For discussion EC(95-96)56
on 15 November 1995
ITEM FOR ESTABLISHMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
OF FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 96 - GOVERNMENT SECRETARIAT : OVERSEAS OFFICES
Subhead 001 Salaries
Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the retention of the following supernumerary post for the period up to 30 June 1997 -
1 Administrative Officer Staff Grade C
(D2) ($95,550 - $101,450)
The supernumerary post of Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (AOSGC) (D2) which accommodates an officer on secondment to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) of the United Kingdom Government will lapse at the end of the financial year 1995-96. There is a need for the continued secondment of a government officer to the FCO at AOSGC level.
2. We propose to retain the supernumerary post of AOSGC (D2) until 30 June 1997.
3. This supernumerary AOSGC post was created in September 1982 under a secondment scheme between the Hong Kong and United Kingdom (UK) governments. The scheme provides for the secondment of officers from the Hong Kong Government (HKG) to the UK Government and vice versa. This enables Hong Kong officers to widen their knowledge and experience by working in a completely different environment, and to have an informed working relationship between Hong Kong and the FCO . In return, the UK Government will gain from the experience of the seconded officer in its dealings with Hong Kong.
4. An AOSGC has been seconded to the FCO since 1982 as a Section Head in the Hong Kong Department. His main duties involve providing advice on transitional issues relating to economic and financial matters, the Hong Kong civil service and trade and investment relationship between UK and Hong Kong. The officer also provides material for Ministers to respond to parliamentary questions and debates and to letters from Members of Parliament on Hong Kong issues. The duty list of the post is at the Enclosure.
5. Over the years, the secondment of an officer with personal knowledge of Hong Kong and of the Hong Kong civil service and government machinery has proved very useful and beneficial to both the HKG and the FCO. It has, for example, provided a readily available in-house information and knowledge about Hong Kong and has served as a contact point for those senior HKG officers having frequent dealings with the FCO. In addition, it has obviated much of the need for excessive and time-consuming correspondence between the HKG and the FCO on points of detail and has ensured that the Hong Kong perspective is not overlooked.
6. The need for such informed input and advice to FCO on matters relating to Hong Kong will continue in the run up to the change of sovereignty. It is therefore necessary to retain the supernumerary post of AOSGC so that the secondment can continue until 30 June 1997.
7. The additional notional annual salary cost of the proposal at mid-point is $1,182,600. Subject to Members approval, we shall include the necessary provision will be in the 1996-97 draft Estimates.
8. The proposal has no other financial or staffing implications.
9. We have retained this supernumerary post annually in the draft Estimates since its creation in 1982..
10. We have other government officers serving in HKGs London Office. There is however no overlap between this FCO post and those in the London Office. The London Office deals with trade and investment matters such as attraction of investment to Hong Kong and promotion of Hong Kong as an international business centre. . Staff in the London Office assist in the negotiation of trade and economic agreements and present Hong Kongs commercial relations interests to the UK Government. They serve as representatives of HKG in promoting Hong Kongs economic and trade interest whereas the FCO secondee serves as a link between HKG and FCO.
11. Civil Service Branch agrees that there is continued need for the secondment of a senior officer to the FCO to provide informed advice and input to the UK Government and serve as a ready point of contact between the HKG and the UK Government.
12. As the AOSGC post is proposed on a supernumerary basis, its retention, if approved, will be reported to the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service in accordance with the agreed procedure.
Trade and Industry Branch
Civil Service Branch
Enclosure to EC(95-96)56
Job description : As Section Head of the Hong Kong Department of the FCO, the AOSGC is responsible for -
- providing advice on transitional issues relating to -
airport and port development;
financial and monetary system;
satellite licensing; and
the Land Commission;
- providing expert advice on matters relating to the Hong Kong civil service and in particular to the arrangements being put in place by Her Majestys Government regarding members of Her Majestys Overseas Civil Service;
- providing advice on trade and investment relationship between the United Kingdom and Hong Kong; and
- preparing briefings and papers for Ministers on the above issues and input for answers to parliamentary questions and other parliamentary business.
Last Updated on 3 December 1998