Information Note for LegCo Panel on Housing

System of Appointment to the Housing Authority

At a recent meeting of the LegCo Panel on Housing, the Administration undertook to provide Members with an information note on the system of appointment to the Housing Authority (HA), together with an analysis of the background of HA members in the last three years.

General policy

2. The Government’s primary objective in making appointments to boards and committees is to obtain the services of suitable people who meet the requirements of the concerned board or committee. Each appointment is made on the basis of the merits of the individual, taking into account his personal ability, expertise, experience, integrity and commitment to public service. Due regard is also given to the need to ensure a balance of expertise, experience and background among the membership of the board or committee.

3. The current network of advisory and statutory bodies is an effective and well-tried system. The roles and functions of these bodies should not be confused with those of the three-tier system of representative government. They play complementary roles. The system of advisory and statutory bodies works well because it is flexible, and this flexibility enables the Government to appoint from a wide cross-section of the community on the basis of individual merit.

Policy of appointment to the Housing Authority

4. The Housing Authority (HA) was set up under the Housing Ordinance. The Governor may appoint such number of persons to the HA as non-official members as he thinks fit.

5. The Government’s general policy on appointment to boards and committees stated in paragraphs 2 and 3 above also applies to the HA. Since the HA plans, builds, manages and maintains a very large housing stock and acts as the Government’s agent on squatter control and clearance, its operation requires the input and advice of people with different backgrounds and types of expertise.

6. Non-official members of the HA are appointed in their personal capacities, on the basis of general experience, knowledge of housing affairs and/or related matters, position and reputation in their own sector or profession, and ability to contribute to the efficient and effective operation of the HA.

7. Appointed in their personal capacities, HA members are expected to tender advice independently and make decisions in the wider interests of the community. From time to time the HA has to consider policies and programmes which have an effect on the interests of sitting and prospective public housing tenants. A balanced and non-political membership is essential so that the HA may consider issues in an independent, impartial and unbiased manner.

Background of Housing Authority members

8. There is a good balance of professional expertise and community interests on the HA. The present membership includes professionals in different fields, financial administrators, academics, an economist, social workers, public rental housing tenants, home ownership flat owners, District Board Chairmen and members, and members of the Executive Council, Legislative Council and Regional Council.

9. An analysis of the background of HA members in the past three years is provided at the Annex.

Housing Branch
Government Secretariat
June 1996

Last Updated on 10 December 1998