Sunday, July 18, 2010

香港私隱專員吳斌 vs 審計署長鄧國斌 / A Bun Fight, Hong Kong style

The following are comments I posted on Space's July 18, 2010 article entitled: "斌斌之爭"

In essence, the article is abt the public row btwn two high-level Hong Kong officials, Privacy Commissioner Roderick Woo Bun 私隱專員吳斌 and Audit Commission director Benjamin Tang Kwok-bun 審計署長鄧國斌.


Here are my comments to Space.

(Small Bun = the younger 審計署長鄧國斌
Big Bun = the older 私隱專員吳斌)


A Bun Fight, Hong Kong style

Based solely on the info supplied in your article, I would like to make the following comments as an outsider:

1. The purpose of an external performance audit (not an internal audit, or an investigative forensic audit) is just that - to determine whether public resources have been used in an effective and efficient manner. Therefore, it is within Small Bun's mandate to pass judgement on the good/poor performance of Big Bun's organization, including the latter's leadership in the delivery of results, or lack thereof.

2. While, it is fair game for Small Bun to pass judgment and make recommendations and corrective measures/options in his audit report, he is NOT Big Bun's immediate boss and has no authority to evaluate the performance of the Privacy Commissioner as an employee. This might be confusing to some readers. But the CRITERIA for evaluating an employee's performance and the TERMS OF REFERENCE of an auditing exercise are very different.

3. Auditing report should be evidence-based. It's one thing to report poor performance based on analyzed data/info, but it's another to speculate Big Bun is "semi-retiring" while on the full-time job. It is therefore understandable why Big Bun feels he is being personally "attacked".

4. On the other hand, there is no info in the article to show Small Bun is discriminating against "old" people as a group. Big Bun does not represent seniors in Hong Kong and his demand for an apology in this regard appears groundless.

5. If Small Bun is not doing a good auditing job, he is accountable to his boss. Again, it is not up to Big Bun to demand Small Bun to make an apology to all public servants.

6. As a government employee, Small Bun has the right to request legal counsel assistance in dealing with litigation arising while carrying out his officially assigned duties (which I assume would include the interview during which he made the "unfortunate" statement). To avoid any perceived conflict of interest, Small Bun is wise NOT to engage his own departmental legal counsels to deal with the letter from Big Bun's lawyer.

7. The big boss of them both should intervene and stop this "Battle of the two Buns" being played out in the pubic domain.

Haricot / Monday, July 19, 2010 5:59:00 AM (HK time)



***** Please read Space' article at: "斌斌之爭" *****

Update 2010-0719:

Additional comments have been posted by Space and Haricot at , including relevant website addresses of both the Govts of HK and Canada.

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