Council Meeting (Agenda) 22 April 2009



A 08/09-24

Legislative Council

Agenda

Wednesday 22 April 2009 at 11:00 am

I. Tabling of Papers

Subsidiary Legislation / InstrumentsL.N. No.
1.Employees Retraining Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 2) Notice 200960/2009
2.Fugitive Offenders (Germany) Order (Commencement) Notice61/2009
3.Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters (Germany) Order (Commencement) Notice62/2009
4.Building Management (Amendment) Ordinance 2000 (Commencement) Notice 200964/2009
5.Building Management (Amendment) Ordinance 2007 (Commencement) Notice 200965/2009

Other Papers

1. No. 80-AIDS Trust Fund
2007-2008 Accounts with the Director of Audit's Report
(to be presented by the Secretary for Food and Health)

2. No.81-Employees Retraining Board
Annual Report 2007-08
(to be presented by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare)

3. No.82-Audited Statement of Accounts together with the Director of Audit's Report of the Quality Education Fund for the year ended 31 August 2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Education)

4. No.83-Audited Statement of Accounts together with the Director of Audit's Report of the Education Development Fund for the year ended 31 August 2008
(to be presented by the Secretary for Education)

5. No. 84-Report No. 52 of the Director of Audit on the results of value for money audits - March 2009
(to be presented by the President of the Legislative Council)

6.No. 85-Kowloon-Canton Railway Corporation
Annual Report 2008
(to be presented by the Financial Secretary)

II. Questions for Written Replies

1. Hon Ronny TONG to ask: (Translation)

I have received complaints alleging that some public hospitals handed over the dead bodies of deceased patients to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department ("FEHD") for cremation when relatives of the deceased had yet to be located and informed, making it impossible for the relatives concerned to arrange burial for the deceased subsequently. Moreover, the Police will hand over unclaimed dead bodies to FEHD for cremation or burial. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)when a patient passed away in a public hospital or when a dead body is discovered by the Police, the respective procedures currently adopted by the public hospital and the Police to locate and notify relatives of the deceased to claim the dead body, and how they handle unclaimed dead bodies;

    (b)the numbers of

    (i)unclaimed dead bodies handled;

    (ii)unclaimed dead bodies handed over to FEHD for cremation or burial; and

    (iii)cases of relatives of the deceased requesting to get back the dead bodies already handed over to FEHD for cremation or burial which were handled respectively by public hospitals and the Police in each of the past five financial years; and

    (c)whether the Hospital Authority and the Police have any mechanism in place to review the arrangements mentioned in (a), so as to ensure that relatives of the deceased can claim dead bodies in time?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

2. Dr Hon LEUNG Ka-lau to ask:
(Translation)

Section 15 of the Employees' Compensation Ordinance (Cap. 282) stipulates that an employer must give notice to the Commissioner for Labour ("the Commissioner") of an accident of work injury within a prescribed period from the day on which it has come to the knowledge of the employer that the accident has occurred. If the accident results in the incapacity of the employee for a period exceeding 3 days or the death of the employee, the employer must give notice by using the specified Form 2. Moreover, persons injured in work accidents usually go to public hospitals for medical treatment, and the Employees' Compensation Assessment Boards ("ECABs") appointed by the Labour Department assess for them the required sick leave and the percentage of permanent loss of earning capacity. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of copies of Form 2 received in each of the past five years by the Commissioner from employers, with a breakdown by nature of injury, part of the body injured, type of accident and agents involved as filled out in the forms;

    (b)whether it knows the details (including the number of bed-days, number of discharges and deaths, number of accident and emergency services attendances, number of specialist out-patient (clinical) attendances, number of general out-patient attendances, number of physiotherapy services attendances, number of occupational therapy (physical and psychiatry) services attendances and number of radiotherapy services attendances) of the services of public hospitals used respectively by employees and self-employed persons in each of the past five years due to injury in work accidents, as well as the respective percentages of such numbers in the relevant totals;

    (c)whether it knows the total costs, as calculated on the basis of unit costs set out in the Hospital Authority's annual reports, incurred by public hospitals in each of the past five years to provide services to persons injured in work accidents; and

