Administration's Response to Points raised on 20 April 1999 by Members of the Bills Committee on Elections (Corrupt and Illegal Conduct) Bill

C1:To respond to members' concerns that the scope of "any other service (other than the provision of entertainment)" under the definition of "advantage" in clause 2 is too wide.
A1:The term "any other service" used in the definition of advantage in the Bill is the same as that used in the definition of advantage in the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance. The Corrupt and Illegal Practices Ordinance uses the same definition. The term must be interpreted in the context of the relevant offence provisions in the Bill, that is clauses 7 and 11. An important element for constituting an offence under these provisions is that the service is offered as an inducement or reward to affect a person's intention to stand as a candidate or to vote at an election. Given the diversity of services that can be offered, it will be impracticable to provide a comprehensive list of services in the definition.
C2:To respond to members' discussion on volunteer service rendered by a person whose occupation involves that kind of service; and to consider whether restriction should be imposed on volunteer service, having regard to practices in overseas countries (item 6 of LC Paper No. CB(2)1680/98-99(02)).
A2:The purpose for counting certain volunteer service as election donations is to provide a level playing field for all candidates at an election. If all kinds of volunteer services are excluded, some candidates may gain an unfair advantage over others if they can obtain volunteer service from people in various occupations. In the light of Members' comments, we have added a time element to further narrow the scope of volunteer services to be counted as donation. We consider that our current proposal provides the right balance.
C3:To advise whether any candidate had included in an election return costs incurred for holding banquets of large scale in the 1998 LegCo election.
A3:We have requested all the Returning Officers to check the election returns submitted by candidates of the 1998 LegCo election. We will respond as soon as possible.

Constitutional Affairs Bureau
26 April 1999


CountryRestriction on volunteer serviceLimit on election expenses Limit on donation to candidate
United KingdomNoYesNo
United StatesYesYesYes