FCC Letter of Concern on a Proposed Change to the Companies Ordinance

10 January 2013

Mr. C.Y. Leung
Chief Executive
The Government,
Hong Kong Special Administrative Region
Tamar,
Hong Kong
 
Dear Mr Leung,
 
The Foreign Correspondents' Club, Hong Kong, is concerned about and opposes a proposed change to the Companies Ordinance that will withhold details of the residential addresses and Identity Card/Passport numbers of company directors from public access. 
 
Company searches are an important tool and source of information for investigative journalism and we regret that we were not invited to provide feedback on this change during a public consultation at the end of last year.
 
In your address to us last month you pledged to uphold the importance of a free and open media in Hong Kong and we believe that the ability of foreign correspondents and journalists to legally access information about individuals and their companies is vital to our role of reporting on issues of public interest.
 
We call on the government to withdraw this amendment and to maintain its support for the free flow of information in Hong Kong.
 
Sincerely,
Douglas Wong
President
 
Tara Joseph
1st Vice-President
Francis Moriarty
2nd Vice-President