    (d)of the respective numbers of employees and self-employed persons, who had been injured in work accidents, for whom ECABs conducted the said assessment in each of the past five years?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

3. Dr Hon PAN Pey-chyou to ask:
(Translation)

Will the Government inform this Council whether it knows:
    (a)the total number of vacancies of medical practitioners ("MPs") in public hospitals under the Hospital Authority ("HA") in each of the past 12 months, together with a breakdown by the rank and clinical department of the vacancies;

    (b)whether HA has conducted any recruitment exercise for the vacancies in (a); if it has, of the number of vacancies which have been filled at present, broken down respectively by their rank and clinical department; if not all of the vacancies have been filled, the reasons for that; and

    (c)as section 14A of the Medical Registration Ordinance (Cap. 161) stipulates that the Medical Council of Hong Kong may register a person who has obtained "acceptable overseas qualification" as an MP with limited registration, whether HA has filled vacancies by recruiting persons who have been registered under that provision as an MP with limited registration; if it has, what vacancies were filled in this way in the past three years; if not, the reasons for that; and whether HA will consider recruiting such MPs to fill the vacancies, in order to relieve the work pressure of serving MPs?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

4. Hon WONG Yuk-man to ask:
(Translation)

With the development of information technologies in recent years, learning through the Internet has become an indispensable part of primary and secondary education. Also, the Government set up the Working Group on Development of Textbooks and E-learning Resources in October 2008 to study the research and development of e-learning resources (including e-textbooks). However, some concern groups have pointed out that, among some 300 000 families receiving grants under the School Textbook Assistance Scheme (especially for some 64 000 recipient families under the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance Scheme), quite a number of parents indicate that they cannot afford Internet service charges. Moreover, the findings of the survey conducted by the Census and Statistics Department between July and September 2008 showed that, among the 728 000 primary and secondary students aged 10 or above, about 21 400 (i.e. 2.9%) of them did not have any computer and access to the Internet at home. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether it will consider including Internet service charges in the School Textbook Assistance Scheme, so as to narrow the digital divide; if it will not, of the reasons for that; and

    (b)how the Government helps primary and secondary students from low-income families who do not have any computer and access to the Internet at home to learn via e-textbooks?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

5. Hon CHAN Kin-por to ask:
(Translation)

While all the units in Jolly Place and Cheerful Court which are the elderly estates constructed by the Hong Kong Housing Society ("HKHS") have been rented out, there are at present still about 200 elderly people on the waiting list for such units, and the elderly housing project developed by HKHS at Tanner Hill in North Point will not be completed until 2013 at the earliest. This reflects that the provision of elderly housing, particularly that for middle-class elderly people, has failed to meet the demand. Moreover, the Third Legislative Council passed a motion at its meeting on 9 April 2008 urging the Government to expeditiously formulate a clear policy on elderly housing. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective demands for various types of elderly housing in the next five and 10 years according to the Government's assessment; whether it has assessed if elderly housing and residential care services currently provided or subsidized by the Government are adequate to meet such demands; if the assessment result is in the affirmative, of the details and the relevant statistics; if the assessment result is in the negative, whether the Government will adjust the existing policy to cope with the demands for elderly housing in the future, such as exploring the development of elderly housing by the Hong Kong Housing Authority rather than relying solely on HKHS to provide such units, formulating land policies to complement elderly housing in terms of land supply, land grant and land premium, etc., and providing land to non-profit-making bodies at concessionary prices or for free for the purpose of building elderly housing;

    (b)as the impact of the financial tsunami is emerging, an increasing number of retiring persons, especially those middle-class elderly people who may no longer have the financial means to live in private housing but are not eligible to apply for public housing, are worried about their livelihood after retirement, whether the Government will increase the supply of elderly housing in response to the needs of these "sandwich class" elderly people; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)besides the actions mentioned in the Progress Report on the above motion submitted by the authorities in July 2008, whether the Government has implemented other new measures to address the housing needs of the elderly hitherto; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

6. Hon LEE Cheuk-yan to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the employment statistics for 2008 compiled by the Census and Statistics Department, will the Government set out in the table below the statistics on employed persons for that year (excluding unpaid family workers, foreign domestic helpers and employed persons who worked less than 35 hours during the seven days before enumeration due to vacation)?

