Hong Kong education official arrested over accessing database for details on son’s secondary school placement



a sign above a store: The exterior of the Independent Commission Against Corruption headquarters in North Point. Photo: Felix Wong


© SCMP
The exterior of the Independent Commission Against Corruption headquarters in North Point. Photo: Felix Wong

A Hong Kong education official has been arrested and charged by the city’s graft-buster over the dishonest use of his department’s computer system to obtain information about his son’s secondary school placement.

Education Bureau employee Pang Wai-kit, 57, was charged with 10 counts of accessing a computer with criminal or dishonest intent, and will appear in Kwun Tong Court on Monday.

The Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) alleged that the education official, who was posted to the School Places Allocation Section, had obtained access to the bureau’s Education Information System, which carried the Secondary One Allocation database for internal assessment results in relation to his son’s secondary school placement.

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He was accused of accessing the system on 10 occasions between August 15, 2016, and September 18, 2017.

Access to the data is restricted, and officials in the bureau should not use the database unless their duties required them to do so, the ICAC said.

In August 2016, the accused declared to the bureau that his son, who was then a student at a primary school in Lam Tin, was an applicant for secondary school allocation.

His supervisor instructed him at the time not to obtain access to the computer databases for information relating to his son’s application or the allocation results, according to the ICAC.

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Pang’s main duties at the bureau included administering and operating another database, the Student Information Management Application, which contained personal particulars of all student applicants for allocation in the bureau’s central computer system.

The defendant has been released on bail, pending his court appearance on Monday.

The case arose from a corruption complaint referred by the bureau, the ICAC said.

The Education Bureau declined to comment on the case, as legal proceedings were still ongoing.

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This article originally appeared on the South China Morning Post (www.scmp.com), the leading news media reporting on China and Asia.

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