The Ombudsman, Ms Winnie Chiu, held a press conference on 17 December 2020 to announce the results of two direct investigations, namely "Effectiveness of Joint Office for Investigation of Water Seepage Complaints in Handling Water Seepage Reports" and "Arrangements for Production, Distribution, Stocktaking and Use of CSI Masks".
Effectiveness of Joint Office for Investigation of Water Seepage Complaints
The Joint Office for Investigation of Water Seepage Complaints (JO) is responsible for conducting investigation to identify the source of water seepage that causes hygiene nuisance and taking necessary enforcement action. Since the Ombudsman’s last direct investigation of the same topic in 2008, the Office has received complaints from members of the public against JO continuously. The main allegations of those complaints included JO’s failure to identify the source of water seepage despite the lengthy tests of various kinds conducted, and its heavy reliance on the old colour water tests to confirm the source.
Arrangements for production, distribution, stocktaking and use of CSI masks
The Correctional Services Department (CSD) manufactures filter masks (“CSI masks”), which are mainly supplied to the Government Logistics Department (GLD), and then distributed by GLD for use by various policy bureaux and departments. Following the development of COVID-19, there was a spike in public demand for filter masks, resulting in an acute shortage of supply. Meanwhile, the media and members of the public reported that CSI masks were on sale in the market, and the Ombudsman received public complaints about alleged misuse of CSI masks.
Against this background, the Ombudsman Hong Kong launched a direct investigation against CSD and GLD to examine their mechanisms, procedures and implementation with respect to the production, distribution and stocktaking of CSI masks, to identify any inadequacies and make improvement recommendations to the authorities where necessary.
For more details on the outcome of these two direct investigations, please see the executive summaries further down below or visit the Ombudsman’s Website.
Source: Office of the Ombudsman Hong Kong, China