Housing Officer charged by ICAC gets seven months’ jail for falsifying flat inspection visit records


A Housing Officer of the Housing Department (HD), charged by the ICAC, was today (June 18) sentenced to seven months’ imprisonment at the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts for violating an offence under the Prevention of Bribery Ordinance (POBO) by using records containing false information to mislead the HD that she had conducted flat inspection visits to verify occupancy status of various flats of a public rental housing estate.

Li Bik-ki, 51, was earlier found guilty of 18 counts of agent using document with intent to deceive her principal, contrary to section 9(3) of the POBO.

In sentencing, Magistrate Mr Tsang Hing-tung noted that the offence involved in the case was serious in nature. He reprimanded the defendant for breaching the trust placed in her by the HD, and showing no remorse at all. Hence, a custodial sentence should be imposed to the defendant.

At the material time, the defendant was posted to Mun Tung Estate in Tung Chung. She was responsible for dealing with tenancy matters and conducting biennial inspection to combat abuse of public rental housing resources through surprise flat inspection visits so as to verify and record their occupancy status. The defendant was the only officer responsible for conducting flat inspection visits at Mun Hong House of Mun Tung Estate.

The court heard that the records submitted by the defendant showed that she conducted flat inspection visits in respect of over 380 flats between November 2020 and December 2021. When reviewing the records, the HD however discovered that the sole occupant of one of the flats had already passed away when the purported inspection took place.

The ICAC investigation arose from a corruption complaint referred by the HD. Enquiries revealed that over 320 records submitted by the defendant were found questionable. Upon receipt of legal advice from the Department of Justice, a total of 19 specimen charges were laid against the defendant. She was earlier found guilty of 18 of the charges for using 18 records containing false statements to purport that she had conducted flat inspection visits at 18 flats at Mun Hong House.

The HD had rendered full assistance to the ICAC during its investigation into the case.

The prosecution was today represented by prosecuting counsel Jeff Ho, assisted by ICAC officers Queenie Woo and Ivy Ho.

The ICAC reminds civil servants and employees of other sectors that under section 9(3) of the POBO, any agent, including any employee, who uses any document containing a false statement to mislead the principal, such as the employer, shall be guilty of an offence. As government employees, civil servants should abide by the law and regulations, and uphold integrity when discharging their duties.
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