For discussion EC(96-97)55
on 16 January 1997



Members are invited to approve the proposed changes to the Establishment Subcommittee Procedures (the ESC Procedures) for adoption with immediate effect upon endorsement by FC.


The current ESC Procedures were adopted in April 1994. Changes have taken place since then in the way the Council and its committees conduct their business and amendments have been made in the Standing Orders to reflect these changes. The Finance Committee (FC) Procedures were revised at the FC meeting on 29 November 1996 to make the FC Procedures consistent with the Standing Orders, and there is a need to revise the procedures of its two Subcommittees, namely the ESC and the Public Works Subcommittee accordingly.


2. In addition to some textual amendments and re-arrangement of paragraphs for better presentation and to enhance clarity, the following changes to the ESC Procedures are proposed :

  1. the deletion of reference to non-official members with the abolition of ex-officio membership for the Finance Committee (FC) in October 1995;
  2. the expanded terms of reference of ESC as endorsed by FC on 8 July 1994;
  3. the provision of clearer guidelines on the arrangements for the election of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of ESC;
  4. the inclusion of more specific guidelines in respect of the notice of agenda items, the conduct of meetings, amendment and withdrawal of proposals by the Administration, and the adjournment of proceedings.

3. Subject to members’ agreement, the revised ESC Procedures, as set out in the Enclosure, will take immediate effect upon endorsement by FC.


4. Following a recent review of the procedures of the FC and its Subcommittees, the Legislative Council Secretariat has identified a number of changes that should be made to these procedures. The proposed changes were discussed by the Chairmen and Deputy Chairmen of FC and its two Subcommittees at a meeting on 25 October 1996. Subsequently, FC considered and approved the revised FC Procedures on 29 November 1996. In endorsing the revised FC Procedures, members noted that suitable amendments would also be made to the procedures of its Subcommittees. The amendments are:

  1. With the abolition of ex-officio membership of the Legislative Council in October 1995, it is no longer necessary to differentiate between official and non-official members in the Procedures.
  2. FC endorsed in July 1994 that the terms of reference of the ESC should be expanded to include proposals for the creation of positions for directorate level consultancies for individuals lasting more than one year. The new terms of reference are now incorporated in the Procedures.
  3. The procedure for the election of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of ESC is amended in line with the revised FC Procedures. The amendment is to enable the election to be held at an open meeting, pursuant to FC’s decision on 3 October 1994, and to specify the timing of the election and who are entitled to vote.
  4. A new paragraph is added to specify that the Financial Secretary, the Secretary for the Treasury and the Deputy Secretary for the Treasury, being public officers designated by the Governor, may propose agenda items for the ESC to reflect the arrangements within the Administration made under Standing Order 4B(2). A new paragraph is also inserted to reflect the Administration’s powers to amend or withdraw a financial proposal put to ESC, in line with the arrangement specified in FC Procedures.
  5. Amendments in respect of the adjournment of proceedings are made in line with the revised FC Procedures endorsed on 29 November 1996.


5. This proposal does not involve any financial implications.

Legislative Council Secretariat
January 1997

Last Updated on 10 September 1998