LC Paper No. ESC24/98-99
(These minutes have been
seen by the Administration)
Ref : CB1/F/3/2
Establishment Subcommittee of the Finance Committee
of the Legislative Council
Minutes of the fifth meeting
Members present :
held at the Legislative Council Chamber
on Wednesday, 16 December 1998, at 8:30 am
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong (Chairman)
Hon NG Leung-sing (Deputy Chairman)
Hon David CHU Yu-lin
Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon Eric LI Ka-cheung, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon Margaret NG
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee, JP
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Hon CHAN Kwok-keung
Hon Bernard CHAN
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Hon Jasper TSANG Yok-sing, JP
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Hon SZETO Wah
Members absent :
Hon Cyd HO Sau-lanMembers in attendance:
Hon LEE Wing-tat
Hon Mrs Sophie LEUNG LAU Yau-fun, JPPublic officers attending :
Clerk in attendance :
- Mrs Carrie LAM, JP
- Deputy Secretary for the Treasury
- Mr D W PESCOD, JP
- Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service
- Mr Roger TUPPER
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Services (D)
- Mr LEE Yuk-kwong
- Assistant Director of Marine/Planning & Services
- Mrs Sophia WONG
- Departmental Secretary, Marine Department
- Mr Stephen LAM, JP
- Director of Administration and Development,
Department of Justice (for Item EC(98-99)14)
Information Coordinator (Designate) (for Item EC(98-99)15)
- Mr Peter H K CHEUNG, JP
- Deputy Director (Administration), Department of Justice
- Mr Arthur LUK
- Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions, Department of Justice
- Mr Derek PANG
- Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions,
Department of Justice
- Mr W K LAM, JP
- Secretary for the Civil Service
- Mr Joshua LAW, JP
- Private Secretary to Chief Executive
- Miss Sarah WU, JP
- Deputy Director of Information Services
- Mrs Ella TAM
- Deputy Press Secretary to Chief Executive
- Mr Stephen IP, JP
- Secretary for Economic Services
- Mr Joe WONG Chi-cho Principal
- Assistant Secretary for Economic Services (A)
Staff in attendance :
- Miss Polly YEUNG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)3
- Ms Pauline NG
- Assistant Secretary General 1
- Ms Anita SIT
- Senior Assistant Secretary (1)8
||Delegation of authority to Controlling Officers to create supernumerary posts, to be held against permanent posts of a lower pay scale, to enable a maximum of 41 staff of the Marine Department, who would become surplus to requirement following the implementation of the new management structure for Public Cargo Working Areas of the department, to take up alternative employment within the Civil Service|
Regarding the arrangement for redundant staff to take up employment in posts with a lower pay scale while retaining their current salaries, the Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service confirmed that this had been adopted on a number of occasions in the past. This arrangement had been a standing practice in the Civil Service, though not made compulsory, to facilitate absorption of redundant staff who could not be placed in alternative jobs with equivalent or higher pay scales but would wish to stay in the Civil Service.
2. As regards the tendering exercise for the berthing spaces in public cargo working areas completed in February 1998, the Assistant Director of Marine advised that the tendering exercise had been conducted smoothly mainly because the Administration had held many consultations with cargo handling operators before commencing the exercise. He added that the Administration would proceed with the next phase of the management reform, i.e. the land-side management reform, on the public cargo working areas.
3. The item was voted on and endorsed.
|EC(98-99)14||Proposed creation of a new rank of Chief Court Prosecutor (MPS 40 -44) in the Court Prosecutor Grade|
4. On the duties of the proposed Chief Court Prosecutor (CCP) rank, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DDPP) advised that in order to monitor the court prosecution work of some 120 officers in the Court Prosecutor (CP) grade currently deployed in 10 magistracies in Hong Kong, it was necessary for the CCP to conduct regular inspections at these magistracies so as to provide on-site guidance and advice to Senior Court Prosecutors (SCPs) and Court Prosecutors (CPs). The CCP would not be expected to give instructions in respect of individual prosecution cases; his advice and guidance would focus on the ways to improve or enhance the quality of court prosecution work. As regards the existing supervisory mechanism, DDPP explained that SCPs would assign cases of varying complexity to CPs according to their experience and would also scrutinise case summaries and other prosecution documents prepared by subordinate CPs.
