Published: 7:03pm, 25 Apr, 2019
The Hong Kong government destroyed 4,488 metres of paperwork in 2018, or about five times the height of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, it was revealed on Thursday.
Among 17 policy-making departments, housing officials destroyed about 2,655 metres of records, which accounted for more than 59 percent of the total and was 633 metres more than the previous year. The overall amount of records destroyed hit a three-year high, according to the Government Records Service (GRS).
The service’s latest report was released as the Law Reform Commission was expected to submit its report into a three-month public consultation on two new laws governing the management of government records, and public access to official archives.
At present, the creation and disposal of government records is only regulated by internal guidelines, which do not specify criteria for the destruction of paperwork.
Though the guidelines say departments must obtain consent from the GRS director before disposing of records, several high-profile cases have highlighted deficiencies in the system.
In 2011, the government admitted it had destroyed documents equivalent to almost 2½ times the height of Hong Kong’s tallest building, the International Commerce Centre, before it moved into its new Admiralty headquarters, prompting questions over whether the destruction involved valuable data.