31st March, 2014
Put off Archive Law – Former Director of Government Records Service: “There is Something the Govt Doesn’t Want People to Know’’
Simon Chu Fook-keung, the former Director of the Government Records Service (GRS) and the incumbent Vice Chairman of Archive Action Group, voiced his opinions in response to the research report conducted by Office of the Ombudsman about the public archive management. Chu criticized the government keeps postponing the need of archival legislation proposed long ago by Office of the Ombudsman and Audit Commission. He felt very disappointed and questioned the motive behind, claiming that “There must be something to be kept which doesn’t want people to know’’
Chu pointed out the report did not get to the truth of the whole story by saying there was a lack of the professional capacity of the staff in GRS rather than understaffing after the implementation of professionalism in the late 90s. The GRS failing to set up effective electronic archives and mail management system after years of research and development also contributed to the problem as the information cannot be well conversed. He described those parts of history is similar to ‘’falling into the black hole’’ and said the introduction of the freedom of information law will become ‘’obsolete law’’ if there is no archival legislation.
Chairman of the Archive Action Group, Wong sik-ying, said there are discussions about political reform from various aspects in our society presently. The discussion documents relating to political reform within the government are of paramount importance to the future history. Had the archival legislation existed, all the discussions would have been conversed and became history; and that the thinking and judgement of the people within the government would be more cautious.