5. As regards the ranking of CPs and recent establishment position, the Administration provided the following information:
- the current salary scales for the different ranks in the CP Grade were as follows:
|CP|| 15 - 27 ($20,010 to $35,285)
|SCPII || 28 - 33
|SCPI|| 34 - 39
|CCP|| 40 - 44
- the wastage in the CP Grade had dropped steadily from 20% in 1993-94 to 3.4% at present.
6. While expressing support to the proposal, Miss Margaret NG commented that the right direction for court prosecution work in Hong Kong should be towards professionalism. She considered that it was due to the small number of qualified lawyers in the past that the entry qualification requirement for the CP rank had been set at the matriculation level. However, the situation had changed as some 600 lawyers were qualified for practice each year in Hong Kong. With the steady supply of qualified lawyers, she urged the Administration to upgrade prosecution work gradually by using the service of qualified lawyers at all court levels. Miss NG's view was shared by Miss Emily LAU.
7. In response, the Director of Administration and Development, Department of Justice (D of AD) and the Deputy Director (Administration) (DD(A)) informed members that among the 123 serving officers in the CP grade, 23 were holding law degrees or higher qualifications in law and another 49 were non-law degree-holders. Upon appointment, all CPs would undergo induction training before taking up court prosecution work. The entry qualification for the CP grade had been reviewed in 1993 in response to the recommendations in the Director of Audit's Report. The then consideration was that since the operation of the CP grade had proved cost-effective, the existing entry qualification requirement for the grade set at the matriculation level was maintained.
8. In response to Miss Emily LAU's comment that the entry salary point of a CP should be reviewed with a view to attracting candidates with a law degree, D of AD confirmed that the Administration would review the qualification requirement for entry to the CP grade taking into account members' views. He reiterated that seeking the best qualified available candidates and the effective utilisation of resources would be the guiding principles in the review. Miss Margaret NG requested that the costs required for training and supervision should also be taken into account when comparing the cost-effectiveness of employing qualified lawyers with that of employing lay prosecutors. DDPP advised members that while a CP with a law degree or higher qualifications in law would be better equipped for court prosecution work, a CP without such qualifications but with good potential and of the right calibre would also be competent for the job. He further pointed out that a certain level of supervisory input would still be required even if newly recruited CPs were qualified lawyers as changes to the law and prosecution guidelines took place from time to time.
9. The item was voted on and endorsed.
EC(98-99)15 Proposed -
- creation of one new rank and permanent post of Information Co-ordinator (D8) in the Chief Executive's Office to be offset by the deletion of one permanent post of Administrative Officer Staff Grade B (D3) in the Information Services Department; and
- the retitling of the existing post of Deputy Press Secretary to the Chief Executive (ranked at Assistant Director of Information Services (D2)) to Deputy Information Co-ordinator (Media Liaison)
to enhance the transparency and openness of the Government
10. Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong stated that Members of the Democratic Party (DP) were concerned about the present proposal to create the proposed Information Co-ordinator (IC) post. Their concerns had already been explained in detail at the joint meeting of the Public Service Panel and the Home Affairs Panel on 9 December 1998. He requested the Administration to clarify the following points:
- why the IC post was pitched at the D8 level, bearing in mind that the IC would not be required to formulate policies and legislative proposals and be answerable for the effective implementation of approved policies, in the same way as Bureau Secretaries;
- why the Administration announced the officer to be appointed to the post before the post was created, which was unprecedented in Civil Service establishment practice; and
- whether the appointment of the IC should be subject to the nationality requirements applicable to principal officials of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) under the Basic Law, given that the IC would act as the Chief Executive's Spokesperson and would attend meetings of the Executive Council (ExCo).
