on 16 September 1998
ITEM FOR ESTABLISHMENT SUBCOMMITTEE
OF FINANCE COMMITTEE
HEAD 186 - TRANSPORT DEPARTMENT
Subhead 001 Salaries
Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following permanent directorate posts in the proposed Strategic Infrastructure Branch of the Transport Department with effect from 30 September 1998 -
1 Government Engineer
(D2) ($116,650 - $123,850)
1 Chief Engineer
(D1) ($98,250 - $104,250)
The Commissioner for Transport (C for T) needs dedicated traffic and transport input at the directorate level for the planning, design and implementation of the three high priority railways, the strategic road links and the Port Development Strategy (PDS) projects.
2. We propose to create one permanent directorate post of Government Engineer (GE) (D2) and one permanent directorate post of Chief Engineer (CE) (D1) in the new Strategic Infrastructure Branch (SIB) of the Transport Department (TD) with effect from 30 September 1998.
New Strategic Infrastructure Branch
3. The Chief Executive announced in his 1997 Policy Address that the Administration is committed to implementing the three priority railway projects and a number of strategic road projects to meet transport demand arising from new housing and economic developments. These projects are all subject to a very tight implementation timetable.
4. While the main focus of the existing Port and Airport Development Branch (PADB) of TD is on the Port and Airport Development Strategy (PADS) related projects, the branch also provides support for the three priority railway projects. With the winding down of the Airport Core Programme (ACP) related project activities, the existing supernumerary directorate posts of one GE (D2) and one CE (D1) in PADB will lapse on 30 September 1998. C for T considers it necessary to re-organise PADB into a new SIB, and to provide the new branch with the requisite directorate support to meet the challenges arising from the planning, design and implementation of the three priority railways, the strategic road links, and the PDS related projects. The current position of these projects is as follows -
- The three priority railways - Preliminary design of West Rail, Tseung Kwan O Mass Transit Railway Extension and Ma On Shan Rail Link (including East Rail extension from Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui) has been completed. Detailed design of West Rail Phase I and Tseung Kwan O Extension is under way, to be followed by construction work later this year. Tseung Kwan O Extension, West Rail Phase I and Ma On Shan Rail Link are programmed for completion in 2002, 2003 and 2004 respectively.
- The strategic road links - Currently under detailed planning and preliminary design are Route 9 (between Cheung Sha Wan and Tsing Yi); Route 16; Central Kowloon Route; and Route 10 from North Lantau to Yuen Long Highway. The Administration has committed to completing these projects between 2004 and 2009. Any delay would not only affect the achievement of the Government's housing production target but also leave potential traffic congestion problems unresolved.
- The PDS related projects - The projects that remain to be completed include Container Terminal 9 (CT9), Lantau Port, Western Harbour Development, Northshore Lantau Development and Tseung Kwan O Area 131 Port Development. We are now finalising the private treaty grant for CT9 and expect construction work to commence soon. Despite the recent slow down in the growth of container throughput, we need to continue planning new facilities for the long term and sustainable economic growth and development of the territory.
5. In delivering these infrastructure projects, C for T will take forward traffic and transport planning; conduct and manage the traffic and transport studies commissioned; formulate and implement traffic management and public transport schemes; and review traffic and transport requirements for project implementation. She thus proposes to task the new SIB with these duties. To be re-organised from the existing PADB, the proposed SIB will comprise a Strategic Roads Division and three railway sections. Organisation charts of the existing and the new branch are at Enclosures 1 and 2 respectively.
Creation of a GE Post
6. Given the complexity, scale, strategic nature and technical content of the infrastructure projects, SIB must be headed by a professional officer, preferably from the engineering stream with appropriate seniority and experience. He has to be of sufficient stature to establish rapport with the senior directorate of other government departments and the management of non-government corporations or agents concerned, and to coordinate their efforts in the feasibility study, planning, design and implementation of the infrastructure projects. He must also possess administrative and managerial ability to lead a group of senior professionals in the new branch as well as to plan, steer and direct projects and related activities. As there may be frequent occasions where urgent resolution of controversial traffic engineering and operation policy issues is required, the head of the branch needs to have the experience and professional expertise to provide speedy solutions to problems and initiate fall-back options.
7. In view of the above requirements, we propose to create one permanent post of GE (D2) to head the new SIB. To be departmentally designated as GE/Strategic Infrastructure, the incumbent will report to the Deputy Commissioner/Planning and Technical Services. The job description of the proposed GE/Strategic Infrastructure post is at Enclosure 3.
