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Monday, Sep 26, 2022

Anti-corruption watchdog hit by 13 complaints last year, 69pc over officers’ negligence

Anti-corruption watchdog hit by 13 complaints last year, 69pc over officers’ negligence

Hong Kong’s anti-corruption watchdog was hit by 13 complaints last year, amounting to 26 allegations in total, according to an annual report submitted by the ICAC Complaints Committee to the Legislative Council on Wednesday.
The Committee’s report noted that in 2021, it received 13 complaints against the ICAC and its officers. Of the 26 allegations, 69 percent were related to neglect of duty by ICAC officers, 23 percent to misconduct, and 8 percent to abuse of power.

It said the ICAC sends an investigation report to the Committee after a comprehensive investigation into the complaint.

“If it is decided that a full investigation of the complaint is not necessary, the ICAC submits an assessment report instead,” it added.

The Committee said they had in last year evaluated 13 investigation reports spanning 25 allegations. Four of these allegations were substantiated, and the five ICAC officials involved in these cases were suitably reprimanded.

The Committee also said they had reviewed an assessment report, but it was quickly decided that the complaint did not require further investigation as it was a repetition of a complaint previously dealt with by the Committee.

Meanwhile, considering the complaints received in 2021, the report read that the ICAC has improved its internal procedures, guidelines, and practices.

“After a careful examination of the issues identified in the investigation reports, [the ICAC] have hosted briefings and training sessions for their frontline officers to improve their professionalism. ICAC officers were also advised to inform complainants of the investigation outcome as soon as possible and to be more vigilant in providing accurate information to the public,” it wrote.

The ICAC has also improved the handover of cases to ensure the complainant is informed of the change in case officer and the progress of the investigation in a timely manner, according to the report.
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