11. In response, the Secretary for the Civil Service (SCS) advised that the ranking of the IC post was determined on the basis of the criteria drawn up by the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service (SCDSCS). These criteria included the importance, urgency and complexity of the decisions and judgements required to be made by the incumbent, as well as the political sensitivity and leadership qualities required. Having regard to the strategic role and the spectrum of responsibilities of the IC post, the Administration considered it appropriate to pitch the post at the D8 level. He reiterated that although the IC's responsibilities were different from those of a Bureau Secretary, the level of decision-making responsibility, job complexity, ability to handle crisis situations and other leadership skills required of the job were comparable to those required of a Bureau Secretary. He further pointed out that posts such as the Head, Central Policy Unit (H/CPU) and the Judiciary Administrator (JA) were also without a policy and legislative portfolio, but were pitched at the D8 level on account of the importance of their work.
12. As regards the announcement of the appointment of Mr Stephen LAM prior to the creation of the post, SCS advised that as the Posting Board had already decided on the appointment for the IC post among other directorate appointments in October this year, the Administration considered it appropriate and timely to announce the appointment in order to curb speculation. However, in the light of grave concerns among Members over this arrangement, he acknowledged that procedurally, this exceptional arrangement might not be the most desirable course of action and the Administration had no intention to regard it as a precedent.
13. On the issue of nationality requirements, SCS confirmed that after careful consideration, the Administration had come to the view that the IC post would not be subject to the nationality requirements applicable to principal officials of HKSAR stipulated in the Basic Law. He explained that officers who might speak on behalf of the Chief Executive (CE) or attend ExCo meetings were not necessarily subject to the said nationality requirements. For example, such requirements did not apply to the Director of Information Services and the Secretary to ExCo, both of whom were also in attendance at ExCo meetings. He added that for the purpose of confirming their integrity, all officers to be appointed to sensitive posts in the Government would need to undergo an integrity check. Nevertheless, the Administration would take into account members' concern about the nationality aspect in future appointment for the IC post although in the case of Mr Stephen LAM's appointment, the question of nationality did not arise.
14. In response, Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong maintained that the IC's responsibilities were not commensurate with those of existing D8 posts in terms of work pressure, political responsibilities and social consequences. He commented that compliance with established procedures for civil service appointments was critical for ensuring fairness and objectivity, and he was of the view that the Administration had violated the established practice of announcing the appointment for a post only after approval had been given to the creation of the post. He did not consider the need to curb speculation an acceptable reason for not following the usual procedure. He also reiterated that the IC should be subject to the nationality requirements as the officer was the spokesperson for the CE. He stated that Members of the DP was unconvinced of the Administration's explanation on the above issues and would object to this item.
15. Miss Emily LAU considered that pitching a post which did not have a policy portfolio and with little resources management responsibilities at the D8 level was unacceptable. In response, SCS pointed out that the IC would be responsible, inter alia, for co-ordinating the Government's overall public relations (PR) strategy and would work closely with the heads of the policy bureaux. The Administration therefore considered that it was appropriate to pitch the IC post at D8 to enable the post-holder to garner the necessary high-level support and handle his job effectively.
16. Miss Emily LAU pointed out that she and Mr LEE Wing-tat had raised concern at the joint Panel meeting about the performance indicators, if any, for monitoring the performance of the IC, with particular regard to the objective of increasing the openness and transparency of the Government. In response, SCS acknowledged that the handling of PR strategy on some issues of public concern in the past year had not been very successful. It was in recognition of this inadequacy that the creation of the IC post was proposed to strengthen the PR aspects and the liaison with media. He re-affirmed the pledges by CE and the Administration to increase openness and transparency of the Government and referred members to the IC's specific tasks detailed in the discussion paper for the Subcommittee. The Information Co-ordinator (Designate) (IC(Des.)) also assured members that CE would continue to undertake an active and regular programme of public functions and the IC would oversee the planning and implementation of the programme on an on-going basis for the CE. In this respect, Miss LAU pointed out that the objective of increasing the openness and transparency of the Government could not be achieved simply by creating a high ranking post to handle PR and media-related matters. It was far more important for CE himself to come forward and meet LegCo Members and the local and overseas media more frequently to explain public policies. She considered the present arrangement of CE attending only three sessions each year to answer LegCo Members' questions grossly inadequate.