GenderHours of work during the seven days before enumeration
(Hours)
Monthly employment earnings (HK$)
Less than 3,0003,000 to 4,9995,000 to 7,4997,500 to 9,99910,000 or aboveTotal
FemaleLess than 35





35 to 49





50 to 59





60 or above





Sub-total





MaleLess than 35





35 to 49





50 to 59





60 or above





Sub-total





Female and MaleLess than 35





35 to 49





50 to 59





60 or above





Total






Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

7. Hon Abraham SHEK to ask: (Translation)

The authorities have indicated that among the hill fires that broke out each year on days around Ching Ming Festival and Chung Yeung Festival, which are traditional days for ancestral worship, quite a number of them were caused by kindling materials left behind by grave sweepers after burning joss sticks and joss papers. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the number of hill fires that broke out on days around Ching Ming Festival and Chung Yeung Festival in the past three years which were caused by the burning of joss sticks and joss papers by grave sweepers, as well as the area of vegetation destroyed and the time needed to restore the vegetation;

    (b)of the number of prosecutions instituted in the past three years against people who had caused hill fires; whether the authorities have assessed the effectiveness of the relevant enforcement actions, and whether they will step up prosecution in this regard; if an assessment has been made and prosecution will be stepped up, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)given the bitter lesson from the recent hill fires in Australia as well as the repeated occurrence of hill fires caused by human negligence in Hong Kong and the situation shows no sign of improvement, whether the authorities will consider amending the legislation to raise the relevant penalty so as to enhance the deterrent effect; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Security

8. Hon LEUNG Kwok-hung to ask:
(Translation)

Some members of the public have relayed to me that the Elderly Commission ("EC"), which is responsible for advising the Government on the policy for the elderly, operates in a "black box" without any transparency, and some of EC members are often absent from its meetings, leading to an imbalance in the elderly policy. For example, 19 006 elderly people had passed away while waiting for places in subsidized care and attention homes as well as nursing homes in the past five years. Those persons have also alleged that EC lacks credibility as some EC members have calculatedly steered the elderly policy in such a way as to transfer benefits to the companies in which they hold shares or the organizations in which they are employed. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the Government will open all EC meetings to the public from now on, and allow members of the public and deputations to observe the meetings; if so, when this will be implemented; if not, of the reasons for that;

    (b)why the Government stopped publishing the minutes of EC meetings on its web site from the 52th EC meeting in 2007 onwards; apart from releasing brief press summaries, whether the Government will immediately publish on its web site the minutes of all EC meetings (including the voting results on each policy item) in the past three years to enable the public to find out and understand the rationale of EC members during the discussions, and the bases upon which EC used the terms such as "welcomed" or "pleased to note"; if so, when such an arrangement will be made; if not, of the reasons for that, and whether there is any secret which cannot be made public;

    (c)of the number and rate of attendance at EC meetings as well as the number of absence from EC meetings for all EC members (including government representatives) in each of the past five years, broken down by their names;

    (d)of the attendance rate of the representative from the Education Bureau ("EDB") in each of the past five years, and the Government's reason for removing the EDB representative from the membership list of EC starting from 2009; whether such a change will have any impact on the implementation of the Elder Academy Scheme; if so, of the impact; if not, the reasons for and the purpose of appointing EDB representatives to EC in the first place;

    (e)whether it knows which companies or institutions providing elderly or rehabilitation services whose shares had been held by EC members or their family members in the past five years; which of the above types of companies or institutions have employed them to hold remunerated or non-remunerated posts; of the titles of their relevant posts; whether such companies or institutions have received any direct or indirect monetary benefits or subsidized services from the Government; if they have, of the names of such companies or institutions, as well as the details of the relevant monetary benefits or services and the amount of government funding they received annually;

    (f)of the amount of government funding received annually since the 2006-2007 financial year for the Elderly Academy Scheme by the education institution in which the EC Vice-chairman is employed and the duration of the funding period; and

    (g)whether it knows, since the 2006-2007 financial year, if there were/are EC members or their family members with shares of the Oasis Nursing Home in Wong Tai Sin; if so, of the names of the EC members concerned, as well as the amount of government funding granted to the nursing home annually since that financial year, and the duration of the service contract awarded to it?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

