The Independent Police Complaints Council (IPCC) is undergoing a major reshuffling at the top, Apple Daily reported Thursday.
The police watchdog’s secretary general, Chu Man-kin, has been told his contract, which expires on Jan. 2 next year, won’t be renewed, the report said, citing unnamed sources.
At least four other senior executives at the IPCC are stepping down during the first four months of this year, the sources said, feeling demoralized and dejected after Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying appointed his supporters to positions as chairman and members of the council.
The IPCC decided last year not to award Chu, 62, a third contract and will conduct an open recruitment for the key position, the report said.
The role of the secretary general entails the execution of the IPCC’s decisions, its day-to-day administration, as well as reviewing the investigation reports of reportable complaints.
When contacted by the newspaper’s reporters, Chu refused to comment on the recruitment of the next secretary general.
Former IPCC member Albert Cheng King-hon, who was replaced in 2013, midway during his six-year tenure, said he believed that Chu was “made to step down”, since he possesses the perfect qualifications and experience for the position.
“It is so obvious that IPCC chairman Larry Kwok Lam-kwong is at odds with Chu,” Cheng said.
Another former IPCC committee member, Edwin Cheng Shing-lung, praised Chu for his professional attitude and said he cannot understand why Chu was not given another contract.
An IPCC representative confirmed that the contract of the secretary general will expire in January 2017 and the committee made a decision in December to appoint a headhunter to recruit a replacement.
The representative said the IPCC welcomes all interested parties, including the current secretary general and other staff members at the secretariat, to apply.
There is no ceiling to the length of appointment of the secretary general, whose monthly remuneration is around HK$155,000 (US$19,976).
The representative said the application deadline is Friday this week but it is difficult to estimate when the recruitment process will be completed.
Sources said at least two senior officers and two other senior managers have left or are leaving the advisory body.
These people were all hired when Jat Sew-tong was chairman of the IPCC.
Commenting on the exodus of IPPC management, Albert Cheng said the low credibility of the IPCC chairman was to blame.
The IPCC said employees in general tend to switch jobs in the first part of the year, and it is only normal that there are departures at the IPCC, which has filled the vacancies through internal promotions or recruitment from outside.
Icarus Wong Ho-yin of the Hong Kong Civil Rights Observer said the public has developed doubts about the neutrality of the IPCC chairman.
The IPCC must act to ensure that the public does not lose faith in it if there are major changes in its management team, Wong said.
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