PLC Paper No.144/96-97
Ref : PLC/HC/1
Paper for the House Committee
Meeting on 26 April 1997
Procedure for the election of the chairman and
members of the Committee on Members' Interests
This paper proposes the procedure for the election of the chairman and members of the Committee on Members' Interests (CMI) for appointment by the President of the Provisional Legislative Council (PLC).
2.The CMI is one of the standing committees of the PLC. Its terms of reference are set out in Rule 74 of the Rules of Procedure, as given in Appendix. Under Rule 74 (2), the CMI shall consist of a chairman and six members who shall be Members appointed by the President in accordance with an election procedure determined by the House Committee. Members appointed to the CMI will serve until the end of the PLC term.
3.In the past, election of Members of the Legislative Council (LegCo) to serve on their CMI was by way of nomination done orally at the open meetings of the LegCo House Committee. In the event of there being more nominations than places available, the ensuing election was conducted by a show of hands. Members elected to the CMI would then elect the chairman from amongst themselves for the endorsement of the House Committee before a proposal was submitted to the President for formal appointment.
4.In June 1995, the LegCo House Committee decided that, having regard to the size and functions of the CMI, the membership of the CMI should be broadly representative, and composed of a balanced combination, of Members of different political parties/affiliations.
5.At the beginning of the LegCo term commencing October 1995, the House Committee agreed that the past practice, as outlined in paragraphs 3 and 4 above, be adopted. The seven Members elected to the CMI held a meeting on 15 November 1995 to elect their own chairman. The list of members elected, including the member who was elected chairman, was submitted to the President for appointment.
6.The PLC endorsed at its meeting on 12 April 1997 that the election of the chairman and members of the CMI be held as soon as practicable in accordance with the election procedure which should be formulated by the House Committee under Rule 74(2) of the Rules of Procedure following the election of its chairman and deputy chairman. The chairman and deputy chairman of the House Committee were elected on 12 April 1997. It is therefore time for the House Committee to decide on the election procedure for the CMI.
7.It is proposed that the election procedure as spelt out in paragraphs 3 and 4 be adopted. Subject to members' agreement to the procedure, it is also proposed that the election be held at the House Committee meeting on 10 May 1997. Members will be requested to nominate the candidates orally at the meeting and an election will take place. The House Committee will also determine which of the seven Members elected should call the meeting for the election of the chairman.
8.Members are invited:
- to endorse the procedure for the election of Members for appointment to serve on the CMI as set out in paragraph 3 above;
- subject to the House Committee's endorsement of the election procedure, to elect seven Members at the House Committee meeting on 10 May 1997 to serve on the CMI, having regard to the principle outlined in paragraph 4 above; and
- after election, to determine which of the seven Members elected should call the meeting to elect the chairman for endorsement by the House Committee before submitting the list to the President for appointment.
Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
17 April 1997
Rules of Procedure of the
Provisional Legislative Council
Rule 74 - Committee on Members' Interests
74.Committee on Members' Interests
(1) There shall be a standing committee to be called the Committee on Members' Interests;
- to examine the arrangements made for the compilation, maintenance and accessibility of the Register of Members' Interests;
- to consider any proposals made by Members or others as to the form and contents of the Register;
- to consider and investigate any complaint made in relation to the registration and declaration of Members' interests or any complaint of a failure to do so;
- to consider matters of ethics in relation to the conduct of Members in their capacity as such, and to give advice and issue guidelines on such matters;
- to report to the Council and make recommendations, including a recommendation as to a sanction under Rule 84 (Sanctions relating to Interests).
(2) The committee shall consist of a chairman and 6 members who shall be Members appointed by the President in accordance with an election procedure determined by the House Committee. The chairman and 2 other members shall constitute a quorum. In the event of the temporary absence of the chairman, the committee may elect a chairman to act during that absence.
(3) The committee shall sit at the time and the place determined by the chairman. Written notice of every meeting shall be given to the members at least 5 clear days before the day of the meeting but shorter notice may be given in any case where the chairman so directs.
(4) Meetings shall be held in public unless the chairman otherwise orders in accordance with any decision of the committee.
(5) All matters before the committee shall be decided by a majority of the members voting. In the event that votes are equally divided, the chairman or other member presiding shall have a casting vote.
(6) The committee may invite any person to attend before the committee and to give evidence or to produce any paper, book, record or document in the possession or under the control of such person.
(7) Subject to these Rules of Procedure, the practice and procedure of the committee shall be determined by the committee.