Government accepts Ombudsman's Direct Investigation Report on Handling Water Seepage Complaints
The Government welcomes the Ombudsman's Direct Investigation Report on Handling Water Seepage Complaints. We accept the recommendations made in the Report on ways to improve the operation and management of the Joint Office (JO) and will carefully examine follow up measures.
In response to Team Clean's Report entitled "Measures to Improve Environmental Hygiene in Hong Kong" published in August 2003, the Buildings Department (BD) and Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) set up a JO as a pilot scheme to improve inter-departmental coordination in response to public complaints about water seepage. The new mode of operation was first rolled out in Sham Shui Po in December 2004, then extended for a period of three years over the whole territory since mid 2006.
A Government spokesman said, "The Ombudsman recommends a review on the organisational structure of the JO and the establishment of a mechanism to resolve departments' differences on enforcement responsibilities. The Government will carefully study The Ombudsman's observations and recommendations on these aspects."
The concerned departments have also initiated an interim review on the operation of the JO with a view to improving its efficiency and effectiveness. The review will be completed shortly. Taking into account the findings of the review, the JO has identified and already implemented various improvement measures to streamline its operation.
"The Report recognises that the Government has made commendable initiatives in setting up the JO as a one-stop service and in exploring ways for improving its operation. We will strive to improve our service," he said.
Development Bureau/Food and Heath Bureau
Ends/Thursday, April 10, 2008
Issued at HKT 17:06