For discussion
on 16 September 1998


Subhead 001 Salaries

Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee -

the creation of a new rank and permanent post of -

Technical Secretary (Industry)

(D1) ($98,250 - $104,250)

to be offset by the deletion of the existing rank and post of -

Quality Co-ordinator

(D1) ($98,250 - $104,250)

in the Industry Department, on the understanding that the deleted post and rank will be retained and held against the new post until the incumbent is regraded, promoted, transferred or leaves the service.


The Industry Department needs to provide adequate co-ordination and technical support to the Industry and Technology Development Council (ITDC) and its committees, as well as to facilitate Hong Kong's industrial and technological upgrading. Furthermore, since the quality promotion programme has already achieved its objectives, we need to delete the Quality Co-ordinator post.


2. We propose to create a permanent post in the new rank of Technical Secretary (Industry) (TS(I)) at D1 level in the Technology Development Division (TDD) of the Industry Department to be offset by deleting a permanent post from the Quality Services Division of the department in the rank of Quality Co-ordinator (D1).


Technology development and development support

3. The Industry Department conducted an organisation review in July 1997. Based on the findings of the review, the Director-General of Industry (DG of I) has re-organised the department since August 1997 on a trial basis. One major finding of the review was that in the light of the rapid increase in scope and demand for professional advice, there was a need to strengthen the secretariat serving the ITDC and its committees, as well as the overall technical support for activities related to Hong Kong's industrial and technological upgrading.

4. The ITDC and its seven committees advise the Government on all major industrial and technological matters. Prior to August 1997, the department's TDD was responsible for serving the ITDC and its Technology Committee, Information Technology Committee and Biotechnology Committee; and the Development Support Division (DSD) for the industry-specific committees in electronics, metals, plastics, and textiles and clothing. We set out the organisation of the TDD and DSD before re-organisation in August 1997 at Enclosure 1.

5. There were four engineers in TDD and two engineers and two scientific officers in DSD providing support to the committees under their respective schedules. In addition, these professional staff had to vet and process applications, which usually cut across different disciplines, submitted to the Industrial Support Fund (ISF), Applied Research and Development Scheme (ARDS) and the Co-operative Applied Research and Development Scheme (CARDS).

6. The deployment of professional staff in two different divisions had dispersed technical expertise and made co-ordination and management of efforts difficult. DG of I considered that technical expertise and support should best be centralised in one technical secretariat. He has therefore set up a new Technical Support Section in the TDD and redeployed the two engineers from the DSD to this new Section since August 1997. The two scientific officers remaining in DSD will continue to serve the Textiles and Clothing Committee, in addition to their other duties related to the Clothing Technology Demonstration Centre Company Limited and the Quick Response Centre for the Textiles and Clothing Industries. The re-deployment of staff and reshuffling of duties have also enabled the DSD to take on other new initiatives on the Services Support Fund and Small and Medium Enterprises Committee. We set out at Enclosure 2 the re-organised TDD and DSD of the department.

7. Consequential to the re-deployment, there are now three teams with two engineers each in the new Technical Support Section of the TDD responsible for serving five technology or industry specific committees, i.e. technology, information technology, electronics, metals and plastics; and for vetting and processing applications and projects under the ISF, ARDS and CARDS. This facilitates a focused application of professional knowledge, maintenance of standard and development of in-house expertise. DG of I also considers that the re-organisation has achieved a better balance of workload among the divisions.

Need for the creation of the Technical Secretary (Industry)

8. The pooling of professional staff in the TDD has, however, significantly increased the responsibility and workload of the Head of the Division, i.e. the Assistant Director-General of Industry (Technology Development) (AD(T)). Before re-organisation, his portfolio already covered servicing the ITDC and the Applied Research Council, administering the ARDS and CARDS, servicing the Biotechnology Committee and administering the ISF. With the centralisation of most technology and engineering related subjects in the Technical Support Section, and the transfer of responsibility over the Electronics, Metals, and Plastics Committees to the TDD, DG of I sees the need to create a D1 post in a new rank of TS(I) to head the Technical Support Section to underpin the AD(T). The TS(I) will supervise the work of the multi-disciplined professional staff of the Technical Support Section and co-ordinate their professional input into the department's activities concerned with industrial and technological development. He will also provide advice on technical issues in policy and strategy formulation.

9. DG of I considers the re-organisation exercise has proved its practicability and usefulness during the trial period and recommends that the department should formalise and strengthen the new structure through the creation of a D1 post in TDD. The job description of the proposed TS(I) post is at Enclosure 3. The new TS(I) post should normally be filled by the promotion of a suitable senior professional officer (MPS Point 45-49) in the grades of Electronics Engineer, Electrical & Mechanical Engineer, Scientific Officer and Investment Promotion Project Officer in Industry Department.

