A decision by the director of the Government Information Bureau (GCS) to prevent online media Macau Concealers from accessing a ‘media-only’ government information portal has been overturned by the Chief Executive, the Chinese-language media outlet reported yesterday.
The portal concerned is called GovInfo Hub, which is an information pool available only to registered media outlets. It is the channel through which the government releases statements and other information for distribution to the press. Not all information on the portal is shared with the public.
According to Macau Concealers, the media outlet applied to GCS on August 28 last year for access to the website. As the website is open to all registered media outlets, Macau Concealers considered itself eligible as it already fulfilled that basic criteria, as recognized by the government.
However, its application was denied on November 9. The director of GCS, Chan Chi Ping, said that the Bureau had made the decision because of a need to prioritize outlets regularly covering current affairs. The Bureau also recommended Macau Concealers rely instead on the GCS website, which is publicly accessible, as opposed to the portal.
In the eight months that followed, Macau Concealers filed an objection with the GCS head, which was later rejected. It then filed an appeal to the Chief Executive, who supervises the GCS, claiming that the decision violated both the Basic Law and other laws, including the freedom of the press.
Eventually, the Chief Executive revoked the decision close to a deadline that would have led to a tacit denial. Staff reporter