LC Paper No. ESC11/99-00
(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 2nd meeting
held at the Legislative Council Chamber
on Wednesday, 27 October 1999, at 10:45 am
Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong (Chairman)
Hon NG Leung-sing (Deputy Chairman)
Hon Michael HO Mun-ka
Ir Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon Mrs Selina CHOW LIANG Shuk-yee, JP
Hon MA Fung-kwok
Hon CHAN Kwok-keung
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Hon Jasper TSANG Yok-sing, JP
Hon Howard YOUNG, JP
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon Margaret NG
Hon CHEUNG Man-kwong
Hon Bernard CHAN
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP
Hon Emily LAU Wai-hing, JP
Hon CHOY So-yuk
Hon SZETO Wah
Public 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 David F L WONG
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Security
- Mr HSU King-ping, JP
- Director of Fire Services
- Mr MAK Kwai-pui, JP
- Chief Ambulance Officer, Fire Services Department
- Mr LAU Kwok-choi
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Works
- Mr LEUNG Cham-tim, JP
- Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services
- Mr HO Kwong-wai
- Trading Services Manager, Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund
- Mr Stephen FISHER
- Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (Urban Renewal and Buildings)
- Mr Jerry AUSTIN
- Principal Assistant Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands
- Ms Olga LAM
- Chief Estate Surveyor, Lands Department
- Mr C W LEUNG
- Assistant Director of Planning
- Mr Patrick LAU, JP
- Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (Lands and Planning)
Staff in attendance:
Miss Polly YEUNG
- Chief Assistant Secretary (1)3
- Ms Pauline NG
- Assistant Secretary General 1
- Ms Sarah YUEN
- Senior Assistant Secretary (1)4
||Proposed creation of one new rank and permanent post of Deputy Chief Ambulance Officer (GDS(C)1) offset by the deletion of one permanent post of Senior Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer (GDS(O)36-38) in the Fire Services Department to provide adequate staffing support at the directorate level to further develop its emergency ambulance service into a modern and efficient service
Mr CHAN Wing-chan stated that he would support the proposal to provide adequate staffing support at the directorate level to bring about a more efficient ambulance service.
2. Whilst expressing support for the proposal, Mr NG Leung-sing sought elaboration on the responsibility of the Chief Ambulance Officer (CAO) in overseeing the continued and full implementation of the long-term recommendations of the consultancy study on the ambulance service. In response, the Director of Fire Services (D of FS) advised that the said consultancy study was conducted in 1995. In gist, its recommendations were directed at improving the performance of the emergency ambulance service (EAS) through enhancing mobilisation of ambulances and increasing the number of ambulance depots so as to improve EAS's achievement of its pledged 12-minute response time target, as well as to develop the EAS into a paramedic ambulance service in the long run. The recommendations also covered the development of a new management information system for the EAS.
3. On whether there was any slippage in meeting the performance targets set in the consultancy study, D of FS reported that the EAS was required to achieve its performance target of responding to emergency calls within a 12-minute response time by phases. The initial target was for 92.5% of emergency calls to achieve the said response time. Thereafter, the target would be increased to 95%. The Administration assured members that the EAS had already achieved the first target and was actively heading towards the next target.
4. Mr YEUNG Yiu-chung considered that the present problem was inadequate staffing support and questioned why instead of increasing staff, the Administration should aim at solving the problem by creating a new rank of Deputy Chief Ambulance Officer (DCAO) and then upgrade one post of Senior Assistant Chief Ambulance Officer (SACAO) to the new rank. In response, D of FS highlighted the need for greater staffing support at the directorate level in the Ambulance Command to handle policy issues. Members also noted that a small team of staff would be deployed internally to provide support to the DCAO.
5. Mr Michael HO enquired on details of the plan to develop the EAS into a paramedic ambulance service. In reply, D of FS elaborated that paramedic ambulances were first introduced in 1992 following the world-wide trend to enhance the standard of pre-hospital care by stabilising, instead of only assessing, injured patients' condition. As a result, the number of emergency medical assistant (EMA) ambulances had been increased from three in 1989 to the current 50, and would be further increased to 60 within 1999.
