In response to media enquiries regarding the letter from Mr Frederick Fung, Legislative Council Member, to the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, today (September 4) concerning the recruitment of the Chairperson for the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) (a copy of the letter was also provided to the media), a spokesman for the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau said Mr Lam had sent a reply to Mr Fung on the issue.
Following is Mr Lam's reply:
"Dear Mr. Fung,
Thank you for your letter of 4 September.
The Selection Board was established for the purpose of the present recruitment of the Chairperson of the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC). We have invited Dr Leong Che-hung, Professor Anthony Cheung and Mr Bernard Chan to join the Selection Board. They have extensive experience and knowledge respectively in the medical, education, social services and other fields. Dr Leong will chair the Selection Board. The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs and the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, being the principal officials responsible for policies related to the anti-discrimination ordinances and relevant areas, will also join the Board as members.
Regarding your question on the reason for not including incumbent Members of the EOC Board in the Selection Board, under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, the EOC Chairperson is a member of the EOC Board. Both the Chairperson and other Members of the Board are appointed by the Chief Executive. The Chairperson will steer the work of the EOC Board. We do not consider it appropriate to involve other EOC Members in the selection process of the Chairperson.
The deadline for application in the open recruitment exercise is September 24. We aim to arrange, in October, meetings of the Selection Board with relevant applicants. After the Board has come up with the most suitable candidate, it will put its proposal to the Chief Executive.
Any speculation suggesting that there is a pre-determined candidate is entirely groundless. Any persons making such allegations should substantiate their views with facts. Otherwise, this would be totally fallacious.
I wish to emphasise again that the EOC Chairperson will be selected through open recruitment, and that there is no pre-determined candidate. The Government has engaged an executive search firm to carry out the recruitment exercise. The Selection Board will handle the relevant applications fairly on the basis of objective criteria in order to put up a proposal on the most suitable candidate.
Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs"
Ends/Friday, September 4, 2009