For discussion EC(96-97)58
on 29 January 1997


Subhead 001 Salaries

Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following permanent post in the Licensing Division of the Transport Department from 1 April 1997 -

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


We need an officer at directorate level on a permanent basis structure to enable the Division to cope with the increased complexity of the work commitments of the Licensing Division (LD) of the Transport Department (TD).increasing responsibilities.


2. We propose to create one permanent Principal Executive Officer (PEO) (D1) post to head the LD.. Subject to Members’ approval, twill on the same date


3. The LD is responsible for the regulation, management and control of vehicle and driver licensing. The existing organisation chart of the Division is at Enclosure 1. Following the approval of the Finance Committee in June 1995, we have created a supernumerary PEO post, designated as Principal Executive Officer/Licensing (PL), for the to management of the Division.supernumerary PEO post designated as Principal Executive Officer/Licensing (PL).

4. As head of the Division, PL is responsible to the Assistant Commissioner/Management and Licensing (AC/ML) for all licensing matters,job description is at Enclosure 2. He is responsible for a wide range of duties including-

(a) Driver and vehicle licensing

Delegated with statutory powers relating to all licensing functions under the Road Traffic Ordinance and its subsidiary regulations, the PL is in responsible overall forcharge of implementing the licensing policy and day-to-day licensing of drivers and vehicles. The responsibility and workload are onerous, with an annual transaction of more than 2 million licences and a turnover of over $60 billion in licence fees and vehicle taxation. Four sections in the LD, namely the Licensing Section, Vehicle Inspection and Records Section, Public Vehicles Section and Driving Test Section, provide licensing service.

(b) Staff management

The PL has to oversee the operation of four offices and 14 outdoor centres staffed by 386 general and departmental grade officers. He has to ensure that his team of staff provide efficient, effective and courteous service in each area of the Division's work. This requires an officer of considerable experience, strong leadership, mature character and sound managementlevel.

(c) Cross-border liaison

With the continuous and rapid growth of economic activities and road traffic between Hong Kong and China in recent years, TD has increasing contacts with Chinese officials on the interpretation and application of Hong Kong traffic regulations, cross-border vehicle crossing quotas, closed road permits, registration and licensing of vehicles, training and testing of drivers from China and mutual recognition of driving licences. The PL has to respond to matters brought up at regular cross-border liaison meetings with the Chinese side and develop long-term strategies on such matters. This requires the the political sense, analytical power and foresight of a directorate officer.

(d) Liaison with the media and trade associations

With rising public expectations and an increasingly open government, the PL frequently has to face the media, political groups and over 20 relevant trade associations. Apart from chairing regular liaison meetings, he has to maintain close contacts with the various groups and associations, particularly the driving instruction and school transport trades. Decision-making is becoming more and more complicated because of the varied interests involved and the need to balance these, often competing, interests.

(e) Complaint/appeal handling

The PL has to assume the task of redressing public grievances on driving tests and licensing matters, received either directly or through established complaints channels. The department has to investigate complaints impartially, equitably, thoroughly, and with speed and tenacity. The PL has to direct the investigation of these complaints and is often involved personally in the investigation of the more sensitive and complex cases.

(f) Improvements relating to licensing functions

To ensure more efficient and effective delivery of the licensing services, the Management Services Agency (MSA) has completed an overall review of the existing licensing functions undertaken by TD. The review has recommendeds improvements in several areas, including the postal application procedures, processing of application for learner's driving licence and allocation of test appointments, use of convenient payment methods, and the validity periods of driving and vehicle licences. It has also examined the feasibility of contracting out some of the licensing functions but has concluded that these functions should remain the responsibility of the Government. The review has imposed additional workload on the PL, who licensing functions. PL has to oversee the phased implementation of the recommendations, liaise with parties concerned, seek the necessary legislative amendments and resources, and keep these matters under constant review. Related to improvement of the licensing services, the PL also has to oversee the implementation of measures to improve the existing licensing system for school transport, endorsed as a result of a comprehensive inter-departmental review. In addition, hethe has to give guidance to his staff to ensure compliance with the Personal Data (Privacy) Ordinance and Code on Access to Information.

The job description of the PL is at Enclosure 2.

5. The increasing responsibilities and growing complexity of the work of the LD require leadership at the directorate level. We consider it essential that the Division should continue to be headed by a PEO, particularly to oversee the implementation of various improvement measures and to review these measures from time to time in the light of prevailing circumstances.

6. We have considered the feasibility of requiring the AC/ML to share some of the responsibilitiesy. In view of his already heavy portfolio, which includes vehicle examination, planning and management of tunnels, tendering and contract management of transport infrastructure facilities, including the Tsing Ma Control Area, cross-border transport services and parking services, Control Area, it is not possible for the AC/ML to take over some of the PL’s functions described above.,which entail heavy involvement in human resource management, implementation of licensing policies and liaisioon with the media and trade associations and complaint handling. various licensing offices and centers (?) in different parts of the Territory.


7. The additional notional annual mid-point salary cost of this proposal at mid-point (96-97 prices) is $1,070,400. The full annual average staff cost of the proposal including salaries and staff on-costs (96-97 price) is $1,821,912. We have included sufficient provision in the 1997-98 draft Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal. There are no other additional staffing and financial implications.


8. In June 1995, Finance Committee approved the creation of a supernumerary PEO post, offset by the deletion of a permanent Chief Executive Officer post, for the period up to 31 March 1997 to cope with the increase in the scope and complexity of work in the LD. The Committee agreed that we should re-examine the ranking of the post towards the end of 1996-97 in the light of the findings and recommendations of the MSA review on TDDepartment licensing functions. Following the completion of the MSA review, we have re-examined the ranking of the PL post and consider it essential to retain the PL post permanently to take charge of the Division.


9. The Civil Service Branch considers the ranking and grading of the proposed post appropriate, having regard to the responsibilities and management input required.


10. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading proposed for the post of Principal Executive Officer would be appropriate if the post were to be created.

Transport Branch
January 1997

Enclosure 2 to EC(96-97)58

Job Description of the existing and proposed Principal Executive Officer/Licensing post

Post title : Principal Executive Officer/Licensing

Division : Licensing

Responsible to : Assistant Commissioner/Management & Licensing (D2)

Rank : Principal Executive Officer (D1)

Main duties and responsibilities

1. Plan and co-ordinate the work of the Licensing Division;

2. Discharge the powers delegated to him under the Road Traffic Ordinance and other associated ordinances and regulations;

3. Undertake reviews of the policies and systems relating to vehicle registration and licensing of vehicles and drivers in response to changing needs and circumstances;

4. Oversee the computerised operations and records in relation to vehicle registration and licensing of vehicles and drivers;

5. Liaise with the media and trade associations on matters of mutual interest;

6. Direct and, where necessary, handle investigations of complaints;

7. Oversee and promote the Performance Pledge Scheme within the Transport Department, including the Customer Liaison Group activities;

8. Assist in cross-border liaison work in respect of vehicle registration and licensing of vehicles and drivers from China; and

9. Implement the recommendations arising from the review on licensing functions and keep improvement measures under review.

(E5514 p.7/WIN96)

Last Updated on 12 August 1999