For discussion EC(96-97)56
on 29 January 1997


Subhead 001 Salaries

Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following permanent post in the Government Property Agency -

1 Principal Management Services Officer
(D1) ($86,650 - $91,950)

to be offset by the deletion of the following supernumerary post -

1 Principal Management Services Officer
(D1) ($86,650 - $91,950)


The Principal Management Services Officer (PMSO) (D1) in charge of the Management Services Division (MSD) in the Government Property Agency (GPA) carries out work of a continuous nature but occupies a supernumerary post due to lapse in May 1997.


2. We propose to make the supernumerary PMSO post permanent.


Creation of the supernumerary PMSO post in 1994

3. This supernumerary post was created in May 1994 for a period of three years to develop policies on office space and furniture standards, advise on the allocation of surplus space to voluntary agencies, co-ordinate GPA’s involvement in the assessment of departmental space needs at the new airport, and review the information technology requirements of GPA. The post holder also heads the MSD to centralise the management of the Management Services grade officers in the Agency. At that time Members were informed that we would review the need for a permanent post at D1 level toward the end of the three year period. Accordingly, the Government Property Administrator has recently reviewed this post and concluded that, apart from the planning of government accommodation at the new airport, all other tasks of the PMSO are of an on-going nature. There is therefore a permanent need for the post. The main responsibilities of the PMSO post are described below.

Space and furniture standards

4. Government currently owns about six million square metres of accommodation in some 2 900 buildings. In addition, GPA is now leasing on behalf of the Government a total of 257 000m² office space. The establishment of space and furniture standards has proved to be effective in achieving the dual purpose of relieving overcrowding (thus improving the office environment) and reducing additional leasing needs. Through the application of such new standards, some 3 400m² of existing office space, equivalent to an annual rental cost of about $24 million, has been made available for reallocation since 1994. To ensure more efficient and effective use of scarce office space, and hence to achieve further recurrent savings, the PMSO has been tasked to review the space and furniture standards on a continuous basis to take account of ergonomic principles, changing operational needs and new accommodation requests from departments.

5. As a member of the Property Vetting Committee (PVC) under the auspices of the Director of Architectural Services, the PMSO plays a key role in assessing and providing advice on department’s accommodation needs and works closely with the directorate staff in policy branches and government departments with a view to resolving any differences . In line with a decision made by the PVC, the officer also oversees a continuous programme to maximise usage of space in government specialist buildings including community halls, police stations, Hospital Authority and welfare premises by developing or refining space and furniture standards.

Refurbishment and construction projects

6. Government’s long term policy is to reduce the need for leased office accommodation through the refurbishment of existing owned premises and the provision of new government accommodation. Examples of such initiatives include the refurbishment of the Murray Building and the construction of the North Point and the Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices Buildings. To maximize the use of office accommodation, the MSD is responsible for assessing and approving schedules of accommodation for government branches and departments to facilitate the design and planning of all refurbishment and construction projects. The MSD will also ensure that user branches and departments do not deviate from established standards. An officer at directorate level is required to head the MSD to effectively police the policy and resolve inter-departmental differences.

Maximum utilisation of government sites

7. Since 1995, in the light of the Public Accounts Committee’s concern over the utilisation of government sites, GPA has set up an internal task force to consider and monitor all site utilisation matters with a view to ensuring that sites are developed to their maximum potential. The MSD supports the task force with inputs on its assessment of the schedules of accommodation of proposed projects. This would facilitate an appraisal to be made on the site utilisation for inclusion in the Preliminary Project Feasibility Studies1 of the respective projects before the policy branches concerned can bid funds for these projects in the annual Resource Allocation Exercise. The PMSO has to give overall direction in the work of the Division in this area.

8. Also, to make the best use of scarce property resources and as a contribution to the well-being of the public at large, GPA provides accommodation surplus to government requirements to voluntary agencies on a temporary basis. The PMSO provides input in the formulation of criteria and procedures and plays a key role in consultation with senior management in policy branches, departments and the voluntary agencies for such temporary allocations.

Systems support and other management services

9. The PMSO chairs the Agency’s Computer Committee and monitors the compilation and maintenance of a comprehensive and updated property information list. This is a major task because of the size of the government estate and the diverse range of properties, both in terms of usage and ownership status. The PMSO plans, co-ordinates, and reviews GPA’s management information to ensure provision of up-dated, accurate and consistent details which are essential for planning and making decisions on acquisition and disposal of office accommodation, space and furniture standards, property and site utilisation, and building management.

10. Having regard to the complexity and permanent nature of the work set out in paragraphs 5 to 9 above, we propose to create a permanent post of PMSO to head the MSD. A job description of the proposed post is at Enclosure 1. The existing and proposed organisation chart of GPA is at Enclosure 2.

Financial Implications

11. The additional notional annual salary cost of the proposal at mid-point is -


No. of Post

New permanent post



The full annual average staff cost of the proposal, including salaries and staff on-cost, is $2,072,712.

12. We have included sufficient provision in the 1997-98 draft Estimates to meet the cost of the proposal.


13. The Civil Service Branch supports the proposals in view of the proven need for the post on a permanent basis.


14. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading proposal for the post would be appropriate if the post were to be created.

Finance Branch
January 1997

1 -- The object of preliminary projet feasibility studies is to obtain sufficient information about a proposed public works project or a proposed Head 708 project to confrim that it is in fact practical to implement. This will entail work such as defining clearly the scope of the project, and making realistic assessments of the estimated project costs, project timetable and resource requirements.

Enclosure 1 to EC(96-97)56

Job Descriptions

Post Title


Chief Property Manager (Management Services)



Management Services

Rank of Post


Principal Management Services Officer (D1)

Accountable to


Government Property Administrator

Main Duties and Responsibilities

1. To establish, review & implement policies on the use of space and standard furniture and to provide advice to policy branches & departments to ensure efficient and effective usage;

2. To co-ordinate management services input on the assessment of space needs by departments in leased & owned accommodation and in projects concerning reprovisioning, site utilisation and Government/Institutional/Community sites as well as to participate in the planning of new office buildings, refurbishment & redevelopment projects;

3. To plan, design and implement GPA’s information strategy plans as well as to manage and to monitor the development and implementation of GPA’s information technology facilities for the effective administration of the government estate;

4. To conduct or to oversee reviews in maximising the use of government properties and to advise on policies, procedures & applications from voluntary agencies for the lease of surplus government accommodation;

5. To plan, co-ordinate and direct operations of the Management Services Division and to provide advice on business plans, systems and procedures and other reviews relating to the Agency’s operational activities;

6. To oversee the continued up-date of the lists of government property assets and related tasks; and

7. As a member of the Property Vetting Committee, to provide advice on departmental needs for space in specialist or departmental buildings.

Last Updated on 12 August 1999