The commissioner of the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), Simon Peh Yun-lu, declined on Wednesday to meet with 17 pan-democrat lawmakers over recent staff changes.

The ICAC has seen several departures over the course of a few weeks in July, including the former Acting Head of Operations Rebecca Li Bo-lan, Principal Investigator Dale Ko, and Chief Forensic Accountant Tang Shuk-nei.

ICAC Simon Peh response
Response from Simon Peh. Photo: Stand News.

Yau, who was appointed to Li’s position, was also set to leave the ICAC at the end of July, but withdrew his resignation three hours later. Ricky Chu Man-kin, a former assistant director of the ICAC’s Operations Department and until recently, the Secretary-General of the Independent Police Complaints Council, returned to the commission as a director of investigation on Monday.

In Peh’s response, he said that “regarding personnel changes, the ICAC has already published press releases on July 7 and July 29, and I met with the media on July 11 to explain the situation. I don’t have anything more to add.”

ICAC commissioner Simon Peh
ICAC commissioner Simon Peh.

He added that “changes in ICAC personnel is an internal matter and also involves individuals’ privacy. It is not suitable to discuss this with the outside world, so I have not accepted the offer to meet.”

Civic Party Dennis Kwok told to Apple Daily that the senior level personnel changes reflect serious problems in the ICAC’s internal management and directly affects the organisation’s ability to target corruption. The staff shakeup is damaging to public interest, Kwok said. Local media reported that the pan-democrats may move to form a committee to investigate the matter.

Chantal Yuen is a Hong Kong journalist interested in issues dealing with religion and immigration. She majored in German and minored in Middle Eastern studies at Princeton University.