Dear Treasury Branch, Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau,

I wish to obtain the following information:
1. Financial circular No. 3/2012 "Capital Works Programme"
2. The results of each Capital Works Reserve Fund Resource Allocation Exercise held in the past five years, including the names of each individual project and its respective result.

Yours faithfully,

C.C. Kan

Public enquiry, Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau Treasury Branch

Dear C.C.Kan,

Thank you very much for the message, the content of which has been noted.
We shall take appropriate follow-up actions and if a reply is necessary, we
shall approach you as soon as possible.

Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau
(Treasury Branch)

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|"C.C. Kan" <[FOI #151 email]> |
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|FOI requests at Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau Treasury Branch <[Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau Treasury Branch request email]> |
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| Date: |
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|23/03/2017 03:08 |
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|Freedom of Information request - Capital Works Reserve Fund Resource Allocation Exercise |
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Dear Treasury Branch, Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau,

I wish to obtain the following information:
1. Financial circular No. 3/2012 "Capital Works Programme"
2. The results of each Capital Works Reserve Fund Resource Allocation
Exercise held in the past five years, including the names of each
individual project and its respective result.

Yours faithfully,

C.C. Kan

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Please use this email address for all replies to this request:
[FOI #151 email]

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Anna SK CHU, Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau Treasury Branch

Dear C C Kan,

Thank you for your email on 23 March 2017 on the application for Access to
Information.

Please be informed that your application has been forwarded to the subject
division for consideration.  

We shall let you know the result of your application once ready.

Thank you for your attention.

Regards,

Mrs Anna Chu
Access Clerk
FSTB (TsyB)
2810 2272

show quoted sections

Anna SK CHU, Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau Treasury Branch

Dear C C Kan,

Thank you for your application for access to information on 23 March 2017.

In order to facilitate us to process your application, we should be
grateful if you would kindly advise the purpose for the request.  We would
like to emphasize that the purpose or non-disclosure of the information
will not affect our decision but will help us to process your request and
provide the requested information in the most proper way.  To quote an
example, if the information is required for preparing a tender submission,
we are obliged to provide it to all bidders or made accessible to all the
bidders by open means to ensure the disclosure of the information would
not harm or prejudice the tender exercise.

We should be grateful if you would let us have your reply on or before 5
April, Wednesday.

Thank you for your attention.

Regards,

Mrs Anna Chu
Access Clerk
FSTB (TsyB)
2810 2272

show quoted sections

Dear Anna SK CHU,

The purpose is for an academic analysis of the entitled mechanism. I have no commercial interest in relation to the capital works.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

C.C. Kan

Anna SK CHU, Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau Treasury Branch

Dear C C Kan,

Thank you for your email.

I understand from you that the requested information is only used for
academic and study purpose.  It is used internally and not for preparing a
tender submission.  

Thank you for your attention.

Regards,

Mrs Anna Chu
Access Clerk
FSTB (TsyB)
2810 2272

show quoted sections

Dear Mrs Chu,

Your understanding is correct. Grateful if you could provide an update as to the status of my request. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

C.C. Kan

Anna SK CHU, Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau Treasury Branch

1 Attachment

Dear C C Kan,
Re. your written request for Financial Circular No. 3/2012 and the results
of Capital Works Reserve Fund Resource Allocation Exercise in the past
five years, and our interim reply of 31 March 2017.  We enclose herewith
the Financial Circular No. 3/2012 for your reference.

Please note that our Bureau has no obligation to inform you of any
amendments to the requested circular subsequently made.

As regards “results of Capital Works Reserve Fund Resource Allocation
Exercise”, we have carefully reviewed your request and are sorry to inform
you that, we are unable to provide the information pursuant to para. 2.8
of the Code on Access to Information (the Code), i.e. “Management of the
economy” and para. 2.10(b) of the Code, i.e. “Internal discussion and
advice”.

We hope you will appreciate that we have endeavoured to provide all the
information which can be released.  If you are not satisfied with the
decision, you may raise a request for internal review by sending an email
to me, or lodge a complaint with The Ombudsman.  Please contact me if you
have any further questions.

