on 28 May 1997
ITEM FOR ESTABLISHMENT SUBCOMMITTEE OF FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 186 - TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT
Subhead 001 Salaries
Members are invited to recommend to the Finance Committee the creation of the following permanent post in the Management and Licensing Branch of the Transport Department -
1 Principal Transport Officer
(D1) ($86,650 - $91,950)
Transport Department (TD) needs continued directorate support to oversee contracts for the operation and management of privatised transport facilities and to co-ordinate the drafting of legislation and contracts for new projects identified for privatisation. The present supernumerary post of Principal Transport Officer/Management (PTO/M) which is charged with these duties in the Management and Licensing Branch (ML Branch) will lapse on 16 July 1997.
2. We propose to create a permanent post of Principal Transport Officer (PTO) (D1) post upon the lapse of the supernumerary PTO/M post.
3. In July 1993, we created a supernumerary PTO post, designated as PTO/M, to provide support to the Assistant Commissioner/Management and Licensing (AC/ML) for monitoring the operation of transport services already contracted out and in contracting out other services.
4.The PTO/M now oversees two divisions in the ML Branch, namely the Business Management Division which is responsible for the tendering, management and retendering of contracts and the Tunnels and Parking Division which is responsible for managing the existing tunnels and parking facilities. The two divisions together have a staff establishment of 39. The organisation chart of the ML Branch and the job description of PTO/M are at Enclosures 1 and2respectively. PTO/Ms tendering, management, planning and legislative responsibilities have been increasing steadily over the years. There is now a permanent need for directorate input in all these areas of his work.
Contracting out of services
5. PTO/M supervises project evaluation, contract drafting, tendering, and project review for all new contracting-out and all re-tendering exercises. He directs feasibility studies to evaluate the financial viability of new projects, to assess the different options of management modes, remuneration methods and tendering strategies, before making recommendations on the way forward. New projects requiring PTO/Ms input in formulating tendering strategy and contract terms include -
(a)Management contract for Austin Road Cross Border Coach Terminus
We are inviting tenders from the prequalified tenderers. PTO/M will steer the exercise and will review the results with a view to recommending the future management mode for the other planned cross-border coach termini.
(b)Procurement contract for electronic parking devices
We are inviting tenders for this $75 million project for the phased replacement of all mechanical parking meters. PTO/M will chair a Working Group to draw up equipment specifications and to formulate completely new operational and financial procedures.
(c)Management contract for park-and-ride scheme
PTO/M is formulating a contract for the provision of park-and-ride facilities at Sheung Shui. On completion of this project, he will have to make recommendations on the possibility of expanding the scheme to other districts.
(d)Management contract for taxis
PTO/M is formulating a contract for the tendering out of the management of a fleet of some 30 Government owned liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) taxis to be put into operation in early 1998, subject to separate funding approval, as a trial scheme for assessing the environmental impact and the financial and operational feasibility of LPG vehicles.
(e)Management contract for a new driving school cum articulated vehicle driving test centre
To provide much needed off-street training facilities, PTO/M is formulating a contract for the provision of a driving school and an articulated vehicle driving test centre on a site in Tai Po.
(f)Management of Cross-harbour Tunnel
PTO/M is exploring the management options for the Cross-harbour Tunnel as the present 30-year franchise expires in August 1999 and will conduct a tender exercise shortly.
Retendering of contracts
6. Following the initial contracting-out of a facility, PTO/M continues to supervise the on-going process of administering and retendering the contract. With each retender exercise, PTO/M has to assess the adequacy of the existing package against the present date circumstances and current end-user aspirations. Changes are invariably required to -
- repackage tenders to improve cost-effectiveness as new facilities are completed;
- further exploit the commercial potential of Government facilities;
- provide a more customer-oriented service; and
- take into account rapid technological changes.
7. For these reasons, retender exercises generally involve major changes to the tendering strategy, the financial/operational arrangements, and the control/monitoring framework. PTO/M has to liaise closely with the works departments, the enforcement department and the client divisions to address their respective concerns. Projects requiring PTO/Ms attention in the next few years include the retendering of the management contracts for parking meters, the Central to Mid-Levels Escalators System, the Aberdeen Tunnel, the New Kowloon Bay Vehicle Examination Centre, the Airport and Lion Rock Tunnels, and the Shing Mun and Tseung Kwan O Tunnels.