9. Hon Cyd HO to ask:
(Translation)

It is learnt that at present, motor vehicles insurance policies in respect of third party risks generally have a "Drink Driving Exclusion Clause" stating that the insurer will not incur any contractual obligation to indemnify (or compensate) the policyholder for any damages or losses suffered by him in relation to his liability arising from a traffic accident involving drink driving. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether third party victims, who have been injured or died in traffic accidents involving drink driving, or their families, need to seek compensation personally from the drivers who caused the accidents or the vehicle owners concerned by instituting legal proceedings; if so, what support the Government will provide to assist them in making compensation claims; in the event that the drivers who caused the accidents and the vehicle owners concerned are incapable of making compensation or are declared bankrupt, whether such victims or their families will receive reasonable compensation; and

    (b)whether it has assessed if the above exclusion clause violates the principle that the rights of third party victims in traffic accidents should be protected; if it has, of the outcome; and whether the authorities have any plan to review and amend the relevant legislation to ensure that insurers will discharge, upon collection of insurance premiums, their obligations to compensate third party victims who have been injured or died in traffic accidents; if there is no plan to review and amend legislation, whether the procedures for claiming compensation by such victims or their families will be delayed because the traffic accidents involve drink driving, and how the existing legislation ensures that the insurers will give them reasonable compensation?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury

10. Hon Tanya CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

At its fourth meeting held on 3 April this year, the Task Force on Economic Challenges ("TFEC") agreed to study how to further develop the following six economic areas where Hong Kong has enjoyed clear advantages, namely, testing and certification, medical services, innovation and technology, cultural and creative industries, environmental industry, and educational services. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether TFEC has conducted any relevant research before identifying the above economic areas; if it has, of the research methodology, outcome of the research analyses and the criteria adopted for identifying these economic areas; if it has not, the criteria used by TFEC to identify these areas;

    (b)of the following details about the development plans for each economic area according to the current conception of the Government and TFEC:

    (i)types of industries to be involved;

    (ii)specific development directions and effectiveness indicators;

    (iii)the industries and projects to be focused for development, as well as the specific reasons and justifications for selecting them;

    (iv)whether it will adjust the relevant existing policies and the size and structure of the government departments concerned to dovetail with the development needs of the economic areas; if it will, of the details of the adjustment;

    (v)details of the resource input intended for the policies on developing economic areas;

    (vi)details, including the timetable, of the plans to attract and nurture talents; and

    (vii)whether it will launch concessionary initiatives to promote the development of the economic areas, if it will, of the details of such initiatives;

    if details of one or more of the above items are not available, when the authorities will provide the relevant information; and

    (c)whether the Government has set a plan to review the development of those economic areas on a regular basis, to adjust the relevant policies and resource input in response to the prevailing situation, and to consider whether to continue to promote the development of the economic areas concerned; if it has set such a plan, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : The Financial Secretary

11. Hon Mrs Regina IP to ask:
(Translation)

Apart from monitoring the local banking system and maintaining the stability of Hong Kong dollar, the Hong Kong Monetary Authority ("HKMA") also manages the Exchange Fund with a total asset value as high as 1.5 trillion Hong Kong dollars, which has a significant bearing on the local financial market. At present, the Register of Members' Interests of the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee is available for public inspection at HKMA Offices. Although all HKMA staff are required to declare interests in accordance with HKMA Administration Circulars No. 3/2008 "Code of Conduct" and No. 1/2002 "Rules on Restrictions on Investment by HKMA Staff", information on such declaration of interests is not open for public inspection. In view of this, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether there is any difference between the declaration of interests required of HKMA's Chief Executive as a member of the Exchange Fund Advisory Committee and the declaration of interests required of him in accordance with the aforesaid administration circulars; if there is, of the details and why information on the interests declared by HKMA's Chief Executive in accordance with the administration circulars is not made public; and

    (b)as the Chief Executive's Committee consists of HKMA's Chief Executive, Deputy Chief Executives and Executive Directors, why the Government does not make public the information on the interests declared by various members of the Committee?
Public Officer to reply : The Financial Secretary

