Urban Renewal Authority - Press Statement
In response to press enquiries today (October 10), the Urban
Renewal Authority (URA) issues the following statement:
As a public body, the URA attaches great importance to good corporate governance including the need to achieve a balance between transparency and protection of confidential information, in particular sensitive commercial information.
There have been many instances of confidential information leakage in recent months that seriously affected the URA's operation and, in some cases, undermined its position in on-going commercial negotiation. The problem has persisted despite the issuing of guidelines with the approval of the URA Board.
Many Board members have, therefore, felt it necessary to consider an alternative proposal, which is the signing of an undertaking for protection of confidential information by all staff and Board/Committee members, to alleviate the problem. The Board members considered this to be in line with maintaining a high ethical standard for good corporate governance.
Signing of the undertaking by Board/Committee members is entirely voluntary and there are no sanctions whatsoever for anyone who declines to sign.
The Board discussed this proposal at its meeting today. It was agreed that members be left to decide individually for themselves whether to sign the undertaking in due course.
It should be stressed that the proposal is merely intended to discourage unauthorised disclosure of confidential information. Board and Committee members who wish to continue to express comments and their personal views publicly are entirely free to do so.
It should also be stressed that the proposal is intended for good corporate governance and has nothing to do whatsoever with the Official Secrets Ordinance or the Article 23.