For discussion
on on 14 January 1998


Subhead 001 Salaries

Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following permanent post in the Departmental Administration Unit of the Offices of the Chief Secretary for Administration and the Financial Secretary -

1 Principal Executive Officer

(D1) ($92,650 - $98,300)

offset by the deletion of the following permanent post -

1 Chief Executive Officer

(MPS Point 45 - 49) ($72,135 - $83,105)


The present ranking of the Chief Executive Officer (Administration) post in the Offices of the Chief Secretary for Administration (CS) and the Financial Secretary (FS), also titled as Head, Departmental Administration Unit (DAU), is not commensurate with the responsibilities and experience required of the post.


2. We propose to upgrade the post of Head, DAU from its present rank of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) (MPS Point 45 - 49) to Principal Executive Officer (PEO) (D1).


3. In April 1995, we downgraded the Head, DAU post from the rank of PEO to CEO following a devolution exercise in which we transferred the responsibility for resource management in various branches from the Director of Administration to each policy secretary. Over the last two years, particularly in recent months with the establishment of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region on 1 July, the duties and responsibilities of the Head, DAU have increased substantially. We envisage that this trend will continue and there is a need to enhance administrative and resource management support of the DAU. We set out below an account of the increase in work and work complexity of the DAU.

Resource Management

4. The Head, DAU assists the Director of Administration to manage the financial and human resources requirements of the Offices of the CS and FS, and their component offices, including the Efficiency Unit, the Central Policy Unit, the Executive Council Secretariat, the Protocol Division and the Government Records Service Division. Introduction of various new government initiatives and services, such as the Business and Services Promotion Unit, the Legal Aid Services Council and the Steering Committee on Land Supply and Housing, has necessitated the establishment of new offices under the Offices of the CS and the FS. Moreover, after the reunification, the scope of work of the Protocol Division has expanded considerably. All these have increased significantly the work on resources management of the DAU.

5. The Director of Administration is also responsible for co-ordinating the provision of resources for major, and very often high profile, events which either cut across different programme areas or fall within the auspices of the CS or the FS. Examples include the setting up of the Handover Ceremony Co-ordination Office, the Commission of Inquiry into the Garley Building Fire and the annual Policy Address Team. We envisage that the need for the Director of Administration to carry out such ad hoc tasks will emerge from time to time. The head of the DAU has to provide prompt advice to the Director of Administration and to acquire the necessary resources within a very tight time-table. He has to carry out co-ordination, consultation and documentation work in conjunction with directorate officers of the Finance Bureau, the Civil Service Bureau and other relevant policy bureaux. The huge volume of high level and sensitive work require the personal attention of the Head, DAU in ensuring the provision of necessary resources in a timely manner.

6. The increase in volume and complexity of work in resource management in the Offices of the CS and the FS demands an officer of a higher rank to cope with.

Inter-departmental Coordination

7. In the context of the Chief Executive (CE)'s Policy Address and Policy Programmes, the Director of Administration needs to monitor actions taken by bureaux and departments and to advise the CS and the FS of any possible slippage in their work areas. The Head, DAU is responsible for co-ordinating feedback from bureaux and departments, identifying areas where intervention is necessary and recommending actions to either reduce slippage or better facilitate the achievement of targets. As these tasks involve liaison with senior officers and co-ordination of actions amongst bureaux and departments, we will require an officer at directorate level who has the required depth of knowledge of government mechanism to deal with them.

Office Accommodation

8. The DAU oversees the management of Central Government Offices (CGO) premises and the provision of common services for policy bureaux housed therein. With the relocation of the CE's Office to the CGO, the management of the premises and the provision of common services have increased both in volume and complexity. The Head, DAU needs to formulate and implement security strategies in anticipation of more frequent public rallies and visits from important guests to the Government Secretariat at CGO. He therefore has an important responsibility in ensuring the smooth conduct of government business within offices located in CGO.

9. To enhance the operational efficiency of the central government and to cater for expansion of the bureaux and restructuring of the responsibilities of policy secretaries in the Government Secretariat, we need to ensure maximum utilisation of the space available in CGO. Also, the DAU will take over the management of the Murray Building in mid-1998 which will then become an extension of CGO to make available more office space for bureaux. The Head, DAU has to draw up, in consultation with the affected bureaux and works departments, a well-conceived strategy for enhancing building management, the rationalisation of office space and a timely reshuffling and orderly decantation programme. In the long run, the DAU will plan for the relocation of CGO for which a feasibility study is underway. The increase in the scope and level of responsibilities in office accommodation matters justifies the attention of a senior officer at the directorate level.