12. Hon WONG Kwok-hing to ask:
(Translation)

I have received complaints from elderly people and concern groups for elderly people about new members of elderly health centres ("EHCs") having to wait for a long time for various healthcare services. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective numbers of attendances for the various healthcare services provided last year by each EHC to its members;

    (b)regarding each EHC in each of the past three years, of the number of newly-registered members waiting for physical check-up services, the average waiting time for first-time service, and the number of new members who passed away while waiting;

    (c)of the criteria adopted by the Government for drawing up the estimates of expenditure of EHCs, and whether they include the elderly population figures of various districts; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (d)whether it had assessed the effectiveness of the services provided by EHCs last year; if so, what criteria were used for conducting the assessment; if not, of the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

13. Hon Paul TSE to ask:
(Translation)

I have received complaints that when a mega cruise liner arrives in Hong Kong and is berthed at the Kwai Chung Terminals, very often only a few immigration officers will go on board the liner to handle the travellers' immigration clearance, and hence travellers have to wait for hours to undergo such procedure. Moreover, as other vehicles are not allowed to enter the Kwai Chung Terminals area, travellers have to first ride in the vehicles arranged by the cruise liner company to Tsim Sha Tsui Star Ferry Pier and then change to other means of transport to their destinations. The aforesaid arrangement not only dampens the travellers' enthusiasm for travelling, but also takes up their sightseeing and shopping time. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether last year, it had reviewed the arrangement of the immigration clearance procedure for cruise travellers visiting Hong Kong and the berthing facilities for cruise liners; if so, of the results of the review; if not, whether it will proceed with the review immediately; and

    (b)of the measures in place, prior to the commissioning of the first berth of the new cruise terminal at Kai Tak in mid 2013, to improve the services for cruise travellers visiting Hong Kong as well as to step up the relevant complementary measures, so as to minimize the inconvenience caused to them?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

14. Hon WONG Sing-chi to ask:
(Translation)

In the 2008-2009 financial year, 162 non-governmental organizations ("NGO") providing welfare services were funded under the Lump Sum Grant ("LSG") subvention mode. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective amounts of subvention granted to each NGO in the current and the past two financial years; and

    (b)whether it knows the amount of cumulative LSG Reserves of each NGO at the end of the 2007-2008 financial year?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Labour and Welfare

15. Dr Hon Priscilla LEUNG to ask:
(Translation)

Since it was renovated in 2001, the former Ma Tau Kok Quarantine Depot has been renamed Cattle Depot Artist Village and its workshops have become available for renting by local artists. In recent months, some members of the Kowloon City District Council have relayed to me that since the management work of the above venue involves many government departments, there is confusion in the rights and responsibilities of the parties concerned. In addition, as the venue is not completely open for visit by the public, it has not been fully utilized. Moreover, as there is no policy bureau dedicated to the promotion of cultural development, the work in this area has failed to yield satisfactory results. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the criteria adopted for vetting and approving applications for renting the workshops of the Cattle Depot Artist Village and the relevant rentals; the current number and percentage of workshops which are vacant;

    (b)whether hirers are allowed under the rental conditions to engage in work which is unrelated to art and cultural creation in their workshops (such as conducting business trading activities);

    (c)which government department is currently responsible for the management of the Cattle Depot Artist Village; whether it has any plan to completely open the Cattle Depot Artist Village for visit by the public;

    (d)given that the Cattle Depot Artist Village is currently classified as a Grade III historical building, whether it knows if the Antiquity Advisory Board has any plan to upgrade the building's grading;

    (e)whether the Development Bureau has any plan to revitalize the Cattle Depot Artist Village further; if it has, of the relevant timetable, and whether it will adopt leading the renewal of the entire old Kowloon City district and complementing the synergistic development of Kai Tak new development area etc. as the prime factors of consideration in the revitalization of the Village;

    (f)whether it knows how the Cattle Depot Artist Village and Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre, which was opened in September 2008, coordinate with each other and divide between them the work on arts development; and

    (g)given that at present Hong Kong does not have a policy bureau dedicated to the promotion of cultural development, while the Government of Macau Special Administrative Region has set up the Secretariat for Social Affairs and Culture for such purposes, whether the Government will set up a culture bureau to coordinate the work on cultural development in various areas?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Home Affairs

