For discussion EC(95-96)61
on 13 December 1995


Subhead 001 Salaries

Members are invited to recommend to the Finance Committee -

  1. the creation of the following new rank in the Land Executive grade -

    Senior Principal Land Executive
    (D1) ($80,450 - $85,400); and

  2. the creation of one post of Senior Principal Land Executive (D1) to be offset by the deletion of one post of Principal Land Executive (MPS Point 45-49) ($62,665 - $72,195) in the Lands Department.


The present ranking of the Principal Land Executive/Headquarters (PLE/HQ) post does not reflect the increasing volume and complexity of its grade management duties as the de facto head of the Land Executive (LE) and Land Inspector (LI) grades of the Lands Department.


2. The Director of Lands proposes to create a new rank of Senior Principal Land Executive (SPLE) (D1) in the LE grade and to upgrade the PLE/HQ post to this new rank.


3. The LE grade comprises the following ranks -

Principal Land Executive

(MPS Pt 45 - 49)

Chief Land Executive

(MPS Pt 40 - 44)

Senior Land Executive

(MPS Pt 34 - 39)

Land Executive

(MPS Pt 15 - 33)

4. The PLE/HQ post was created in 1968 for managing the LE and LI grades and for advising the senior directorate on matters related to grade management duties and land administration in the New Territories (NT). The incumbent is the de facto head of the two grades. He is responsible for formulating and implementing, insofar as they affect the two grades, departmental personnel policies, procedures and practices on training, deployment, career development, staff management and performance appraisal. He also makes contributions crucial to the setting of rules and practices pertaining to the two grades in respect of other personnel functions with wider departmental implications, including appointment, staff relations, welfare and discipline.

5. Since 1968, the total establishment of the LE and LI grades has grown significantly : from 54 to 406 in the LE grade and from 178 to 706 in the LI grade. This growth has caused a substantial increase in the level of responsibility of PLE/HQ. In addition, the personnel functions of PLE/HQ have, over the years, become much more complex and demanding with the general trend towards a more transparent and accountable management style. He plays a key role in implementing the new Human Resource Management initiatives in the two grades, with one of his major tasks being identifying and developing core competencies for each of the ranks concerned and to follow up with appropriate job-matching and career postings. From the grade management aspect, he needs to maintain the delicate balance between the interests of the LE/LI grades and those of the others in the same department deployed in a similar or closely related field of work. As grade manager, he plans and co-ordinates cultural, structural as well as procedural changes necessary to prepare the LE/LI grades for new initiatives. At present, at the non-directorate level of MPS 45 - 49, PLE/HQ lacks the status at times to deal effectively with his counterparts in the district land offices and headquarters sections who are pitched at the Chief Estate Surveyor (D1) level, especially on staff posting matters which always entail difficult negotiations.

6. The land administration work in the NT has grown rapidly both in volume and complexity. In recent years, we require substantive input from the LE and LI grades in the following new priority areas -

  1. large-scale resumption and clearance exercises relating to -
      - Port and Airport Development Strategy projects
      - Construction of Route III and Black Point Power Station
      - River Training Programmes works;
  2. land control and lease enforcement measures to tackle environmental black spots;
  3. compilation of list of rural land owned by indigenous villagers eligible for rent concession under Annex III to the Joint Declaration; and
  4. processing compensation claims from fishermen and mariculturists affected by public works projects.

To cope with the increased workload, PLE/HQ has been constantly monitoring and developing the role of the two grades, the career development and deployment policies and practices as well as their grade structures. He has to implement these new undertakings against a backdrop of limited LE/LI staff resources . His decisions and advice on the best use of such resources are of vital importance to the efficient and effective functioning of the Lands Administration Office.

7. Faced with the many new tasks, the departmental management needs to negotiate with the relevant staff associations on the roles expected of the LE and LI grades and the changes required to meet operational needs. Current negotiations include a proposal to upgrade the entry qualifications of both the LE and LI grades. Given the existing lack of a directorate officer dedicated to grade management, the Principal Government Land Agent/General (PGLA/G)(D3) has to be personally involved in handling such matters. This arrangement is not satisfactory. Should the PLE/HQ post be upgraded, the incumbent will assume the grade management role independently and deal with the staff associations directly, thus allowing PGLA/G to concentrate more on his other professional and managerial duties.