8. From time to time, contractors may also initiate commercial proposals in respect of Government premises or facilities under their management. PTO/M has to consider such proposals and prepare subcontracts.
Management of Contractors/Franchisees
9. PTO/M has overall responsibility for the performance of the management contractors for the five Government tunnels, 14 Government carparks, 14 000 parking meters and the Central - Mid-Levels Escalators System. These have a combined annualised contract value of around $240 million generating over $1,040 million of revenue annually.
10. PTO/M also oversees the operation of the franchisees for the four Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Tunnels. The number will increase to five when the Tai Lam Tunnel opens in mid-1998.
Operational Planning for Parking Facilities and Tunnels
11. PTO/M co-ordinates the processing of major improvement works to upgrade the toll collection, emergency rescue and ventilation systems of all Government tunnels. These works cost over $470 million and will take some five years to complete. In this regard, he acts as the project manager in formulating specifications, seeking funds, and negotiating with management contractors to implement system upgrades.
12. PTO/M aslo advises on the operational requirements and standards for transport facilities in new projects which are under engineering feasibility studies. He has to scrutinise designs to check their functionality and specifications, and advise on alternative schemes where necessary.
13. PTO/M co-ordinates periodic reviews of fees and charges for Government facilities, examines applications for toll increase for the BOT tunnels, and provides input in the event of an arbitration between Government and a franchisee.
14. PTO/M is responsible for initiating legislative amendments relating to tunnel and parking operations. Current projects include the extension of the driving offence point system to cover all tunnels, and a review of parking legislation to optimise the utilisation of on-street parking facilities.
15.The major commitments of PTO/M over the next five years are summarised at Enclosure 3.
16. The Commissioner for Transport has reviewed the work of the ML Branch and concluded that the magnitude, complexity and on-going nature of the tasks of the Business Management Division and the Tunnels and Parking Division necessitate the retention of the PTO/M post on a permanent basis. Because of AC/MLs present wide spectrum of front-line service delivery and transport regulatory responsibilities, he cannot effectively oversee the two divisions without the continual directorate support of PTO/M.
17. The additional notional annual salary cost of this proposal at mid-point is $1,070,400. The full annual average staff cost of the proposal, including salaries and staff on-costs, is $1,769,964. We have sufficient provision in the 1997-98 Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal. There are no other additional staffing and financial implications.
18. In May 1991, Members approved a supernumerary post of Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (D2), designated as Assistant Commissioner/Special Duties, to implement the privatisation of transport services. Following a review in early 1993, the Commissioner for Transport considered it more cost-effective to amalgamate the ML Branch and Special Duties Branch into one Branch under AC/ML's supervision. The supernumerary D2 post was therefore allowed to lapse on 1 July 1993. On 16 July 1993, Members approved the creation of a supernumerary post of PTO/M for an initial period of two years to assist the AC/ML. In July 1995, Members approved the retention of the post for two further years. We undertook to review the post before expiry of the two year period.
CIVIL SERVICE BRANCH COMMENTS
19. The Civil Service Branch considers the ranking and grading of the proposed post appropriate, having regard to the responsibilities and professional input required.
ADVICE OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON DIRECTORATE SALARIES AND CONDITION OF SERVICE
20. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading proposed for the post would be appropriate if the post were to be created.
Enclosure 2 to EC(97-98)10
Job Description for the Post of Principal Transport Officer/Management
Rank : Principal Transport Officer (D1)
Responsible to: Assistant Commissioner for Transport/Management & Licensing (D2)
Main Duties and Responsibilities:
- Oversee the management of the Tunnels and Parking Division and the Business Management Division.
- Conduct policy studies and recommend appropriate private sector involvement options in the management and operation of government transport infrastructure facilities.
- Formulate selection procedures and evaluation criteria for tenders, supervise the preparation of tender documents, contract papers and tender assessment reports for submission to tender boards, and attend meetings as required.
- Resolve problems on legal, administrative, accounting, land, staffing and equipment matters in connection with the contracting-out exercises.
- Manage and monitor the performance of the contractors to ensure that they meet contractual requirements and standards.
- Oversee the planning and implementation of contract renewal for government tunnels, parking and other privatised transport facilities to meet new standards and requirements.
- Prepare papers for ExCo, Transport Advisory Committee, LegCo Committees, and attend meetings as required.
- Initiate amendments to legislation governing tunnel and parking operation as required, and formulate operational requirements and standards for new road tunnel projects.
Last Updated on 12 August 1999