PLC Paper No. LS 127

Paper for the House Committee Meeting
of the Provisional Legislative Council
on 27 March 1998

Legal Service Division Report on
Resolution under Section 54A of the
Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1)

The Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport has given notice to move the above motion at the meeting of the Council on 7 April 1998.

2. Section 54A of the Interpretation and General Clauses Ordinance (Cap. 1) provides that the PLC may by resolution provides for the transfer to any public officer of any functions exercisable by virtue of any Ordinance by another public officer. Section 54A further provides that a resolution under this section may contain such incidental, consequential and supplemental provisions as may be necessary or expedient for the purpose of giving full effect to the resolution.

3. With effect from 9 April 1998, organisation of the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Bureau (BCSB) will be re-organised as the Information Technology and Broadcasting Bureau (ITBB). While retaining the broadcasting portfolio which will be effected under L.N. 192 of 1998, the Secretary for ITBB will take over from the Secretary for Economic Services and Secretary for the Treasury the responsibility for telecommunications policies and the co-ordination of information technology applications in Government bureaus and departments. In the light of the proposed change, consequential amendments are made to the Telephone Ordinance (Cap. 269) and Office of the Telecommunications Authority Trading Fund (Cap. 430 sub. leg.).

4. The policy responsibilities for arts, culture, sports, physical recreation and entertainment licensing will be transferred from BCSB (title to be changed to ITBB) to the Home Affairs Bureau. In the light of the proposed change, consequential amendments are made to the Antiquities and Monuments Ordinance (Cap. 53), Miscellaneous Licences Ordinance (Cap.*114), Books Registration Ordinance (Cap. 142), Places of Public Entertainment Ordinance (Cap. 172), Amusement Game Centres Ordinance (Cap. 435), Amusement Rides (Safety) Ordinance (Cap. 449), Hong Kong Arts Development Council Ordinance (Cap. 472) and Lord Wilson Heritage Trust Ordinance (Cap. 425). Incidentally, the functions of the BCSB (title to be changed to ITBB) under the Dangerous Goods (General) Regulations (Cap.*295 sub. leg.) will be transferred to the Home Affairs Bureau and the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority.

5. The Administration has briefed the PLC Joint Panel on Information Policy and Public Service on 11 February 1998 and the PLC Panel on Information Policy on 27 February 1998 about the re-organisation proposal. Members may also refer to the draft speech by the Secretary for BCS annexed to the resolution and PLC Brief Ref. : BCSB(CR) 1/1/128 (98) of 18 March 1998 from BCSB for background information.

6. The legal and drafting aspects of the resolution are in order.

Prepared by

Lam Ping-man, Stephen
Assistant Legal Adviser
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
23 March 1998