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HAB reiterates stance on use of District Council members' ward offices as polling stations
     The Home Affairs Bureau (HAB) today (July 10) made the following statement on the use of District Council (DC) members' ward offices as polling stations for primaries.
     The HAB noted that an organisation plans to hold pro-democracy primaries for the 2020 Legislative Council General Election on July 11 and July 12, and some ward offices of the DC members will be used as polling stations.
     The HAB reiterated that according to section 7(a) of Specific Standards of the Code of Conduct for Members of a District Council or Its Committees (Code of Conduct): a DC member shall not use the various allowances for a member and/or his or her ward office(s) for purposes other than those connected with the business of the DC. 
     The HAB reminded DC members again that paragraph 23 of the Guidelines on the Remuneration Package for Members of the District Councils of the HKSAR stipulates that a DC member must ensure that the ward office operated with the support of the Operating Expenses Reimbursement and other accountable allowances/expenses reimbursements for DC members is used for the discharge of DC duties. The spokesman stressed that should the ward office be used for discharging duties not related to the DC, e.g. using the ward office as a polling station of the abovementioned event, the related expenses will not be reimbursed. 

     Furthermore, some ward offices are located in the premises of the Hong Kong Housing Authority (HA). According to the HA, the tenancy agreements for leasing ward offices signed between the members and HA stipulate that "not to carry on or permit or suffer to be carried on in or upon the said premises or any part thereof any trade profession or business whatsoever other than that of a Councillor's office". If a tenant violates the terms in the tenancy agreement (e.g. using the ward office for purposes not related to the business of the Council), the HA would consider taking appropriate follow-up actions in the light of the actual situation.
Ends/Friday, July 10, 2020
Issued at HKT 21:10
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