cent (230 cases) were given in the course of or after intervention by the Office.
Ends/Thursday, July 13, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:08
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