Paper for Subcommittee on Review of AllowancesPurpose
for Members of the Legislative Council
Operating Expenses Reimbursement for Members
of the Legislative Council
To outline the existing arrangement for reimbursing Members for operating expenses, the rationale thereof and the mechanism for review and changes to be made.
Existing Arrangement for Operating Expenses Reimbursement
2. The existing operating expenses reimbursement package for Legislative Council Members is basically on a par with that for previous LegCo Members. The details are as follows -
- a monthly operating expenses reimbursement comprising -
- an accountable allowance for office and staff expenses of up to $84,380;
- an allowance for entertainment and travelling expenses of up to $14,060 (50% of which are non-accountable portion); and
- an accountable allowance for office rental, rates, management charges and utilities of up to $14,060;
- a setting up allowance of up to $100,000 for Members to set up district office (up to 50% of the allowance for re-elected Members for the purposes of renovation, removal, expansion and/or setting up of additional office(s)); and
- a setting up allowance of up to $50,000 for Members to take up their allocated central offices;
[(a) are annually adjusted in October with reference to the Hang Seng Consumer Price Index.]
3. The Independent Commission on Remuneration for Members of the Executive Council and the Legislature of the HKSAR (the Commission) is of the view that the existing mechanism for determining the package has been time-tested and proved to be acceptable to Members and the public.
4. As Members are aware, recommendations for changes to the remuneration package of Members of the Legislative Council are required to be submitted to the Commission for consideration. In this connection, the Commission has earlier recommended that a review of the remuneration package be carried out about a year before the start of the second HKSAR LegCo so that candidates running for election would know in advance the level of financial assistance that will be available to them if they are elected as LegCo Members. During the first SAR LegCo term, the Commission would also consider any ad hoc requests from LegCo to review any particular aspects of the remuneration package.
5. The Administration would welcome Members' views on the issue and the justifications as to how the existing operating expenses should be revised so that the proposals could as appropriate be submitted to the Commission for consideration.
Chief Secretary for Administration's Office
Office Accommodation forPurpose
Legislative Councillors, Provisional Urban and Regional Councillors
and Provisional District Board Members
To inform and seek members' views on the existing letting policy of office accommodation in public housing estates to members of Legislative Council, Provisional Urban and Regional Councils and Provisional District Boards (Councillors).
2. At present, all the office accommodation to Councillors are leased at full market rent. Applications for allocation of office accommodation are processed on a first-come-first-served basis, subject to the restriction that Councillors can apply only for accommodation in estate(s) within the constituency they are serving.
3. Policy on letting of office accommodation to Councillor was last reviewed in 1992 vide Commercial Properties Committee (CPC) Paper No. 12/92 and reaffirmed in 1994 vide Management & Operation Committee (MOC) Paper No. 30/94. Following the reviews, the space allocation standard for Councillor has been relaxed as follows :-
- suitable premises of up to 35m2 per Councillor be provided subject to availability;
- Councillors acting in dual or multiple capacities may lease offices up to 35m2 in different estates on a one office per capacity basis, or a single office up to a maximum size of 70m2;
- Legislative Councillors who are not Municipal Councillors or District Board members may lease two offices up to a total area of 70m2;
- Where a Councillor acting in more than one capacity and occupying multiple offices ceases to act in one of these capacities, he is required to surrender one of his offices surplus to his entitlement;
- Where a Councillor occupies a larger office by virtue of his dual capacity or shared use with another Councillor, and either ceases to act in one capacity or the sharer vacates, the Councillor will be given the option of :
- retaining the whole premises if it is demonstrated that it would be difficult to surrender any part; or
- sharing with another Councillor seeking accommodation; or
- relocating to a smaller office, if available.
4. Reason of setting the space entitlement at 35m2
is due to the fact that Councillors' office is usually located on the ground floor of domestic blocks where the available size is about 35m2
for a half-bay and 70m2
for a full-bay.
5. The following statistics are relevant to the lettings of Office Accommodation to Councillors :
- Total no. of Legislative Councillors with office accommodation in Public Housing Estates : 17
- No. of Legislative Councillors with single office in Public Housing Estates : 14
- No. of Legislative Councillors acting in single capacity with two offices in Public Housing Estates : 3
- Total no. of Provisional Urban and Regional Councillors with office accommodations in Public Housing Estates : 63
- Total no. of Provisional District Board Members with office accommodations in Public Housing Estates
6. The Department welcomes any views and suggestion on the current policy.
4 September 1998