Published on Wednesday in the Official Gazette (BO), the Commission Against Corruption’s (CCAC) 2016 Annual Report reveals a string of cases involving government officials’ alleged malfeasance.
Commissioner Cheong Weng Chon handed the report to Chief Executive Fernando Chui Sai On last month.
According to the report, the commission received 910 complaints and tip-offs, with a 14.7 percent year-on-year increase. A total of 252 of the cases were classified as alleged criminal offences, while 658 were complaints about maladministration.
According to the report, the number of requests for assistance by anti-graft bodies in the mainland and Hong Kong rose from four to 19 cases between 2015 and ast year.
For instance, the commission discovered last year that a chief and a functional chief of the Marine and Water Bureau (DSAMA) together cheated the government out of over 50,000 patacas in shift subsidies in 2010.
According to the report, the functional chief came up with different excuses so that he could work shifts, with the approval of the chief, in order to collect an extra 17.5 percent of his salary as shift allowance.
Following the CCAC investigation, both the chief and the functional chief were questioned by the Public Prosecution Office (MP) about their alleged aggravated fraud offences, according to he report.
The commission also revealed that a Public Security Police (PSP) officer used a number of PSP vehicles and drivers for personal matters and told his colleagues to repair his wife’s car during office hours.
According to the report, the officer told PSP drivers to take his son and domestic helper to school and the hospital in PSP vehicles between September in 2015 and June last year.
During a press conference, a PSP spokesperson said the allegedly involved officer was the chief of the PSP Support and Services Division, who joined the police force in 1985. The spokesperson did not reveal more information about the case.
In the Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC), the commission discovered that the chiefs of the bureau’s Human Resources and Administration Division and the Research and Planning Division did not have the formal qualifications for their positions.
The report pointed out that the position of division chief requires a minimum of five years work experience in the related field. Neither of the two chiefs fulfilled the requirement, according to the commission.
Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture Alexis Tam Chon Weng will appoint two new officials to the position, according to the report.
The commission also revealed that Meteorological and Geophysical Bureau (SMG) Director Fong Soi Kun passed part of his authority to Vice Director Leong Ka Cheng through an internal order in 2014.
The commission pointed out in the report that the internal order had not been published in the Official Gazette nor confirmed by Secretary for Transport and Public Works Raimundo do Rosario.
According to the report, Fong gave Leong the power to approve holidays, over-time and shift work. The report added that Fong told the commission the internal order did not mean that he passed his authority to the vice director. Fong also insisted that it had always been him who approved his officials’ holidays, over-time and shift work.
However, the commission proved otherwise after examining about 800 pages of documents and an eight-month investigation, according to the report. The commission slammed Fong for denying his malfeasance and therefore wasting the commission’s time and administrative resources.