17. Mrs Selina CHOW said that Members of the Liberal Party (LP) appreciated the need to provide CE with the support of a senior directorate officer on PR matters and considered that the Administration was making the right move in strengthening its PR work. Members of the LP agreed that the IC's responsibilities as set out in the paper were very important and thus pitching the IC post at the D8 level was justified. Mrs CHOW stressed that CE should, being underpinned by the IC, be much more forthcoming and active in meeting LegCo Members and the media. In response, IC(Des.) took note of members' concerns and expectations and assured members that he would do his best in the new IC post.
18. As regards the mechanism through which public opinions gathered by the IC could be taken heed of in the policy formulation process, IC(Des.) advised that the IC would focus on gauging the views of opinion-formers including LegCo Members, political parties, the media, academics, editors and correspondents. In conjunction with relevant Bureaux Secretaries, the IC would monitor and analyse these views in the course of formulating and promulgating major policies. The IC would also advise on the appropriate timing for promulgation of policies with reference to possible public responses and help formulate the overall PR strategy.
19. Mr SZETO Wah sought reasons for selecting Mr Stephen LAM for the post. In reply, SCS said that the appointments for senior directorate posts at D6 to D8 levels were decided by the Posting Board chaired by the Chief Secretary. All officers whose substantive ranking was at D6 or above would be eligible for consideration and in the selection process, reference was made to candidates' qualifications, experience and abilities. IC(Des.) referring to his experience in handling a number of controversial issues in the Department of Justice, reiterated his commitment to assisting the CE in enhancing transparency and openness of the work of the Government.
20. In reply to Mr Bernard CHAN who referred to a press report that the salary of the IC compared much higher than those of similar posts in other countries, SCS said that a strict comparison in terms of salary might not be appropriate as major factors such as the economic conditions, the structure of the Civil Service and staffing support given to the post, etc., varied from places to places. To elucidate, he pointed out that the IC's proposed responsibilities would encompass most of the functions of the key posts of the White House Spokesman and the Director of Communications in the United States. Mr Bernard CHAN nevertheless remarked that the Administration should make greater efforts to account for why the IC post should command such a high level of pay.
21. Referring to Mr Andrew WONG's comment that notwithstanding established guidelines, the decision on the ranking of a post inevitably involved personal judgement, SCS stressed that the advice of SCDSCS was sought on the grading and ranking of all new permanent directorate posts, including the one in the present proposal. Members of the SCDSCS were respectable members of the community with extensive knowledge about establishment matters. As regards individual SCDSCS members' views on the IC post, SCS said that the Committee had only advised the Administration of its collective decision which supported the proposed grading and ranking of the IC post.
22. On whether a civil service appointment should be reported to the Central Government, SCS explained that the main consideration was the job nature, rather than the ranking, of a post. As in the case of the appointments of H/CPU and the Director of the Beijing Office, the Administration considered that the IC post should not be regarded as one of the principal officials referred to in the Basic Law. Therefore, its appointment would not have to be made by the Central Government. On the other hand, in accordance with the Basic Law, the Administration had to put the appointment of some D6 posts such as the Director of Immigration, the Commissioner for Customs and Excise and the Director of Audit to the Central Government because of their job nature. In this connection, Mr SZETO WAH queried that if posts of D8 ranking were not regarded as principal officials of HKSAR, the Administration could easily circumvent the reporting arrangement and the nationality requirements simply by creating new high-ranking (D8 or above) posts. In response, SCS re-affirmed that the Administration had carefully considered the need for reporting the appointment for the IC post having regard to the intent of the relevant provisions in the Basic Law. He added that the Administration had taken the initiative to include certain new posts as principal officials such as the Secretary for Information Technology and Broadcasting.
23. On Miss Emily LAU's suggestion to review the ranking of the post in a year's time, SCS said that it was not a normal practice to review the ranking of a permanent post after its creation for a short period of time, but the Administration was prepared to keep Members posted of the work of the IC. IC(Des.) supplemented that future briefing and reporting to the relevant Panel(s) could be arranged pursuant to the requests of Members. Miss LAU maintained her view that given the unusual way the IC post was created, it was appropriate to review its ranking in a year's time.
