LC Paper No. CB(1) 189/99-00(02)

ITBB/IT 107/4/1(99)VIII
2869 9216
2877 5029

Urgent By Fax No. 2511 1458

1 September 1999

Mr Alan Siu
Principal Assistant Secretary
Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau
2/F Murray Building
Garden Road
Hong Kong

Dear Mr. Siu,

Electronic Transactions Bill

I am scrutinizing the above Bill with a view to advising Members and should be grateful if you would clarify the following matters:

Proposed section 3

It is noted that proposed section 5(1) makes provision relating to a rule of law which requires information to be in writing. Please explain why such requirement has not been included in proposed section 3 where reference to section 5 is made.

Proposed section 5

If a rule of law does not specify whether the information is required to be in writing, can the information concerned exist or appear in the form of electronic records? If yes, should the reference to "information to be in writing" which already appears n subsection (1) be made in subsection (2) as well?

Proposed section 22(4)

Is the Director of Information Technology Services (DITS) required to give reasons in the notice for revoking the recognition in order to assist the certification authority in its appeal to the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting? If so, will the Administration consider providing for this requirement in this section?

Proposed section 23

Before the DITS suspends a recognition, will the DITS give the certification authority notice of the intention to do so and invite the certification authority to make representations? Given that there are such provisions in the case of revocation, will the Administration consider doing the same for suspension?

Proposed section 38

After issuing a certificate practice statement, is a recognized certification authority required to publish that statement? If so, where and how will the certification practice statement be published?

Schedule 1

  1. In the light of section 3, should section 16 be referred to in the heading of Schedule 1 as well?

  2. Is it intended that a document effecting a floating charge on immovable property should fall within the scope of Schedule 1?

Schedule 2

Apart from the proceedings set out in Schedule 2, there are judicial and quasi-judicial proceedings or hearings before statutory tribunals, including disciplinary tribunals established under various Ordinances. These include tribunals appointed by the Securities and Futures Appeals Panel under the Securities and Futures Commission Ordinance (Cap. 24), Board of Review on assessment of tax under the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap. 112), Immigration Tribunal established under the Immigration Ordinance (Cap. 115), etc. Is it intended that proceedings before these statutory tribunals should fall within the scope of Schedule 2?

Public Consultation

According to the LegCo Brief, the Law Society of Hong Kong has raised some technical points on the principles of the Bill. Please confirm whether the Administration has taken on board those points in drafting the Bill.

I would appreciate it if you would let me have your reply in both English and Chinese as soon as possible so that I can report to Members.

Yours sincerely,

(Connie Fung)
Assistant Legal Adviser

c.c.Department of Justice (Attn: Mrs. Nilmini Dissanayake, SALD)