Creation of a CE Post
8. In addition, we propose to create one permanent post of CE (D1) to head the Strategic Roads Division of SIB. To be departmentally designated as CE/Strategic Roads, the incumbent will underpin the GE/Strategic Infrastructure, and be responsible for technical and project management issues on the strategic roads as well as the PDS related projects. He will oversee the planning, design and construction of the projects. He will also issue guidelines and give advice on technical standards to the project teams in SIB. In addition, he will represent TD at various forums and project steering committees to explain project related issues, and liaise with other branches within the department as well as external organisations or agents to resolve any traffic and transport issues which may emerge. The job description of the proposed CE/Strategic Roads post is at Enclosure 4.
Permanent Creation of the Posts
9. We expect more strategic infrastructure projects to come on stream in the longer term to support the housing and economic developments. The Third Comprehensive Transport Study, begun in August 1997 for completion in early 1999, will map out an integrated transport strategy and a highway development programme up to the year 2016. The study will examine the alignment of an Eastern Highway between the Eastern New Territories and the urban areas; an additional New Territories East-West Highway; Route 7 between Kennedy Town and Aberdeen, the Hong Kong-Lantau Link, as well as other strategic road links. Implementation of West Rail Phase II (comprising a freight line and a cross boundary passenger service) will commence before the completion of West Rail Phase I in 2003. The Second Railway Development Study which commenced in March 1998 and due for completion in late 1999, will provide interim recommendations in late 1998/early 1999 on the more urgent projects needed. Among other things, the study will examine the feasibility of a North Hong Kong Island Line, an East Kowloon Line, a westward extension of the Mass Transit Railway Island Line to Kennedy Town, a second connection from Ma On Shan to Kowloon, and a fourth cross harbour line. Given these strategic road networks, we see the need for the SIB for many years to come and hence propose that the two posts should be created on a permanent basis.
10. The additional notional annual salary cost of this proposal
at mid-point is -
||No. of Post
The full annual average staff cost of the proposal, including salaries and staff on-cost, is $4,589,000.
11. In addition, the proposal will necessitate the creation of 20 non-directorate posts at a notional annual mid-point salary cost of $9,110,520 and a full annual average staff cost of $14,660,000. We have included sufficient provision in the 1998-99 Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal.
12. PADB was set up in TD in November 1989 to deal with all traffic and transport matters arising from the planning, design and implementation of ACP and PADS related projects. At present, PADB has an establishment of 25 professional and clerical posts, including the two supernumerary directorate posts of one GE and one CE. Under PADB, a dedicated engineering team headed by a Senior Engineer was set up in December 1996 to provide and coordinate traffic and transport input for the planning, design and implementation of the three priority railway projects.
CIVIL SERVICE BUREAU COMMENTS
13. Civil Service Bureau considers the ranking and grading of the proposed posts to be appropriate, having regard to the level of responsibilities and professional input required. It agrees that there is a permanent need for the proposed posts in TD.
ADVICE OF THE STANDING COMMITTEE ON DIRECTORATE SALARIES AND CONDITIONS OF SERVICE
14. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading proposed for the posts would be appropriate if the posts were to be created.
Enclosure 3 to EC(98-99)1
Job Description for
Government Engineer/Strategic Infrastructure
Rank : Government Engineer (D2)
Responsible to : Deputy Commissioner/Planning and Technical Services (D3)
Main Duties and Responsibilities -
- Supervise the Strategic Infrastructure Branch.
- Plan and provide the necessary input for the adequate provision of public transport services, and the safe and efficient use of the road network serving the three priority railway projects and their related facilities.
- Liaise with Transport Bureau and other departments on the interfacing of transport projects with the three priority railways, strategic roads and Port Development Strategy related developments.
- Coordinate input from various regions and branches within Transport Department during the planning, design and implementation of the three priority railways, strategic roads and Port Development Strategy related projects.
- Assist Transport Bureau in drawing up legislation and operating terms relating to the three priority railways and strategic roads projects.
Enclosure 4 to EC(98-99)1
Job Description for
Chief Engineer/Strategic Roads
Rank : Chief Engineer (D1)
Responsible to : Government Engineer/Strategic Infrastructure (D2)
Main Duties and Responsibilities -
- Supervise the Strategic Roads Division.
- Provide professional advice and input in traffic engineering and traffic management matters relating to the planning, design and implementation of the strategic roads projects and Port Development Strategy related projects.
- Provide input on the traffic engineering aspects for the planning of the new ports and access to the new ports.
- Coordinate input within Transport Department during the planning, design and implementation of strategic roads projects and Port Development Strategy related projects.
- Plan and monitor traffic impact studies, and supervise the work of consultants undertaking such studies.