16. Dr Hon LAM Tai-fai to ask:
(Translation)

Given that the cooperation of Chinese and Western medicine practitioners in treating patients may generate complementary effects, Chinese medical therapies are widely practised overseas, and the Government is open-minded towards the setting up of a Chinese medicine hospital ("CMH"), will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)when the Government will commence a study on the setting up of a CMH and what the relevant details are; if it cannot commence the study immediately, of the reasons for that;

    (b)whether the Government will consider providing subsidies or other incentives to private medical institutions to encourage them to establish and operate CMHs; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

    (c)whether it has assessed the number of CMHs whose operational needs can be met by graduates from existing local full-time undergraduate degree courses in Chinese medicine each year, and whether the places in such courses are sufficient to meet the demand; if it has made such an assessment, of the outcome; whether it will consider allocating more resources to increase the number of places in such courses;

    (d)whether the Government will consider providing more clinical internship opportunities to students of undergraduate degree courses in Chinese medicine; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (e)whether it has any plan to enhance cooperation with relevant Mainland authorities to capitalize on the experience of the Chinese medicine practitioners on the Mainland to assist in the training of local talents in Chinese medicine and develop the Chinese medicine sector into a major export industry?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Food and Health

17. Hon Albert CHAN to ask:
(Translation)

The Air Mail Centre ("the Centre") situated at Chek Lap Kok has come into operation for over 10 years since 1998. I have recently received complaints that a large quantity of expensive facilities installed in the Centre several years ago are still being left idle while the staff of the Centre still have to move bulky parcels manually. It has been reported that in March this year, Hongkong Post refused to give a detailed response about the aforesaid situation on grounds of "internal operation and aviation security". In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)whether the electronic display panel in the Centre can display real-time flight information (including flight delay messages); if not, of the reasons for that;

    (b)in respect of each conveyor belt on each floor of the Centre, of the daily average number of hours it was in operation and the daily average quantity of parcels it handled last year;

    (c)why the pulley duct and large turntable packing platform on the first floor of the Centre, the large lift linking the ground floor to the second floor, as well as the X-ray scanner for human beings and objects have been left idle for a long time;

    (d)of the reasons why bulky parcels still have to be moved manually in the Centre; and

    (e)whether it will consider taking measures to improve efficiency of parcel handling in the Centre, and penalizing the staff concerned for not taking measures to enable the aforesaid facilities to be fully utilized; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development

18. Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong to ask:
(Translation)

From the 2008-2009 academic year onwards, self-financing institutions which have received interest-free loans from the Government under the Start-up Loan Scheme may apply for extension of the repayment period of such loans from "no more than ten years" to "no more than 20 years", if it is proven that they have financial difficulties. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the up-to-date number of institutions from which applications have been received by the authorities, the justifications for the applications, the criteria and the average time taken for vetting and approving the applications, as well as the deadline for submission of applications;

    (b)of the names of the institutions whose applications have been approved, as well as the extended loan repayment period and the resultant reduction in the amount of annual repayment in respect of each case;

    (c)whether it has assessed if there is room for the institutions which have been permitted to repay loans over an extended period to lower the tuition fees of their self-financing post-secondary programmes; if the assessment outcome is in the affirmative, of the details; if the assessment outcome is in the negative, the reasons for that; and

    (d)whether it has assessed the financial impact on the Government of the arrangement for extending loan repayment periods; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

19. Dr Hon Joseph LEE to ask:
(Translation)

Regarding the tertiary institutions funded by University Grants Committee, will the Government inform this Council whether:
    (a)it knows the list of academic titles of teachers used by each tertiary institution;

    (b)last year, it had considered drawing up a standard list of academic titles for all institutions to follow, so as to avoid confusing and misleading the public; if it had, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

    (c)it has monitored various institutions in formulating criteria to determine the academic titles of their teachers, so as to ensure that the academic standards of teachers are commensurate with their titles; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Education

