DC member reminded to follow rules

The Home Affairs Department today said it issued a letter to remind Yau Tsim Mong District Council member Chu Kong-wai to comply with the Code of Conduct and the remuneration guidelines after complaints were received against him.   In its response, the department said it received complaints that Mr Chu had used his ward office to conduct activities, including a movie screening, which are unrelated to district council duties and possibly in breach of Hong Kong laws.   It noted that the activities may breach the Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance and the Prevention & Control of Disease (Requirements & Directions) (Business & Premises) Regulation.   If there is proof that Mr Chu's ward office was used for duties not related to the district council, the related remuneration and ward office operating expenses will not be reimbursed.   The district councillor may also bear criminal liability when other legislations are breached, the department added.   According to the relevant code of conduct, a district councillor shall conduct himself or herself in such a way as not to place himself or herself in a position which may be contrary to the generally assumed standard of conduct expected of a district council member.   When deciding whether to engage in any activities, a district councillor shall accord due consideration as to whether the nature and contents of such activities might be regarded as not in keeping with the position or prestige of a district council member and thereby bringing the council into disrepute.   Additionally, a district councillor shall not use the allowances for a member, or his or her ward offices for purposes other than those connected with district council business.   Moreover, according to the remuneration guidelines, a district councillor must ensure that the ward office operated with the support of the operating expenses reimbursement and other accountable allowances, or expenses reimbursements for district council members is used for discharging council duties.   The daily operation of a district councillor's ward office should also comply with all statutory provisions and guidelines issued by relevant government departments, professional groups or social service organisations.   All expenses not complying with the remuneration guidelines will not be reimbursed.
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