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DC reform meetings held

The Government held exchange meetings on the theme of improving the district governance system and reforming the District Councils (DCs) at the Central Government Offices today.   Over 80 Hong Kong Special Administrative Region deputies to the National People's Congress (NPC) and Hong Kong SAR members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) were there to exchange views on improving the district governance system and supporting the District Council election.   Chief Executive John Lee noted that it is the first major citywide election after improving the district governance system and reforming the DCs, and is of particular significance.   He said it also marks the final mile for the full implementation of the principle of “patriots administering Hong Kong” in the district governance structure.   The Chief Executive also noted that the election is of great significance to the good governance and the long-term st

DC members should abide by rules

​The Home Affairs Department today said it had issued letters reminding individual district councillors to comply with the code of conduct and the remuneration guidelines, after receiving complaints that some members are promoting unauthorised public assemblies.   In a statement, the department said it received complaints that some District Council members conducted activities which are unrelated to council duties, damaging to community harmony, and possibly in breach of the laws of Hong Kong.   These activities include, but are not limited to, distributing materials and conducting publicity to encourage and facilitate members of the public to participate in unauthorised public assemblies.   Citing the relevant code of conduct, the department said 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 various allowances for a member, or his or her ward offices for purposes other than those connected with the district council business.   The daily operation of a district councillor’s ward office should also comply with all relevant statutory provisions and guidelines issued by relevant government departments, professional groups or social service organisations.   All expenses not complying with the remuneration guidelines or for discharging duties unrelated to the District Council will not be reimbursed.   The department said if there is proof that a district councillor’s ward office was used for duties not related to the 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, it added.
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