Government Communication Network in Government Secretariat

10. To facilitate information transmission and decision making, we have linked all the Local Area Networks (LAN) of the policy bureaux in CGO to the Government Communication Network (GCN). While individual policy bureaux in CGO are responsible for the administration of their own LANs, the DAU is responsible for administering the development and upgrading of the GCN in the Government Secretariat. It is critical that all modifications are properly co-ordinated to ensure compatibility. The DAU is also required to address issues of common concern and to promote the efficiency of the GCN. He is also required to work out with policy bureaux a long-term strategy for the regular improvement and updating of the functions and operation of the GCN. As a first step, we intend to set up a team comprising information technology staff under the DAU in 1998-99 to provide advisory services on the wider use of information technology to meet the requirements common to all policy bureaux in CGO on a co-ordinated and cost-effective basis.

Need for a PEO as Head, DAU

11. In the light of the increased responsibilities and complexity of work of the Head, DAU, we consider it necessary to upgrade the post from the rank of CEO to PEO. We set out at Enclosures 1 and 2 the proposed duties of the Head, DAU post and organisation of the Administration Wing of the CS's Office respectively.

12. To meet the immediate operational needs of the DAU to co-ordinate work for the establishment of the permanent CE's Office, renovation of the CE's Official Residence, office reshuffling in CGO and related security improvement measures, we created a supernumerary PEO post under delegated authority on 1 November 1997 to serve as Head, DAU while holding the existing CEO post vacant. The supernumerary post will lapse upon creation of the permanent post.


13. The additional notional annual salary cost of the proposal at MID-POINT is -


No. of post

New permanent post




Permanent post deleted





Additional cost





The additional full annual average staff cost of the proposal, including salaries and staff on-costs, is $434,760. The proposal will not necessitate the creation of non-directorate posts. No provision has been included in the 1997-98 Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal, which is estimated at $35,830 for the remainder of the financial year. Subject to Members' approval, we shall provide the supplementary provision required under delegated authority. We will include the necessary provision in the 1998-99 draft Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal.


14. The DAU is responsible for managing the financial and manpower resources of the Offices of the CS and the FS, and oversees the management of CGO premises and the provision of common services for policy bureaux. At present, the DAU comprises one CEO as Head of the Unit and 165 supporting staff.


15. Civil Service Bureau supports the upgrading of the CEO (Administration) post to PEO level having regard to its increased responsibilities and complexity of work. It also agrees that the grading and ranking of the proposed post are appropriate.


16. 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.

Offices of the Chief Secretary for Administration and the Financial Secretary

December 1997

Enclosure 1 to EC(97-98)50

Job Description of the Head of the Departmental Administration Unit
Rank : Principal Executive Officer

Responsible to the Deputy Director of Administration 2 for the following duties -

  1. advising on and supervising all office accommodation matters in CGO, including taking over the building management of the Murray Building as part of the Government Secretariat, input for the feasibility study on the relocation of CGO and their subsequent implementation;

  2. overseeing departmental personnel, financial and general administration matters relating to the Offices of the Chief Secretary for Administration and the Financial Secretary;

  3. co-ordinating feedback on and identifying measures to facilitate achievement of Policy Programmes by bureaux and departments;

  4. formulating a policy of building and perimeter security for CGO as the Government Headquarters by identifying the security risks, instituting the necessary security measures and overseeing their subsequent manning and operation;

  5. co-ordinating and supervising the provision of centralised common services for the Government Secretariat, including the development of the Government Communication Network in the Government Secretariat;

  6. supervising the Common Services Section and the Administration Section of the Departmental Administration Unit;

  7. serving as Staff Complaints Officer and Departmental Complaints Officer for the Offices of the Chief Secretary for Administration and the Financial Secretary and Chairman of the Carpark Allocation Committee, the Staff Club Management Committee and the Canteen Management Committee of CGO; and

  8. overseeing the provision of executive support to the Administration Wing on such matters as the interpretation of General Regulations, the compilation of Civil and Miscellaneous Lists and Government Telephone Directory, and the promulgation and review of circulars issued by the Director of Administration.