ICAC Protects Anti-Corruption Achievements, Moves Towards New Milestone in Year of Fruitful Efforts and Achievements
8 mins read

ICAC Protects Anti-Corruption Achievements, Moves Towards New Milestone in Year of Fruitful Efforts and Achievements

ICAC heads towards Golden Jubilee with fruitful achievements in 2023, maintaining clean Hong Kong society and global anti-corruption cooperation

This press release is issued on behalf of the Independent Anti-Corruption Commission:

ICAC noted in its latest annual report issued today (10 July) that 2023 was a “year of fruitful efforts and achievements” as the Commission approached its golden jubilee. ICAC sought to safeguard the remarkable achievements made over the past 50 years in the fight against corruption, contribute to the country’s Belt and Road Initiative, the development strategy of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area and advance the global fight against corruption through the synergy of the tripartite partnership formed with the International Association of Anti-Corruption Authorities (IAACA) and the Hong Kong International Academy Against Corruption (HKIAAC).

Presenting the ICAC Annual Report 2023 to the Legislative Council today, Chairman of the Advisory Commission on Corruption and legislator, Mr Martin Liao, commended and thanked the ICAC officers for their steadfast execution of the anti-corruption mission over the years and for continuously raising the level of anti-corruption efforts in Hong Kong to new heights.

Mr. Liao noted that ICAC’s fruitful achievements over the past 50 years have been reflected in the results of ICAC’s annual surveys and continuous recognitions from the international community.

According to the recently released ICAC Annual Survey 2023, members of the public continued to demonstrate zero tolerance for corruption. On a rating scale of 0 to 10, with 0 indicating complete rejection and 10 indicating complete tolerance of corruption, the average score for 2023 was 0.3. Meanwhile, the vast majority (96.7%) of respondents believed that honesty is important for Hong Kong’s development, indicating that the core value of honesty is deeply rooted in Hong Kong.

In addition, 98.9% of respondents said they had not personally encountered corruption in the past year. Similar results were recorded in the past 10 years, reflecting the fact that Hong Kong was a very clean society.

Internationally, Hong Kong ranked 14th out of 180 countries and territories assessed in Transparency International’s 2023 Corruption Perceptions Index. In the World Justice Project’s 2023 Rule of Law Index, Hong Kong ranked 9th in the “no corruption” factor out of 142 countries/territories. These rankings reflected not only Hong Kong’s effective anti-corruption work but also the city’s solid rule of law.

Meanwhile, in the recently released World Competitiveness Yearbook 2024, Hong Kong’s competitiveness improved by two places to 5th among 67 economies. In the “bribery and corruption non-existent” indicator, Hong Kong rose six places to 4th from 10th last year, taking first place in the Asia-Pacific region. The result reflected the confidence of businesses and investors in Hong Kong’s business environment and anti-corruption efforts.

In the ICAC Annual Report 2023, ICAC Commissioner Mr. Woo Ying-ming noted that the year was “a year of fruitful efforts and achievements”. The Commission leveraged Hong Kong’s unique advantage of “support from the motherland and connection with the world” to foster closer cooperation with anti-corruption counterparts around the world and start a new chapter in the global fight against corruption.

Last year, ICAC supported closer cooperation with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). In addition to organizing an anti-corruption workshop for members of the Global Operational Network of Anti-Corruption Law Enforcement Authorities (GlobE Network) in Vienna, the Commission also organized a training program for the GlobE Network in Hong Kong in February this year. ICAC and UNODC also jointly developed the “Global Policy Guide for Strengthening Youth Engagement in Anti-Corruption Initiatives,” which served as a practical reference for anti-corruption agencies around the world to promote youth engagement in the fight against corruption.

In order to further contribute to the domestic and global fight against corruption, the HKIAAC was established last year and pilot courses were organized for a number of foreign anti-corruption agencies. After its official establishment in February this year, a solid tripartite partnership was formed between the ICAC, HKIAAC and IAACA, of which the Commissioner of the ICAC, Mr. Woo Ying-ming, serves as the Chairman to promote global anti-corruption cooperation. In addition, the ICAC has maintained close contacts with the National Supervisory Commission and played an active role in promoting integrity in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area.

“This new strategy will take ICAC’s work to the next level, solidifying Hong Kong’s reputation as a city of integrity and providing solid support for Hong Kong’s progress from stability to prosperity, so that Hong Kong can make significant contributions to national development and continue to tell the good stories of China, ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and our city to the international community,” Mr Woo noted.

The ICAC’s determination to tackle all obstacles in the fight against corruption with a holistic “three-pronged” strategy has helped to keep Hong Kong one of the cleanest places in the world. The corruption situation in Hong Kong continued to remain under control last year. The Commission received 2,001 non-election-related corruption complaints. While this figure increased by 9 percent compared to 2022, it was a decrease of 13 percent compared to the pre-pandemic period in 2019. This increase was mainly due to the gradual recovery of Hong Kong’s economic activity after the pandemic, as evidenced by a corresponding increase in the number of complaints related to the private sector.

Building management, finance and insurance, and construction were the three private sector industries that attracted the most complaints. Last year, ICAC cracked the largest corruption case involving building maintenance and launched a new “Prevention of Corruption Guide for Property Management Companies” to help property management companies effectively prevent corruption and enhance their anti-corruption capabilities.

To promote integrity management in the construction industry, ICAC has partnered with the Development Bureau and the Construction Industry Council to organize an anti-corruption summit. ICAC has also strengthened cooperation with regulatory agencies in the financial and insurance industries to leverage synergies and consolidate Hong Kong’s status as an international financial center.

The civil service in the public sector remained clean. ICAC will continue to work with the Civil Service Office to implement the Ethical Leadership Programme. To deepen the culture of integrity in government departments, ICAC will also conduct exchanges with senior and directorate officials on courses organised by the Civil Service College. During the year, ICAC conducted 65 engagement reports for government departments and public bodies to plug corruption loopholes.

ICAC has adopted a “comprehensive” education and publicity strategy to ensure that the 2023 rural general elections and the 2023 district council general elections are conducted in a fair, open and equitable manner.

“For the past 50 years, ICAC has demonstrated its extraordinary strength by consistently fighting corruption without fear or favor. As the Commission looks to the future, the organization will continue to make relentless efforts, leaving corruption no foothold and ensuring that corruption has nowhere to run and its illegal proceeds have nowhere to hide. ICAC will continue to strive to keep Hong Kong prosperous, stable, clean and fair,” noted Mr. Woo.

ICAC Annual Report 2023: www.icac.org.hk/icac/annual-report/2023/

ICAC Annual Survey Results 2023: www.icac.org.hk/en/about/report/survey/finding/index.html

COVID-19 cases on the rise in geriatric ward: Two more patients test positive for the virus, hospital authorities tighten infection control measures.

On behalf of the Hospital Management Board, the following certificate was issued:

Further to the earlier announcement regarding a cluster of COVID-19 patients in the geriatric ward, a Ruttonjee Hospital spokesperson provided the following update today (July 10):

Two more patients (66 and 76 year old women) presented with fever in the ward. Appropriate testing was arranged for the patients and their COVID-19 test results were positive. The patients concerned are currently being treated in cohort isolation and all are in stable condition.

Infection control measures have already been tightened in line with established guidelines. All other patients on the ward are under close supervision.

The cases were reported to the Hospital Headquarters and Health Protection Centre for necessary follow-up actions.

Source: AI-generated images

Source: AI-generated images