24. The Chairman put the item to vote. 16 members voted for the item and four members voted against. None abstained -
|Mr David CHU Yu-lin||Dr Raymond HO Chung-tai
|Mr Eric LI Ka-cheung||Dr David LI Kwok-po
|Mr NG Leung-sing||Mrs Selina CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee
|Mr MA Fung-kwok||Mr CHAN Kwok-keung
|Mr Bernard CHAN||Mr CHAN Wing-chan
|Dr LEONG Che-hung||Mr Andrew WONG Wang-fat
|Mr Jasper TSANG Yok-sing||Mr Howard YOUNG
|Mr YEUNG Yiu-chung||Miss CHOY So-yuk
Mr Michael HO Mun-ka
Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong
Miss Emily LAU Wai-hing
Mr SZETO Wah
25 The item was endorsed by the Subcommittee.
|26. Miss Emily LAU requested that this item be put to vote as a separate item at the Finance Committee meeting. The Chairman agreed to notify the Chairman of the Finance Committee of Miss LAU's request.||XX |
||Proposed creation of a new rank of Commissioner for Tourism (D5); creation of three permanent posts of one Commissioner for Tourism (D5), one Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (D2), and one Principal Executive Officer (D1); and increase in the establishment ceiling
from $28,310,000 by $1,980,960 to $30,290,960
in 1998-99 to facilitate the creation of seven non-directorate posts in the Economic Services Bureau of Government Secretariat to promote the development of the tourist industry in Hong Kong|
27. Members enquired about the relationship and division of responsibilities between the proposed tourism office in the Economic Services Bureau (ESB) and the Hong Kong Tourist Association (HKTA). In reply, the Secretary for Economic Services (SES) advised that the relationship between the two would be similar to that between a policy bureau and its executive department. The tourism office would be responsible for formulating the policy and overall strategy on tourism while HKTA would be mainly responsible for implementing approved policies and strategies. It was also the Administration's plan that the proposed Commissioner for Tourism (the Commissioner) would sit on the Board of Management of HKTA and would assist the SES in ensuring the effective use of resources in HKTA.
28. Mrs Selina CHOW pointed out that HKTA was currently involved in drawing up tourism strategies and had initiated a number of studies on the subject. She expressed concern over the possible duplication of functions relating to the formulation of tourism strategies between the tourism office and HKTA. In response, SES assured members that the question of duplication should not arise as strategic policy formulation was essentially the responsibility of ESB. Moreover, the Commissioner would be responsible for the co-ordination among government bureaux and departments in taking tourism initiatives forward and would represent the SAR Government in international governmental fora. These latter functions could not practically be performed by HKTA.
29. Addressing Mr Howard YOUNG's concern that the ranking of the proposed post at D5 might not be sufficiently high as to enable the incumbent to garner the necessary support from government bureaux/departments and non-governmental bodies, SES stressed that whilst the Commissioner would be responsible for mapping out the tourism development policy and strategy, tourism would still be within the purview of ESB. The creation of the Commissioner post dedicated to the tourism schedule was to equip ESB with the necessary staffing and policy resources on the area of tourism. Major inter-departmental or inter-organizational issues would still be overseen by SES.
30. Whilst indicating support for the proposal, Mr CHEUNG Man-kwong questioned the need to retain the existing Deputy Secretary for Economic Services (1) (DS/ES1) post at the D4 level, given that the post would be relieved of its responsibilities on tourism matters upon creation of the Commissioner post. In response, SES advised that the remaining policy areas on energy and agriculture and fisheries in DS/ES(1)'s schedule of duties were subjects of widespread public concern and that the heavy and expanding workload in these policy areas, together with the bureau administration duties, would absorb fully any free-up capacity of DS/ES1 arising from the removal of the policy responsibility on tourism. He reiterated that ESB was fully aware of the need to review its staffing level in the light of changing circumstances, and in fact had undertaken to conduct a review in a year's time. In this connection, the Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service (DS/CS) advised that the Civil Service Bureau and the Finance Bureau would review the staffing level of directorate posts on a regular basis, and he assured members that the distribution of work in ESB and the continuous justification for the existing directorate establishment would be critically examined in a timely manner.