8. Similarly, when reviewing land administration procedures, PLE/HQ is frequently required to revert to PGLA/G before any agreement with staff associations can be reached or any procedural changes can be effected. This situation will improve if PLE/HQ is upgraded to the directorate level and be given a higher level of authority to make decisions independently. Furthermore, the provision of a full-time dedicated directorate officer for the job will enable the management to take a proactive approach in handling staff concerns and to take prompt action before staff morale is affected.

9. Besides grade management functions, PLE/HQ tenders advice on the sentiments and the political climate of the rural communities in the NT. As the chief adviser to the senior directorate on NT land administration matters, PLE/HQ is responsible to the Principal Government Land Agent/Specialist (D3) for collating and analysing feedback from the front-line staff in every district and policy area, and assessing possible reaction of local communities to major Government projects. Such input is particularly crucial for projects and policies which have significant local political implications, e.g. policies affecting the NT indigenous villagers and major land acquisition projects in the NT.

10. Upon a review of the level of responsibility of the PLE/HQ, the Director of Lands considers it appropriate to upgrade this post to the SPLE (D1) level, to be designated departmentally as SPLE/HQ. The proposed job description of SPLE/HQ and the organisation chart showing his position in the Lands Department are at Enclosures 1 and 2.


11. The additional notional annual mid-point salary value required for the proposal is-

$ No. of Post

New permanent post



Less Permanent post deleted



Additional cost



Sufficient provision has been included in the 1995-96 Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal. The proposal has no other financial or staffing implications.


12. Besides the PLE/HQ post, there are the following three PLE posts, the ranking of which the Director of Lands still considers appropriate -

  1. PLE/Village Improvement & Control

    This post was created in 1992 to be responsible for matters relating to village improvement schemes, small house grants, land control, lease enforcement, development control and rent concession in the NT.

  2. PLE/Yuen Long

    This post was created in 1992 to co-ordinate all acquisition and clearance matters in connection with the Route III and Black Point Power Line projects, as well as to co-ordinate and supervise the work of 16 land teams headed by two Chief Land Executives in the Yuen Long District Lands Office.

  3. PLE/Acquisition

    This post was created in 1995 to identify resumption and clearance problems associated with Public Works Programme projects, to consider solutions for the problems and to co-ordinate follow-up actions.


13. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading of the proposed new rank and post would be appropriate if they were to be created.

Civil Service Branch
November 1995

Enclosure 1 to EC(95-96)61

Job Description Senior Principal Land Executive (Headquarters)

Rank : Senior Principal Land Executive (D1)

Office : Headquarters/ Lands Department

Duties and Responsibilities

Responsible to the Principal Government Land Agent/General as head and manager of the Land Executive (LE) and Land Inspector (LI) grades for all matters relating to the management of these two grades, and responsible to the Principal Government Land Agent/Specialist for advising on the sensitivity and political implications in the formulation and administration of land policies and practices in the New Territories (NT). Specific duties include -

responsible to PGLA(G)

  1. To formulate, implement and review departmental personnel policies, procedures and practices on training, deployment, career development, staff management and performance appraisal insofar as they affect the two grades.
  2. To advise on the formulation and implementation of policies on the development of the structure of the two grades and on other personnel functions including appointment, staff relations, welfare and discipline.
  3. To plan, effect and monitor the posting of all staff in the two grades, in the interests of career development, staff morale and office efficiency.
  4. To review regularly the manpower requirements in respect of the two grades of all sections/offices, with a view to achieving the most cost-effective utilisation of limited manpower resources available.
  5. To review and administer regularly the recruitment/ promotion procedures and practices, and to determine training programmes for the staff in the two grades, with a view to meeting operational commitments and training needs.
  6. To conduct regular personal interviews with staff in the two grades, field inspections and visits to various offices to identify sources of staff problems; to assess individual performance/special aptitudes/workload; and where necessary, to promote morale/welfare within the offices.
  7. To review regularly the ranking criteria of the two grades and to formulate standing instructions for staff in these grades where necessary.
  8. To represent the department in handling all matters concerning the relevant staff unions, liaising with them regarding their requests and grievances.
  9. To regularly review and streamline operational procedures in the administration of rural land matters.
  10. To chair the Chief/Senior Land Executive promotion boards and regular meetings of the Principal Land Executives and Chief Land Executives.

responsible to PGLA(S)

  1. To advise the top management on the formulation and administration of land policies in the NT, with particular reference to those issues which are sensitive and with political implications affecting the NT indigenous villagers, so as to ensure smooth land administration in the NT.

Last Updated on 3 December 1998