For discussion EC(96-97)36
on 9 July 1996


Subhead 001 Salaries

Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following supernumerary post for a period of a period of two yearsfrom 19 July 1996 -

1 Administrative Officer Staff Grade C

(D2) ($95,550 - $101,450)


The Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (SPEL) needs The existing dedicated structure and directorate support structure input of the Lands and Planning Division (LPD) of the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch (PELB) are is to cope with the additional workload associated with the new urban renewal proposalsarising from the increasing scope and pace of re-development of ofaddress the Government urban renewal propgramme matters relating to of the Governmentand to assist the Land Development Corporation (LDC) in expediting its urban renewal projects. the Land Development Corporation (LDC).renewal.


2. We proposes to create one supernumerary post of Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (AOSGC) (D2) to head a dedicated urban renewal team in the Lands and Planning Division (LPD) of the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch (PELB) for a period of two years from 19 July 1996.


3. SPEL has recently completed a review of the current urban renewal policy and issued a Policy Statement : "Urban Renewal in Hong Kong". The review sets out a package of immediate measures to facilitate and speed up urban renewal schemes, and some proposed fundamental changes to the the existing arrangements of the urban renewal process. Most of the measures/changes concern LDC, which has played a major role in urban renewal. For example, we intend to introduce a linked site approach, which involves the granting of Government land by private treaty at full market value premium to LDC to enable it to carry out urban renewal projects site which will otherwise not be viable on their own. We will also also propose to consider a proposal to upgrade LDC into an Urban Renewal Authority, which would be established by statute, financially independent, and be empowered to carry out urban renewal work on a larger scale and more quickly.

4. These These proposals will generate a large volume of workload foron LPD of PELB, including public consultation, the working out of the implementation details of the various measures to expedite urban renewal, the preparation ing of the enactment of new legislation, and as well as liaisoning withbetween LDC,, the Government Administration and other Government departments and publicindependent statutory bodies.

5. Under the existing establishment of PELB, one Principal Assistant Secretary (PAS) and one Assistant Secretary currently oversee matters relating urban renewal policies amongst other areas of work. They are primarily responsible for policy matters and the legislative proposals on bills relating to buildings and land. Some of the major and urgent issues for them to tackle in the short/medium term include the review of the small house policy, land related matters arising from the proposed Western Corridor Railway, the control of the display of publicity materials in public places, the proposed mandatory building inspection scheme and the revision of the "Design Manual : Access for the Disabled 1984", etc. Because of the importance, urgency and large volume of these other duties, they do not have any spare capacity to take on the additional workload which as will arise from the new urban renewal proposals, and in particular the increasingly important role in coordinating between the Government and LDC in relation to the increase in scope and pace of the redevelopment programme of LDC.

6. SPEL therefore sees the need to proposes to set up a dedicated urban renewal team in LPD of PELB responsible for the following duties -

  1. advising on the urban renewal programme matters relating to LDC;
  2. formulating new policies, institutional arrangements and an implementation plan to facilitate LDC's urban renewal work;
  3. co-ordinating the efforts of LDC, various Government departments and public bodies on urban renewal; and
  4. sorting out any major problems faced by LD.

7. The creation of a dedicated team in PELB is both urgent and necessary to achieve a more focused and integrated approach to deal with these matters. urban renewal. It will facilitate the implementation, co-ordination, programming and monitoring aspects of LDC's urban renewal activities in a more pro-active, expeditious and comprehensive manner. We will review the need to extend the term of the dedicated team in early 1998, when there will be a recommendation on whether or not to upgrade the LDC into an Urban Renewal Authority.

8. Given the level of responsibility and the importance of the duties involved, we consider that the head of the team should be an AOSGC (D2), to be designated PAS/Urban Renewal (UR). Therefore, we propose the creation of a supernumerary post of AOSGC (D2) for two years. To provide professional and secretarial support to the team, we will create four posts of one Senior Estate Surveyor, one Senior Town Planner, one Personal Secretary I, and one Personal Secretary II through the normal Departmental Establishment Committee machinery. .

9. The existing and proposed organisation chart of PELB is at Enclosure 1. AThe job descriptions for the post of PAS(UR) isare at Enclosure 2.


10. The additional notional annual salary cost of this proposal at mid-point is $1,182,600. The full annual average staff cost of the proposal, including salaries and staff on-costs, is $2,187,240.

11. In addition, this proposal will necessitate the creation of four additional non-directorate posts (see paragraph above) at a notional annual mid-point salary cost of $2,003,880 and a full annual average staff cost of $3,755,484.

12. We shall recover the full staff costs of the proposed new AOSGC(D2) post and the dedicated team from LDC which has agreed to this funding arrangement.


13. A large portion of the urban areas is ageing and there are various associated problems such as overcrowding, poor environmental conditions and under-utilisation of land. About 81 hectares of the urban area with about 59 000 households merit priority redevelopment. Records of the Rating and Valuation Department indicate that about 20% (113 000 units) of the domestic premises in the urban area are over 30 years old. It is likely that these properties willmay approach the end of their useful life within a decade or so. If the rate of replacement/redevelopment slows down, the situation will inevitably worsen.

14. To tackle these problems, the Administration aims to renew the areas by large-scale redevelopment projects and expects to improve the environmental and living conditions as well as utilisation of land in the areas.

15. LDC was set up in 1988 to promote urban redevelopment. It is an independent statutory body established under the LDC Ordinance to improve the standard of housing and the living environment by undertaking, encouraging, promoting and facilitating urban renewal. LDC implements the urban renewal programme by preparing development schemes/proposals and negotiating with affected owners regarding the purchase of properties identified for redevelopment.

16. On 29 July 1995, Finance Committee approved the creation of a supernumerary post of Chief Estate Surveyor (D1) in the Lands Department for an initial period of five years to head a dedicated land resumption team. LDC undertakes to reimburse the Government the full cost of this dedicated team.

17. The Planning Department will also require additional staff to expedite the processing of LDC's redevelopment proposals of LDC. We will seek Members' approval separately as appropriate.


18. The Civil Service Branch supports the ranking and grading of this proposed post as it carries responsibilities and policy input appropriate for the D2 level.


19. As we are proposing the AOSGC (D2) post on a supernumerary basis, we shall report its creation, if approved, to the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service in accordance with the agreed procedure.

Planning, Environment and Lands Branch
July 1996

Enclosure 1 to EC(96-97)36

Existing and Proposed Organisation Chart of the Planning, Environment and Lands Branch

Enclosure 2 to EC(96-97)36

Job Descriptions of Principal Assistant Secretary (Urban Renewal)

Planning, Environment and Lands Branch (PELB)

Rank : Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (D2)

Major Duties and Responsibilities

Responsible to Deputy Secretary (Lands and Planning) of PELB for the urban renewal programme policy matters relating to the LDC. Duties include -

  1. advising on the urban renewal programmematters relating to LDC;
  2. formulating new policies, institutional arrangements and an implementation plan to facilitate LDC's urban renewal work;
  3. coordinating the efforts of LDC, various Government departments and public bodies on urban renewal;
  4. sorting out any major problems faced by LDCurban renewal agencies in implementing its redevelopment schemes; and
  5. attending meetings of the Executive Council, the Legislative Council, and District Boards as necessary.


Last Updated on 3 December 1998