29th November 2023 – (Hong Kong) The Audit Commission has highlighted the need for The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) to enforce measures to safeguard national security and ensure regulatory compliance in its campus facilities operated by external entities. A recent report from the commission pointed out that CUHK has not included such provisions in its tender documents, contracts, and guidelines.
The commission also emphasised the necessity for campus caterers to exclusively serve CUHK students and staff within the campus and to obtain requisite permits for selling restricted foods.
The report came after a thorough review of the university’s existing procedures. It concluded that CUHK needs to bolster its guidance and regulations related to campus facilities run by external operators. This includes integrating clauses in tender documents and contracts to facilitate disqualification of tenderers and termination of contracts in the interest of national security.
The Vice-Chancellor of CUHK was quoted in the report as agreeing with the recommendations.
In addition to national security measures, the audit highlighted regulatory shortcomings in the university’s food services. None of the 33 catering outlets on campus had obtained a food business license, and 29 of them were not exclusively used by CUHK students and staff, as required.
The contracts between CUHK and the operators of catering outlets stipulated that services should be limited to CUHK students and staff. However, the audit found that 25 outlets sold restricted foods, such as non-bottled drinks, frozen confections, milk and milk beverages, and cut fruit. Further, three of these outlets offered food delivery services off-campus through third-party platforms, a direct violation of the Food Business Regulation.