20. Hon KAM Nai-wai to ask:
(Translation)

As at the end of 2007, the average daily person-times benefitting from each of the 96 concessionary bus-bus interchange ("CBBI") schemes with interchange locations on Hong Kong Island was only about 77, which was far less than those of the other four areas: 2 059, 315, 529 and 604 for New Territories West, New Territories East, Lantau Island and Kowloon respectively. Moreover, a number of green minibus ("GMB") route combinations on Hong Kong Island at present also provide interchange concessions. Regarding concessionary interchange schemes for franchised buses and GMBs, will the Government inform this Council:
    (a)of the respective numbers, as at the end of 2008, of concessionary interchange schemes for franchised buses and GMBs with interchange locations in the aforesaid five areas respectively, together with a breakdown, by area, of the latest average daily person-times benefitting from the two types of schemes;

    (b)whether the Transport Department ("TD") has discussed with franchised bus companies and GMB operators the introduction of more concessionary interchange schemes on Hong Kong Island in the next 12 months; if it has, of the number of such schemes and other details (including the estimated person-times benefitting); whether the Government has set a long-term growth target for the person-times benefitting from concessionary interchange schemes; if it has no target, the reasons for that;

    (c)given that the Government has all along been encouraging franchised bus companies to introduce more CBBI schemes, whether the Government also encourages operators of GMB routes which are in direct competition with franchised bus routes to offer interchange concessions; whether "whether interchange concession will be offered" is one of the factors of consideration in TP's selection of operators for new GMB routes; and

    (d)whether the authorities will, in the future when they negotiate with franchised bus companies operating bus routes on Hong Kong Island on the extension of franchise, request such companies to formulate more comprehensive CBBI schemes, as well as increase the number of interchange locations for the convenience of passengers, with a view to making good use of bus service resources?
Public Officer to reply : Secretary for Transport and Housing

III. Bills

Second Reading (Debate to resume), Committee Stage and Third Reading

Appropriation Bill 2009:The Financial Secretary

Other Public Officers to attend the Second Reading debate:Secretary for Financial Services and the Treasury
Secretary for Labour and Welfare
Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development
Secretary for Environment


Proposed resolutions under Rule 69(3) of the Rules of Procedure of the Legislative Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

(i)Hon James TO to move the following motion:

RESOLVED that head 122 be reduced by $50,410,000 in respect of subhead 000.

Other Public Officer to attend:Secretary for Security

(ii)Hon James TO to move the following motion:

RESOLVED that head 122 be reduced by $16,998,570 in respect of subhead 000.

Other Public Officer to attend:Secretary for Security

(iii)Hon James TO to move the following motion:

RESOLVED that head 122 be reduced by $80,000,000 in respect of subhead 103.

Other Public Officer to attend:Secretary for Security

(iv)Hon Emily LAU to move the following motion:

RESOLVED that head 138 be reduced by $2,680,000 in respect of subhead 000.

Other Public Officer to attend:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

(v)Hon Emily LAU to move the following motion:

RESOLVED that head 141 be reduced by $2,680,000 in respect of subhead 000.

Other Public Officer to attend:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

(vi)Hon Emily LAU to move the following motion:

RESOLVED that head 142 be reduced by $1,970,000 in respect of subhead 000.

Other Public Officer to attend:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

(vii)Hon Emily LAU to move the following motion:

RESOLVED that head 144 be reduced by $1,970,000 in respect of subhead 000.

Other Public Officer to attend:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

(viii)Hon Emily LAU to move the following motion:

RESOLVED that head 151 be reduced by $2,680,000 in respect of subhead 000.

Other Public Officer to attend:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

(ix)Hon Emily LAU to move the following motion:

RESOLVED that head 152 be reduced by $1,970,000 in respect of subhead 000.

Other Public Officer to attend:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

(x)Hon Emily LAU to move the following motion:

RESOLVED that head 158 be reduced by $1,970,000 in respect of subhead 000.

Other Public Officer to attend:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

(xi)Hon LEUNG Kwok-hung to move the following motion:

RESOLVED that head 144 be reduced by $121,000,000 in respect of subhead 000.

Other Public Officer to attend:Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs

IV. Motions

Proposed resolution under the Product Eco-responsibility Ordinance and the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance

Secretary for the Environment to move the motion


(Contents of the motion are contained in
LC Paper No. CB(3) 476/08-09 issued on 2 April 2009)

Clerk to the Legislative Council