Legislative Council

LC Paper No. CB(3) 270/98-99(01)

Ref: CB(3)/C/2 (IV)

Committee on Members' Interests

Minutes of first meeting
held on Thursday 23 July 1998 at 2:30 pm
in Conference Room B of the Legislative Council Building

Members present :

Hon David CHU Yu-lin (Chairman)
Hon SIN Chung-kai (Deputy Chairman)
Hon Cyd HO Sau-lan
Hon NG Leung-sing
Hon Bernard CHAN
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung

Member absent :

Hon HO Sai-chu, JP

Clerk in attendance :

Mrs Betty LEUNG
Chief Assistant Secretary (3)1

Staff in attendance :

Mr LEE Yu-sung
Senior Assistant Legal Adviser

Ms Miranda HON
Senior Assistant Secretary (3)1

Mr Arthur LEUNG
Senior Assistant Secretary (3)1 (Designate)

The Chairman welcomed members to the first meeting of the Committee.

I. Registration Form on Members' Interests

(a) Inclusion of Members' election expenses as interests registrable under "Financial Sponsorships" on Page 4
(LC Paper Nos. CB(3)73/98-99(01) and (02))

2. The Chairman sought members' view as to whether it was necessary to include in Rule 83(5)(d) of the Rules of Procedure the provision for the sponsorship of election expenses received by Legislative Council Members as interests registrable under "Financial Sponsorships".

3. The Chairman informed members that according to S.O. No. 64A(4)(e)(i) of the Standing Orders of the former Legislative Council, registrable interests included the financial sponsorships received by a Legislative Council Member "as a candidate for election to the Council, where to the knowledge of the Member the sponsorship exceeds 10,000 or 25% of his election expenses". Hence, Members of the former Legislative Council were required to register the sponsorship they received in this regard on the registration form. However, this S.O. was not included in the Rules of Procedure of the Provisional Legislative Council (PLC) as it was not applicable to PLC Members. The Rules of Procedure of this Council, based on those of the PLC, again did not have this provision.

4. After discussion, members agreed that, for the sake of transparency, a Legislative Council Member should be required to register the donations he received as a candidate for election to the Council. They further agreed that in order to minimize administrative inconvenience, the requirements should be the same as those of the Electoral Affairs Commission in this regard.

5. The Senior Assistant Legal Adviser (SALA) advised and members noted that under section 29 of the Corrupt and Illegal Practices Ordinance (Cap. 288), all candidates at the 1998 Legislative Council elections were required to send to the returning officer a return of their election expenses and donations which should contain, inter alia, "a statement of all the donations, vouched (except in the case of donations under $500) by copies of receipts issued to every person from whom those donations may have been received". After discussion, members decided that -

  1. Legislative Council Members should be required to register donations amounting to $500 or above towards their being elected to the membership of the Council; and

  2. Members should be deemed to have satisfied this requirement by attaching to the registration form a copy of their return of donations sent to the Electoral Affairs Commission. However, the copies of receipts sent to the Commission needed not be attached again.

6. The Chairman then directed the clerk to draft revisions to Page 4 of the registration form and to Rule 83(5)(d) of the Rules of Procedure for their consideration. Clerk

(b) Meaning of "a company which a Member has control" as set out in the footnote on Page 7
(LC Paper No. CB(3)73/98-99(03))

7. The Chairman briefed members that Hon Ambrose LAU considered that the meaning of "such as through a company in which he has control" in the footnote on Page 7 of the registration form was uncertain and vague. In view of Mr LAU's comments, the Chairman invited members to discuss whether it was necessary to clarify the meaning of the phrase.

8. Members considered that as there were numerous ways to control land and property, it would be impossible to provide an exhaustive list on the different forms of control over land and property which Members had to register. After discussion, members decided that in the interests of enhanced transparency, the phrase as it was should be kept and there was no need for amendment. They further agreed that Members should register land and property over which they had beneficiary interests. Members then requested SALA to propose revisions to Page 7 of the registration form for their consideration. SALA

II. Any other business

Issuance of guidelines on matters of ethics in relation to the conduct of Legislative Council Members in their capacity as such

9. The Chairman informed members that the Committee on Members' Interests of both the former Legislative Council and the Provisional Legislative Council had issued advisory guidelines on matters of ethics in relation to the conduct of Members in their capacity as such. He suggested members to consider at the next meeting whether it was necessary for the Committee to issue similar guidelines.

III. Date of next meeting

10. Members decided to hold the next meeting on Thursday 24 September 1998 at 10:45 am.

11. The meeting ended at 3:05 pm.

Legislative Council Secretariat
24 July 1998