Editorial : Absurd bureaucratic mistake leading to a big mess

【明報專訊】THE enforcement of laws including smoking regulations in about 450 public pleasure grounds managed by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD) has been temporarily suspended because of the department's failure to deposit the plans concerned with the Land Registry, which calls into question the legal basis for law enforcement in those sites. It is not only ridiculous but also lamentable that a supposedly simple administrative procedure has led to such a big mess. The LCSD's failure to complete the deposit procedure has been left unattended for many years and the follow-up of the problem has been very slow even after it was revealed. The case should not be taken as simply a "blunder" caused by bureaucratic negligence. It is also necessary to look into the underlying operational problems. For instance, has there been a concerted effort made by different government departments? The authorities must investigate the case thoroughly to review why such an absurd mistake was committed and give the public a reasonable explanation.