31. Noting that seven non-directorate posts would also be created to provide support to the Commissioner and the other two directorate officers in the tourism office, Mr Howard YOUNG and Mrs Selina CHOW expressed serious doubt on the need for the large number of supporting staff. Miss Emily LAU echoed this point and stressed that providing four Personal Secretary posts was not justified. In response, SES advised that the proposed set-up of non-directorate posts was necessary to meet the functional needs of the tourism office, and it had been drawn up in accordance with the usual establishment arrangement and in the light of ESB's operational experience in this area of work. As regards the functions of the proposed Senior Executive Officer post, the Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Services advised that the officer would assist in providing secretariat support to the Tourism Task Force and would be responsible for the day-to-day liaison and monitoring of the tourism studies. DS/CS further explained that the inclusion of the proposed non-directorate posts in this paper was intended to provide a full picture of the proposal. He assured members that the need for these posts would again be carefully scrutinized on a functional basis at the Departmental Establishment Subcommittee level. Furthermore, he remarked that the scrutiny process for the creation of new posts had become increasingly vigorous as bureaux/departments had been advised to enhance productivity and make savings. In this respect, members requested the Administration to take note of their concern, with particular regard to the creation of Personal Secretary posts.
32. With regard to the on-going work on tourism development, SES advised that over the past two years, substantial efforts had been made by ESB in collaboration with HKTA to launch a number of major initiatives. He highlighted the joint venture with the tourism authorities in the Mainland to promote multi-destination travel in overseas markets to encourage them to travel to Hong Kong enroute to other major cities in the Mainland. He re-affirmed that notwithstanding inadequate staffing support, ESB had not slackened its effort on developing and promoting tourism over the past few years but there was a strong need for the proposed tourism office to strengthen work on this area, especially when Hong Kong's inbound tourism industry had been adversely affected by the economic turmoil in the region and was facing severe competition from other Asian countries.
33. On the appointment of the post, SES confirmed that while the Commissioner post was proposed to be established within the civil service, both civil servants and candidates from the private sector could apply for the post through an open recruitment exercise. As regards the duration of the employment contract, SES said that a three-year contract was considered appropriate as such duration would be appropriate for operational requirements and at the same time, provide the necessary flexibility for both the Government and the incumbent to decide on further appointment.
|34. In this connection, SES expressed keen intention on the part of the Government to commence the recruitment process as soon as possible and suggested that this post be advertised upon endorsement by this Subcommittee but pending the approval of the Finance Committee (FC) which was scheduled to meet on 15 January 1999. While members agreed that it was desirable to fill the post as soon as possible, they did not consider it appropriate to advertise the post before the proposal was approved by FC. DS/Tsy shared members' view and advised that in principle, the Administration would not commence a recruitment exercise or a tendering exercise before FC's approval of the respective funding proposals. However, as the FC meeting to consider this item would not be held until some one month later due to the intervening holidays, she suggested that subject to members' consent and the relevant procedure being complied with, this item be put to FC at the coming meeting on 18 December 1998. In this regard, ASG1 advised that inclusion of an item in the agenda of a FC meeting without adequate notice would be subject to the agreement of the FC Chairman who would have to consider whether FC members would be given a fair chance to study the proposal concerned before making a decision at the meeting. In this case, if members agreed, she would seek FC Chairman's urgent approval to include this item in the agenda for the meeting on 18 December 1998. Subject to the Chairman's approval, she undertook to liaise with the Administration on the issuance of relevant papers to FC members and to provide members with the minutes on this item before the FC meeting.||XX|
35. In reply to members, ASG1 confirmed that there had been no precedent case of placing ESC proposals on the agenda of FC with such a short notice. However, there had been cases where certain financial proposals, not being proposals considered by the two Subcommittees, had been urgently included in the agenda of FC meetings with the Chairman's consent. She added that should any FC member consider it more desirable to have more time to consider the item before making a decision on 18 December 1998, he could move to adjourn the discussion on the item. If it was so agreed by FC, the item would then be dealt with at the meeting on 15 January 1999, which was originally scheduled to consider this item among others.
36. Mrs Selina CHOW and Miss Emily LAU supported the proposed arrangement of advancing discussion of this item to the FC meeting on 18 December 1998. Other members present did not raise any objection. The Chairman thus advised that members' view be conveyed to the FC Chairman for decision.
37. The item was voted on and endorsed.
38. The Subcommittee was adjourned at 10:40 am.
Legislative Council Secretariat
13 January 1998