Press Releases

Government to conduct open recruitment exercise for Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data

     A Government spokesman announced today (March 4) that the Government would conduct an open recruitment exercise for the next Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (Privacy Commissioner).

     The spokesman said, "The term of appointment of the incumbent Privacy Commissioner, Mr Roderick Woo, will expire on July 31, 2010. To meet public expectations that the selection process of the next Privacy Commissioner should be open, fair and transparent, and to allow the Government to cast a wider net to identify candidates of the right calibre to perform the Privacy Commissioner's role, the Government will shortly commence an open recruitment for the Privacy Commissioner's position.

     "A selection board will consider the candidates and recommend the most suitable candidate to the Chief Executive for appointment. The board will be chaired by Mrs Laura M Cha, and its members comprise Professor Lawrence Lau Juen-yee, Dr Elizabeth Shing Shiu-ching and the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs.

     "The non-official members of the Selection Board have extensive experience and knowledge respectively in community services, public administration, corporate governance and management and other fields. The Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, being the Principal Official responsible for policies related to protection of personal data, will also join the Board as a member.

     "The Government will engage an executive search firm to carry out the recruitment exercise. This is to broaden the network for the search for qualified and experienced candidates and ensure a professional process in the recruitment exercise."

     In accordance with Section 5 of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance, the Chief Executive shall appoint a person to be the Privacy Commissioner. The same section provides that the person to be the Privacy Commissioner shall hold office for a period of five years.

     In response to media enquiries on the resources allocated to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner for Personal Data (PCPD), the spokesman said that since the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (CMAB) took over the policy responsibility for human rights matters in July 2007, it had increased the allocation to the PCPD from $36.2 million in 2007-08 to the revised estimate of $45.1 million in 2009-10. The proposed allocation to PCPD in 2010-11 is $48.6 million, a one-third increase compared with the provision in 2007-08, which exceeds the percentage increase in allocation generally available to Government departments.

     "We hope and believe that the Privacy Commissioner will, as recommended by the Legislative Council Public Accounts Committee in its Report No. 53, make effective use of the additional resources allocated by the CMAB and explore effective ways to resolve the manpower shortage of the PCPD, so as to strengthen enforcement of the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and enhance publicity and promotion work."

Ends/Thursday, March 4, 2010