Orieta Lau back to Financial Bureau

Monday, July 19, 2010
Issue 1066, Page 3
Word count: 369
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

While Orieta Lau Ioc Ip may not be going to work for the Preparatory Office for the Traditional Chinese Medicine Scientific and Industrial Park, it is confirmed that she has already returned to the Financial Services Bureau (DSF) as a senior technical advisor.

The Government spokesman Alexis Tam Chon Weng called the recent news report of Lau being appointed consultant to the Preparatory Office “unsubstantial”, but in the meantime the DSF said her 90-day disciplinary suspension was ended on April 30 and she has already resumed the post of senior technical advisor inside the original civil service establishment and is currently handling tax-related work, TDM reported.

Lau was formally removed from her post of director of the DSF in February this year, after having been identified by the Audit Commission (CA) as having defrauded the Government of more than MOP3.4 million, through excessive compensation paid for the number of meetings held between 2006 and 2009, in the Commission for the Evaluation of Motor Vehicles. Yet, she was not sacked by the Government.

“Normal in legal terms”

Lawmaker and president of the Macau Civil Servants Association, Jose Pereira Coutinho, told the Macau Daily Times yesterday that according to the existing civil service system in Macau, the new job arrangement for Orieta Lau is justified.

Lau has been employed inside the civil service establishment, and therefore it is “normal” for her to return to her original post of senior technical advisory after having her director post terminated at the DSF, Coutinho said.

Yet, Coutinho is not okay with the arrangement. “After Macau’s handover the Government has created a lot of special posts perhaps for the resettlement [of some civil servants] or maintaining harmony, why didn’t the Government build a shelter instead for the civil servants and so it doesn’t have to spend so much effort to shift them from one place to another?”

Coutinho also said that the Government was “testing the public’s response” and if the feedback was positive “it must have appointed Lau to go to the Chinese medicine Park”.

Asked whether it was ethically correct to have Lau returned to the DSF, Coutinho said it depends on if the Government will “really proceed the case and fire her”.

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