Quality Assurance Unit

10. The Industry Department established the Quality Assurance Unit (QAU) in 1989 in the Quality Services Division under a D1 officer - a Chief Electronics Engineer from 1989 to 1991 and a Quality Co-ordinator since 1991. The objective of the Unit was to promote quality management concepts and practices among Hong Kong industries in the face of growing customer expectation for high quality. Activities organised by the QAU include seminars, exhibitions, award competitions, publication of books, pamphlets and videos. In recent years, the QAU targeted at introducing the ISO9000 series as a quality management tool and other modern quality management techniques and concepts.

Quality promotion programme

11. The review concluded that the quality promotion programme initiated by the Government in 1989 had achieved its objectives. Over the years, there have been major improvements in quality management awareness and practice in Hong Kong as evidenced by -

  1. the existing high level of awareness of quality management in commerce and industry;

  2. the increase in the number and range of quality support agencies and services;

  3. the increasing application of quality management techniques by Hong Kong businessmen when they market their business;

  4. the increasing number of companies seeking certification under the ISO9000 quality system and the use of such certification as marketing tools; and

  5. the active participation of the business community in quality promotion activities.

12. Past promotional efforts have resulted in the establishment of 14 ISO9000 certification bodies operated on a commercial basis by various international companies, in addition to the setting up of a non-profit sharing Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency in 1989. The total number of certificates issued by these bodies in Hong Kong amounted to 1 730 by the end of June 1997. In addition, with the encouragement of the Industry Department, various organisations (e.g. the Quality and Reliability Centre of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the Hong Kong Productivity Centre Quality Club) have undertaken numerous quality training and promotion activities. The Government itself and the Housing Authority decided in 1996 to require ISO9000 certification for their works contractors, thus further boosting the awareness of quality management.

13. DG of I considers the Government's pioneering efforts have already built up the momentum for quality assurance in the business community. Coupled with the availability of other quality agencies and services in both the public and private sectors, the provision of a full-time directorate officer to attend to quality promotion activities is no longer justified. Accordingly, DG of I proposes the deletion of the Quality Co-ordinator (D1) post in the Quality Services Division. The organisation charts of the Quality Services Division before and after the re-organisation are at Enclosures 4 and 5 respectively.


14. As the TS(I) post will be offset by the Quality Co-ordinator post, the proposal has no additional cost -

Notional annual mid-point salary


No. of Posts

New permanent post




Permanent post deleted






15. Since 1996, Industry Department has been taking on a number of new initiatives to promote Hong Kong's service industries and enhance the industrial and technological development of Hong Kong. These include, inter alia, servicing of the Small and Medium Enterprises Committee, administration of the Services Support Fund, setting up of the Business Licence Information Centre, designing a pilot Credit Guarantee Scheme and planning of the development of a science park, a second industrial technology centre and a fourth industrial estate. The objective of these new activities is to enhance Hong Kong's competitiveness and encourage the development of high value-added services and industries.

16. In order to maximise the use of resources to deal with strategic and implementational issues and to improve the department's organisational structure so that there will be a more focused distribution of responsibilities among the functional divisions, DG of I conducted a departmental review in July 1997. He further re-organised the department in August 1997 on a trial basis.


17. Civil Service Bureau agrees that a TS(I) post is required to strengthen technical support to Industry Department's increasing activities related to industrial and technological development. It is appropriate to pitch the new post at D1 level having regard to its management and professional responsibilities. Since the quality promotion programme has achieved its objectives, the Quality Co-ordinator post is no longer required and should be deleted. The proposal to retain the existing Quality Co-ordinator post and rank at D1 level is a technical arrangement to accommodate the incumbent until he is regraded, promoted, transferred or leaves the service.


18. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading proposed for the post would be appropriate if the post were to be created.

Trade and Industry Bureau
September 1998


Enclosure 3 to EC(98-99)4

Job Description
Technical Secretary (Industry)

As Head of the Technical Support Section, responsible to the Assistant Director-General of Industry (Technology Development)(AD(T)) for the following duties -

  1. advising AD(T) on technical issues related to industrial and technology development in Hong Kong;

  2. providing secretariat support to five committees of the Industry and Technology Development Council (ITDC);

  3. carrying out preliminary vetting, analysis, market and technical research on Applied Research and Development (ARD) and Co-operative Applied Research and Development (CARD) project applications and making recommendations to the Applied Research Council for consideration;

  4. carrying out preliminary vetting, analysis, market and technical research on Industrial Support Fund project applications and making recommendations to the ITDC and its committees for consideration;

  5. supervising the professional staff in the Technical Support Section; and

  6. overseeing technology-related projects such as the establishment of the APEC Science & Technology Web (Hong Kong Page) and the Industrial Support Fund database.