Regards,

Mrs Anna Chu
Access Clerk / Senior Clerical Officer (Branch Management)
Treasury Branch
Financial Services and The Treasury Bureau

show quoted sections

Guy Freeman left an annotation ()

Are these exemptions valid? It might be worth appealing the decision if you think they are not.

Dear Mrs Chu,

Thank you for your reply.

This is a request for an internal review of your refusal to provide the "results of Capital Works Reserve Fund Resource Allocation Exercise (RAE)." Both grounds of refusal do not apply to my request.

- "Management of the economy"
The RAE has no direct connection with the monetary policy or financial markets. In addition, disclosing the results could not possibly hamper the ability of the Government to manage the economy. Projects approved under the RAE will generally be publicised by the time it reaches Legco. Therefore your concern could only relate to failed bids. Since failed bids would, by definition, incur no further public expenses, their disclosure could not possibly affect the economy.

- "Internal discussion and advice"
A request can only be refused under this ground if the disclosure might inhibit frankness and candour of the discussion. In this regard, my request does not cover the deliberation process. The results of the RAE do not reflect the individual opinion of the committee members. It is therefore unimaginable how disclosing the results of the RAE will inhibit the frankness of the government officials involved.

You are reminded that according to the relevant guidelines this internal review "should be considered by a directorate officer at least one rank senior to the officer who made the original decision."

Yours sincerely,

C.C. Kan

Anna SK CHU, Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau Treasury Branch

Dear C C Kan,

Thank you for your email on 13 April  2017.

Your request for an internal review of our refusal to provide the "results
of Capital Works Reserve Fund Resource Allocation Exercise (RAE)" is being
considered.

We shall let you know the result of our review once ready.

Thank you for your attention.

Regards,

Mrs Anna Chu
Access Clerk / Senior Clerical Officer (Branch Management)
Treasury Branch
Financial Services and The Treasury Bureau

show quoted sections

Anna SK CHU, Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau Treasury Branch

Dear C C Kan,

We refer to your email dated 13 April 2017 and our interim reply to you on
21 April 2017.  

In view of the need for seeking information from other relevant parties on
the case, we require more time to process your application and shall let
you have our reply as soon as possible.

Regards,

Mrs Anna Chu
Access Clerk / Senior Clerical Officer (Branch Management)
Treasury Branch
Financial Services and The Treasury Bureau

show quoted sections

Public enquiry, Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau Treasury Branch

1 Attachment

Dear Mr. Kan,
        I refer to your email of 13 April 2017 requesting for an internal
review of our refusal to disclose the requested information on “the
results of each Capital Works Reserve Fund Resource Allocation Exercise
(CWRAE) held in the past five years, including the names of each
individual project and its respective result”.

        You indicated in your request that our grounds of not providing
the requested information (i.e. paragraph 2.8 of the Code on Access to
Information (the Code) - “Management of the economy” and paragraph 2.10(b)
of the Code - “Internal discussion and advice") were not applicable to
your case.  You have also furnished us with the following information for
consideration -

* "Management of the economy" (i.e. paragraph 2.8 of the Code) - The RAE
has no direct connection with the monetary policy or financial
markets.  In addition, disclosing the results could not possibly
hamper the ability of the Government to manage the economy.  Projects
approved under the RAE will generally be publicised by the time it
reaches LegCo.  Therefore, our concern could only relate to failed
bids.  Yet, since failed bids would, by definition, incur no further
public expenses, their disclosure could not possibly affect the
economy.
* "Internal discussion and advice" (i.e. paragraph 2.10(b) of the Code)
- A request can only be refused under this ground if the disclosure
might inhibit frankness and candour of the discussion.  As the
applicant's request does not cover the deliberation process and the
results of the RAE do not reflect the individual opinion of the
committee members, the disclosure of the results of the RAE will not
inhibit the frankness of the government officials involved.  

