on 21 November 1997
ITEM FOR FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 63 - HOME AFFAIRS DEPARTMENT
Subhead 110 Honoraria for members of committees
Members are invited to approve supplementary provision of $15.5 million.
The approved provision under Head 63 Home Affairs Department Subhead 110 Honoraria for members of committees is insufficient to meet increased expenditure in 1997-98 for paying honorarium and allowances to Provisional District Board (PDB) members.
2.The Director of Home Affairs (DHA) proposes supplementary provision of $15.5 million.
3.PDB members are eligible for a monthly honorarium and an accountable office rental allowance (ORA). The approved provision for making these payments included in the 1997-98 Estimates was based on the number of District Board (DB) members prior to 1 July 1997, which was 373. The Chief Executive has appointed 468 members to the PDBs from 1 July 1997. This represents an increase of 25% in membership. We therefore require supplementary provision to meet the increase in expenditure arising from the payment of honorarium and allowance to more members.
4.DHA estimates that expenditure under Subhead 110 Honoraria for members of committees for the whole of the 1997-98 financial year will exceed the approved provision by $15.5 million, calculated as follows -
||$ ' 000
||Expenditure up to 31 October 1997
||Estimated expenditure for the remainder of 1997-98
||Total estimated expenditure for 1997-98 [(a) + (b)]
||Approved provision for 1997-98
||Supplementary provision required [(c) - (d)]
5.If Members approve the proposal, we shall offset the supplementary provision required by deleting an equivalent amount under Head 106 Miscellaneous Services Subhead 251 Additional commitments.
6.In 1981, Members approved the introduction of an honorarium for DB members with effect from April 1982. The honorarium is to meet, in part, earnings forgone due to time spent on DB matters and expenses incurred in connection with DB business. The current rates of honorarium for PDB chairmen and members holding single membership are $35,980 and $17,990 per month respectively, and for PDB chairmen and members holding multiple membership in different tiers of representative government are $29,980 and $11,990 per month respectively.
7.In March 1996, Members approved the introduction of a new ORA payable to DB members with effect from 1 April 1996. The ORA is intended to assist DB members in the setting up of ward offices in their districts and to meet the expenses actually incurred by them in connection with the running of their offices for discharging DB duties. The allowance is fully accountable and payable on a reimbursement basis on production of certified receipts. The current maximum rates of ORA payable are $4,800 per month for PDB members holding single membership and $3,200 per month for members holding multiple membership.
Home Affairs Bureau