Following is a question by the Hon David Li Kwok-po and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (January 12):
A large number of plans referred in various Ordinances of the Hong Kong SAR (Ordinances) are deposited in the Land Registry (LR) and open for public inspection. While all Ordinances can now be viewed online using the Bilingual Laws Information System (BLIS) of the Department of Justice, such plans are not available on BLIS and members of the public need to make an appointment to visit LR in person in order to inspect them. Moreover, while members of the public may purchase the copies of some of these plans from the Government, they cannot do so for other plans or make copies of them. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(a) of the short titles of all the Ordinances under which plans are required to be deposited in LR, whether copies of such plans are available for public sale or by special order, or whether copying of the plans is prohibited;
(b) why copying of some of the plans in (a) is prohibited;
(c) whether any plans deposited in LR under the Ordinances in (a) had been found lost in the past five years; if so, of the titles of such lost plans; and
(d) whether the Government will take the opportunity of the implementation of a verified, authenticated and searchable electronic database of Hong Kong legislation, for which funding was approved by the Finance Committee of this Council on May 14, 2010, to make the plans in (a) available online and/or provide information on how to purchase copies of all those plans which are available for sale?
Under regulation 21(1)(g) of the Land Registration Regulations (Cap 128A), the Land Registrar shall, upon request by any person, make available plans deposited under the provisions of any Ordinance for inspection in the Land Registry (LR) during specified hours. Such plans are available for inspection free of charge at the LR's office on 19th floor, Queensway Government Offices during office hours (8.30am - 12.40pm and 1.40pm - 5.45pm, Monday to Friday). If members of the public request copies of the plans deposited by bureaux/departments in the LR, the LR will advise them to contact the bureaux/departments concerned to purchase the relevant plans at the public sales points or arrange for special orders of copies of the plans.
The reply to the four-part question is as follows:
(a) The relevant information provided by the bureaux and departments concerned is listed in the Annex.
(b) As revealed from the information listed in the Annex, no plans deposited in the LR in accordance with the relevant Ordinances are prohibited from copying.
(c) No plans deposited in the LR had been found lost in the past five years.
(d) The new legislation database will provide the public with a website facilitating free and convenient access to accurate and up-to-date Hong Kong legislation with legal status. The system design will allow capacity for other add-on information to be provided in the database. The LR would remind the relevant bureaux and departments to examine whether they should take the opportunity of the creation of an electronic database of Hong Kong legislation to consider supplying online the existing plans listed respectively in the Annex, including information on sale of the maps, and if so, how to set out such information in the database in future.
Ends/Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Issued at HKT 16:50