Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China
|Country/Region||Hong Kong, China|
|Headquarters||So Kon Po, Hong Kong|
The Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China (Traditional Chinese: 中國香港體育協會暨奧林匹克委員會; in short SF&OC, 港協暨奧委會) is the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Hong Kong. As such it is a separate member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). It is also a member of the Olympic Council of Asia. The current president is Timothy Fok. The headquarters building is called the Hong Kong Olympic House, located beside Hong Kong Stadium.
|Hong Kong at the|
|NOC||Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong, China|
Before the People's Republic of China (PRC) assumed sovereignty over the former British crown colony of Hong Kong in 1997, the committee was named Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong and participated in 12 games (all summer) under the name just "Hong Kong".
After 1997, Hong Kong became a special territory as a result of the earlier 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration, which stipulates that, albeit being part of China, it enjoys a highly autonomous status. The Basic Law, its constitution, guarantees the territory's right to join international organisations and events independently (such as the Olympic games) that are not restricted to sovereign states, under the new name "Hong Kong, China". If any of the Hong Kong athletes wins a medal in the Olympics, the Hong Kong flag is raised during the medal ceremony; the PRC national anthem is played for any gold medalists.
|Part of a series on|
|2008 Summer Olympics|
The SF&OC and its member National Sports Associations (NSAs) have been repeatedly cautioned throughout the years by the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) and Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) against corruption and to implement better governance.
In December 2003, Legislative Council member Albert Chan asked the Secretary of Home Affairs, Patrick Ho, about NSAs and a perceived waste of taxpayer money, stating "Many national sports associations (NSAs) rely on public funding for operation and hosting sports events. However, some members of the public query some NSAs for their failure to make effective use of the funding to promote and develop sports events, resulting in a waste of public money."
In June 2006, the LCSD and ICAC held a seminar, named "Striving for Good Corporate Governance" to brief more than 100 members of NSAs on ways prevent corruption. The Deputy Director of the LCSD said that "As users of public funds, sports bodies must not only discharge their obligations under the Subvention Agreement but also conduct their business in a transparent, fair and open manner."
In 2007, an investigation was conducted by the Ombudsman, who was concerned about whether the LCSD had appropriate mechanisms to monitor NSAs for conflict of interests. The issue stemmed from a March 2006 complaint that the Hong Kong Amateur Athletic Association (HKAAA) had awarded a contract to a company owned by the HKAAA's chairman. Separately, in early 2007, the LCSD organized two workshops for NSAs on governance.
In October 2009, the Audit Commission submitted a report to the Legislative Council, with recommendations to tighten up supervision of taxpayer funds to NSAs.
In January 2010, the LCSD's Sports Commission wrote a policy named "Governance of National Sports Associations", outlining methods that the LCSD would take to further promote transparent governance from NSAs. In November 2010, a newspaper published an open letter, which questioned the criteria used to select Roller sports athletes for the 2010 Asian Games. The government responded that only the SF&OC and NSAs were responsible for selecting athletes, and that "While the Government respects the autonomy and independence of the SF&OC and NSAs, we nonetheless closely monitor the use of public money by these organisations to ensure that it is deployed effectively in promoting sports development."
In 2011, the ICAC formulated the "Best Practice Reference for Governance of National Sports Associations - Towards Excellence in Sports Professional Development". ICAC's goal was to enhance governance and transparency from NSAs. Additionally, ICAC further mentioned that the report was for "Addressing public concern on the governance of national sports associations (NSAs)". In 2020, the Audit Commission found that the SF&OC had yet to implement some of the best practices.
In 2013, ICAC hosted another seminar with coaches from 33 NSAs, on the prevention of issues such as bribery and conflicts of interest.
In February 2015, the Legislative Council released an 85-page research report on the SF&OC, which pointed out deficiencies, such as "NOCs in Hong Kong and Singapore have hitherto released limited publicly available information regarding their operations. While they have uploaded their respective constitution onto their websites, other relevant documents such as annual reports, balance sheets and statements of accounts are not available in the public domain. In comparison, NOCs in Australia, Japan and the US show a high degree of openness and transparency with proactive disclosure of relevant information for the public understanding and scrutiny of their operations."
In August 2016, the Hong Kong Economic Journal released an article, accusing the SF&OC and Timothy Fok of various transgressions. For example, it claimed Timothy Fok has power on all important subcommittees, including those which select athletes, and those which control finances. In addition, it claimed that Timothy Fok appointed his son, Kenneth Fok, as vice-president, without transparency, and that Kenneth Fok has no record in any type of sporting achievement.
In April 2020, the government's Audit Commission released a 141-page report after investigating the Olympic Committee, describing various failures with the SF&OC, including lax governance. The Audit Commission noted that around half of SF&OC's 29 subcommittees had not met for two years. Procurement rules were also not followed, including the SF&OC getting only single quotes from suppliers instead of tendering offers, causing a rising deficit of HK$33,000 in 2014-15 to HK$588,000 in 2018-19.