6. Mr Michael HO opined that service expansion alone could not justify the creation of a directorate post. In response, D of FS confirmed that the new directorate officer would be responsible for enhancing the standard, as well as expanding the scope of paramedic ambulance service to the full EMAII level, including the introduction of endotracheal intubation, intramuscular injection and use of a wider range of drugs. He further explained that the EMAII was a medical personnel with medical skills and knowledge to provide advanced pre-hospital care.
|7. Mr Michael HO further enquired about the basic training and academic/professional qualifications required of future paramedics to cope with the enhanced service, and how these compared with those of their overseas counterparts. D of FS advised that initially, relevant on-the-job training would be provided by staff who were trained overseas to train up in-service ambulance staff with Secondary 5 standard and several years of experience into ambulance paramedic staff. One of the duties of the DCAO would be to conduct a comprehensive study to determine the feasibility and resource requirements of establishing a training institute like that in Canada for the training of ambulance paramedic personnel. At Mr HO's request, D of FS agreed to provide a report on the progress and results of the aforesaid study in six to 12 months' time.
8. The item was voted on and endorsed.
||Proposed retention of one supernumerary multi-disciplinary post of Chief Electrical and Mechanical Engineer/Chief Building Services Engineer/Chief Electronics Engineer (D1) for a period of three years from 6 December 1999 under the Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund to provide a wide range of efficient and effective contractual maintenance services at the Hong Kong International Airport
9. Dr Raymond HO stated his support for the proposal. On the importance of the work of the Electrical and Mechanical Services Trading Fund (EMSTF), he referred to the EMSTF's role in assisting the Airport Authority (AA) to conduct the Year 2000 compliance exercise, and the nine contracts awarded to the EMSTF's Airport Sector Division (ASD) for the provision of maintenance service at the Hong Kong International Airport at a total contract price of about $600 million. In this connection, the Director of Electrical and Mechanical Services (DEMS) confirmed that the latest number of contracts awarded to ASD had been increased to 11. He further explained that the staffing establishment of ASD would be adjusted according to the number of contracts awarded because its staff costs had to be met from income from the contracts. He also confirmed that the supernumerary multi-disciplinary post to be retained under the present proposal was designated as Airport Sector Manager to take charge of the ASD.
10. Mr NG Leung-sing expressed support for the proposal and sought further information on the electrical and mechanical services provided to airlines and AA's business partners as stated in the discussion paper. In reply, DEMS said that these services were mainly general electrical and air-conditioning services. As the contract price involved was small, service providers at other airports were not keen on competing for these contracts and the EMSTF only faced competition from local companies. However, given the small contract price, the ASD's annual business turnover would not be adversely affected even if it failed to secure the contracts.
11. The item was voted on and endorsed.
||Proposed retention of four supernumerary posts of one Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (D2) in the Government Secretariat: Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau; one Chief Estate Surveyor (D1) in the Lands Department; one Government Town Planner (D2) and one Chief Town Planner (D1) in the Planning Department up to the date of the dissolution of the Land Development Corporation to cope with the heavy workload associated with the establishment of the Urban Renewal Authority
12. The item was voted on and endorsed.
||Proposed re-organisation of the directorate structure and retention of two supernumerary posts of one Administrative Officer Staff Grade B (D3) and one Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (D2) in the Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau of Government Secretariat from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2002 to ensure the bureau would have adequate directorate capacity to meet the Administration's policy commitments in relation to planning, development, land supply, urban renewal, building safety and land registration
13. While stating support in principle for the proposal, Mr NG Leung-sing enquired about possible increase in the workload of senior officers in the Environment (E) Division of the Planning, Environment and Lands Bureau as a result of the various environmental protection initiatives announced in the 1999 Policy Address. In response, the Deputy Secretary for Planning, Environment and Lands (Lands and Planning) advised that all the posts and duties of the Division would be transferred to the new Environment and Food Bureau proposed to be established following enactment of the Provision of Municipal Services (Reorganization) Bill.
14. The item was voted on and endorsed.
15. The Subcommittee was adjourned at 11:15 a.m.
(Post meeting note: Mr Ronald ARCULLI had given notification that he would withdraw membership of the Subcommittee with effect from 25 October 1999)
Legislative Council Secretariat
11 November 1999