        As an independent directorate officer who has not been involved in
processing your request for information before receiving your email of 13
April 2017, I have reviewed your application for access to information
anew.  Having regard to the following considerations, I maintain the
stance that the results of each CWRAE held in the past five years should
not be released -

        “Internal discussion and advice” (paragraph 2.10 of the Code)

* According to paragraph 2.10.1 of the Guidelines on Interpretation and
Application of the Code (the Guidelines), “it is a well-established
convention, both in Hong Kong and elsewhere, that internal government
discussion leading to policy decisions must be afforded a degree of
protection if the frankness and candour of that discussion is not to
be inhibited by it being subjected to excessive public scrutiny”.
* According to paragraph 2.10.3 of Part 2 of the Guidelines, “it is
important that civil servants involved in the decision-making process
be able to express views and tender advice without being concerned
that these views and advice will be subject to public debate and
criticism”.
* The CWRAE results reflect tough decisions made by the Government at a
specific juncture on which works projects (with individual project
name shown) should be allocated with resources for implementation, and
which works projects should not be allocated resources due to
competing priorities.  The disclosure of these results alone may lead
to public debate or even criticism as different stakeholders tend to
have different interests and perspectives.  We are concerned that the
requested disclosure could result in undue pressure on the government
officials involved in making tough choices.  This might ultimately
affect discussions in future CWRAEs and would very likely “inhibit
frankness and candour of discussion within the Government”.

“Management of the economy” (paragraph 2.8 of the Code)

* As explained above, the CWRAE results reflect tough decisions made by
the Government at a specific juncture having regard to competing
priorities.  For works projects not supported in a particular CWRAE
(i.e. failed bids), they should not be regarded as projects which
would then have no future public expenditure as such projects may seek
funding and be allocated with resources in subsequent CWRAEs in
following years.  Hence, the CWRAE results indeed cover possible
expenditure proposals under paragraph 2.8.1(e) of the Guidelines.
* The names of individual projects of the CWRAE results for the
successful bids contain information on the project location and the
nature of works that may involve potential changes of land use (i.e.
paragraph 2.8.1(d) of the Guidelines) for housing development, as well
as potential compensation and rehousing arrangement.  
* Similarly, the project names of unsuccessful CWRAE bids (i.e. failed
bids in a particular year) will also contain information on project
location and nature of works which may involve potential changes of
land use (i.e. paragraph 2.8.1(d) of the Guidelines) to facilitate
housing or other developments, as well as potential compensation and
rehousing arrangements.  
* The premature disclosure of all such information (both successful and
unsuccessful bids in the CWRAE results) could possibly lead to market
speculation, and paragraph 2.8.1 of the Code would be applicable.

        Notwithstanding the foregoing, to facilitate your study on the
related information on CWRAEs more conveniently, a consolidated list of
projects approved by the Finance Committee or under delegated authority
with outstanding commitments in the 2012-16 CWRAEs is provided as
attached.  

        Your attention is also drawn to the information paper which is
submitted annually to the Public Works Subcommittee (PWSC) at the
beginning of each legislative session.  The information paper lists out
those works projects that are targeted for submission to PWSC and FC for
funding approval within the concerned legislative session.  The latest
information paper issued for 2016-17 legislative session could be found at
[1]http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr16-17/english/...
(English version) and
[2]http://www.legco.gov.hk/yr16-17/chinese/...
(Chinese version).

        If you are not satisfied with the review result or consider that
our branch has failed to properly apply any provision of the Code, you may
lodge a complaint with The Ombudsman.  The contact information of The
Ombudsman is as below -

Address: 30/F, China Merchants Tower, Shun Tak Centre, 168-200 Connaught
Road Central, Hong Kong
Telephone : (852) 2629 0555
Fax : (852) 2882 8149

        Should you have any further enquiries, please do not hesitate to
contact us.

Raistlin Lau
Deputy Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury (Treasury) 3
Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau (The Treasury Branch)
Tel: 2810 3132

From: Anna SK CHU/TSYB/HKSARG
To: [FOI #151 email]
Date: 02/05/2017 14:32
Subject: Internal review of Freedom of Information request - Capital Works
Reserve Fund Resource Allocation Exercise

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Dear C C Kan,

We refer to your email dated 13 April 2017 and our interim reply to you on
21 April 2017.  

In view of the need for seeking information from other relevant parties on
the case, we require more time to process your application and shall let
you have our reply as soon as possible.

Regards,

Mrs Anna Chu
Access Clerk / Senior Clerical Officer (Branch Management)
Treasury Branch
Financial Services and The Treasury Bureau

show quoted sections