Audit also accused SF&OC of having unclear criteria for selecting athletes for international competitions, including the selection of 11 of 17 athletes for the 2018 Asian Games based on criteria that was not previously given to their NSAs. A month later, in May 2020, Legislative Council members questioned the Olympic Committee's governance, accusing the SF&OC of lacking transparency when selecting athletes for the 2018 Asian Games. In particular, the legislators asked why the fastest swimmer was not selected to compete, with a slower swimmer selected instead. In one conversation, legislator Abraham Razack asked "The Olympic Committee spends HK$20 million a year of public money but has it been fair to the athletes?" SCMP noted that the Olympic Committee's total government funding was HK$38.9 million in 2018-19.
In response, Baptist University's Professor Chung Pak-kwong, former chief executive of the Hong Kong Sports Institute, said that the SF&OC "has grown into an empire and transparency and accountability are not in their dictionary." Furthermore, the SCMP released an editorial, agreeing with the Audit Commission and stating that the city's sports development was at risk.
In July 2020, the Legislative Council's Public Accounts Committee criticized the Hong Kong Football Association under Timothy Fok, stating its governance was "appalling and inexcusable". It noted that an internal audit committee, designed to review the association's use of taxpayer funding, was not active between 2015 and 2019, despite receiving HK$34 million in funding for the 2017-18 year.
In October 2020, the Chief Secretary for Administration announced that the HAB would provide HK$5 million each year for 5 years (2020-21 to 2025-26) to SF&OC to review the operation and internal monitoring of all national sports association members, designed to review and audit their processes.
In 2021, ICAC charged the vice chairman of the executive committee of the Hong Kong Basketball Association (HKBA) with disclosing an ICAC probe, as well as a coach of the Hong Kong women's national handball team for faking timecard records.
In August 2021, a triathlete who represented Hong Kong at the 2020 Summer Olympics stated that NSAs had enough funding, but were not doing enough to identify and develop top athletes to funnel them to the Hong Kong Sports Institute, causing about 90% of qualified triathletes to drop out of the sport.
In September 2021, SCMP published an article which detailed multiple complaints against the Hong Kong Ice Hockey Association (HKIHA), from former coaches and players. They accused the association of lacking transparency in corporate governance, as well as conflicts of interest between the chairman and the association, causing the development of the sport to be hampered. Some of those interviewed claimed that they had been frustrated with the association from the 1990s, and that letters to the LCSD had gone ignored.
- Arts and Sport Development Fund (Sports Portion) (ASDF)
- Home Affairs Bureau (HAB)'s funding
- Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD)'s recurrent subvention
According to the Audit Commission, total government funding for 2018-19 was HK$38.9 million. The HAB said that it will increase its funding from HK$20 million in 2019-20 to HK$40.6 million in 2020-21.
An additional HK$5 million each year for 5 years (2020-21 to 2025-26) will go to the SF&OC to review the operation and internal monitoring of all national sports association members, designed to review and audit their processes.
Only the members of SF&OC could send athletes to representing Hong Kong in multi-sports events organized by Asian Olympics Committee or IOC, such as Asian Games and Olympic Games. Hong Kong Sports Stars Awards also only accept those athletes by the member associations. Therefore, some famous sportsmen were unable to participate in the election.
- Chinese Olympic Committee
- Macau Sports and Olympic Committee
- Chinese Taipei Olympic Committee
- British Olympic Association
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- "Governance of National Sports Associations" (PDF).
- "HAB's response on selection criteria of athletes". www.info.gov.hk. Retrieved 2021-06-30.
- "Audit Commission Executive Summary" (PDF). Hong Kong Audit Commission.
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- "2012 Budget - Head 72 - INDEPENDENT COMMISSION AGAINST CORRUPTION" (PDF).
- "Update". www.hkcoaching.com. Retrieved 2021-06-29.
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- "ICAC, HKSAR - Press Releases - Women's Handball Team coach admits conspiracy to defraud over training allowance". www.icac.org.hk. Retrieved 2021-06-29.
- "Can Hong Kong nurture even more Olympic medallists? Experts aren't convinced". South China Morning Post. 2021-08-09. Retrieved 2021-08-09.
- "Why Hong Kong's ice hockey players are feeling shut out". South China Morning Post. 2021-09-12. Retrieved 2021-10-04.
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- "【賽車】香港汽車會終獲加入港協暨奧委會 伍家麒初嘗傑運提名". HK01. 2018-01-18. Retrieved 2018-05-27.
- "本地體育總會". Sports Federation and Olympic Committee of Hong Kong. Retrieved 2018-05-27.