Speeches and Presentations



Opening remarks by Acting SCED at Legco Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting special meeting

The following are the opening remarks (translation) by the Acting Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, on the Internet Learning Support Programme at the special meeting of the Legislative Council Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting today (June 7):

Chairman,

Mr Jeremy Godfrey's remarks on the Internet Learning Support Programme (ILSP) have already caused adverse impacts on the Government's reputation. The Government expresses its deep regrets on this.

I was not involved in the formulation of the Request for Proposal and the evaluation processes, nor did I participate in the work of the Review Committee. When I learned that Mr Godfrey had reflected his views about the ILSP with the Legislative Council, I, as the Acting Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, made enquiries with the Permanent Secretary, Ms Elizabeth Tse, and colleagues of the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer to have a thorough understanding of the matter. I can reiterate that the ILSP selection process was conducted in a fair manner and guided only by what is best for the project in overall terms. There is no question of impropriety and political assignment.

Civil servants have only one common goal to achieve as far as the ILSP is concerned, that is to select the best solution to implement the ILSP according to the established regulations and procedures to bring out the optimal results of the project. They have endeavoured to discharge their duties following the rules and regulations with impartiality and fairness.

Differences of opinion among colleagues cannot be taken as any suggestion of impropriety. Mr Godfrey's statements were inaccurate, unfounded and misleading. The Government cannot accept his accusations. Mr Godfrey repeatedly chooses to interpret the messages he comes across with political intentions, and bends the nature of events to conform with his personal views. This is absolutely regrettable.

The Government is prepared to continue to present to the Legislative Council Panel on Information Technology and Broadcasting the details of the ILSP selection process, and actively respond to the requests of the Panel to unveil the truth.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011