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SMS sender scheme expanded

The Office of the Communications Authority (OFCA) announced today that the SMS Sender Registration Scheme is now open for application by all sectors to further help the public verify the identities of SMS senders, with a view to combatting SMS fraud.   Apart from further opening up the scheme, the OFCA said it welcomes public and private organisations from various industries with a practical need to communicate with customers or clients via SMS to join the scheme.   Under the scheme, only registered senders are able to send SMS messages using their registered SMS sender IDs with the prefix “#”. All other SMS messages with sender IDs containing “#” but not sent by registered senders will be blocked by the telecommunications networks.   As such, the public can easily identify whether an SMS message is received from a registered sender by the prefix “#” in the SMS sender ID.   The OFCA reminds citizens to stay highly vigilant when receiving SMS messages from unknown sender

Counting process review needed

Electoral Affairs Commission Chairman Barnabas Fung today said the polling process of the 2021 Election Committee Subsector Ordinary Elections went smoothly but a thorough review regarding the counting process should be done.   The counting of votes was completed at 6.29am.   Speaking to the media this morning, Mr Fung said about 4,380 voters have casted their votes, with a cumulative turnout rate of nearly 90%.   He said all election arrangements have reflected the principles of openness, fairness and honesty. However, the processes of ballot box delivery and counting were not satisfactory and the time taken was beyond reasonable expectation.   He noted that upon initial analysis, the counting staff lacked flexibility and they could not respond promptly and seek assistance when facing problems.   “There is absolutely no problem with any of the electronic devices causing unreasonable delay in the counting of votes today.   “The problem mainly lies with the hand fill-in ballot paper account. There are some minor discrepancies. And we are looking into it as to whether counting could still be conducted side-by-side (with) the reconciliation of the ballot paper account.”   The commission will review aspects for improvement and submit a report to the Chief Executive as prescribed by the law.   The commission is very thankful to the government departments involved, especially the Crisis Management Committee members which includes the Constitutional & Mainland Affairs Bureau, Police, the Home Affairs Department, the Information Services Department and the Department of Justice.   Mr Fung also thanked the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer, members of the Electronic Poll Register (EPR) System Technical Advisory Committee, the Food & Health Bureau, as well as the Centre for Health Protection for their valuable advice about the EPR System and infection control measures.   The interim register of members of the new term Election Committee will be published on September 27, while the final register will take effect on October 22 in accordance with the law.  
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