The Secretariat

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  • About
  • Services Provided for Members
The Legislative Council Secretariat provides administrative support and services to the Council under the supervision of The Legislative Council Commission. The mission of the Legislative Council Secretariat is to provide efficient and professional secretariat, research and administrative support for the Council, enhance community understanding of the activities of the Council and ensure an effective avenue for redress.
  • Finance Committee
  • Other committees
  • Public Complaints Office
  • House Committee
  • Committee on Rules of Procedure
  • Other committees
  • Council meetings
  • Committee on Members' Interests
  • Public Accounts Committee
  • Committee on Access to the Legislature's Documents and Records
  • Other committees
  • The Legislative Council Commission
  • Estate and facility management
  • Security
  • Information technology
  • Expansion of LegCo Complex
  • Human resources
  • Accounts
  • Research
  • LegCo Library
  • LegCo Archives
  • Media and public relations
  • Visitor and education services
  • TV production and broadcasting services
  • Translation
  • Simultaneous interpretation
  • Official Records of Proceedings of the Council
  • Legal advice and support for the Council and its committees
  • In-house legal support
Council Business Division 1 and Public Complaints Office
  • Council Business Division 1 and Public Complaints Office
  • Council Business Division 2
  • Council Business Division 3
  • Council Business Division 4
  • Human Resources and Accounts Division
  • Administration Division
  • Research and Information Division
  • Media and Public Relations Division
  • Translation and Interpretation Division
  • Legal Service Division
Council Business Division 1 and Public Complaints Office
Council Business Division 1 provides secretariat and support services to the Finance Committee and its two subcommittees, as well as the following six Panels and any Bills Committees or a subcommittees on policy issues or legislative proposals relating to the terms of reference of these Panels:
The division is also responsible for servicing Legislative Council Members' regular meetings with members of four District Councils (Sham Shui Po, Southern, Tsuen Wan and Yau Tsim Mong).
The Public Complaints Office assists Members in processing cases received under the Legislative Council Redress System.
Council Business Division 2
The division provides secretariat and support services to the House Committee, the Committee on Rules of Procedure, as well as the following six Panels and any Bills Committees or subcommittees on policy issues or legislative proposals relating to the terms of reference of these Panels:
In addition, the division is responsible for servicing Legislative Council Members' regular meetings with members of five District Councils (Eastern, Kowloon City, Islands, Kwai Tsing and Tuen Mun).
Council Business Division 3
The division provides services to meetings of the Council and the Committee on Members' Interests. The division is also responsible for providing services to Legislative Council Members' regular meetings with members of three District Councils (Wan Chai, Sai Kung and Wong Tai Sin).
The division is headed by an Assistant Secretary General and supported by three Chief Council Secretaries, seven Senior Council Secretaries, two Council Secretaries and 17 clerical grade staff.
Council Business Division 4
The division provides support services to the Public Accounts Committee, the Committee on Access to the Legislature's Documents and Records, the Parliamentary Liaison Subcommittee, as well as the following six Panels and any Bills Committees or subcommittees on policy issues or legislative proposals relating to the terms of reference of these Panels:
The division is also responsible for servicing Legislative Council Members' regular meetings with Heung Yee Kuk Councillors and members of the four District Councils (Central and Western, Kwun Tong, Shatin and Yuen Long).
Legal Service Division
The Legal Service Division provides independent legal advice and support to the Council and its committees in their scrutiny of bills and subsidiary legislation, examination of public policies, inquiries into matters of public interest, handling of complaints, and other legal matters. The Division also renders legal advice to Legislative Council Members on matters relating to the business of the Council. In addition, the Division provides in-house legal service to The Legislative Council Commission and the Legislative Council Secretariat. As head of the Legal Service Division, the Legal Adviser is also the Counsel to the Legislature. Under the Rules of Procedure, the Counsel to the Legislature has the general duty of advising the President and the Clerk to the Legislative Council on legal questions arising in relation to the business or administration of the Council.
Human Resources and Accounts Division
The Human Resources and Accounts Division comprises the Human Resources Office and the Accounts Office. It also administers Legislative Council Members' remuneration and operating expenses reimbursements.
Media and Public Relations Division
Media and Public Relations Division provides LegCo with public relations opinions and advice, co-ordinates media-related matters and provides education and visitor services for promoting the work and corporate image of LegCo. Besides, the Division has established an in-house TV production team to televise and broadcast live on the LegCo Website the open meetings and official media briefings of LegCo and its committees.
  • Public Relations
    Members of the public are welcome to contact us to express their opinion and make enquiries related to Council business through the following means:
    Telephone :3919 3613
    email :enquiry@legco.gov.hk
    Post :
    Media and Public Relations Division
    Legislative Council Secretariat
    Legislative Council Complex
    1 Legislative Council Road
    Central
    Hong Kong

    Members of the public can learn more about the work and development of the Legislative Council by viewing the Legislative Council Annual Reports and other publications produced by the Division as follows:
  • Media Relations
    The Division maintains close liaison with media representatives and facilitates their coverage of meetings and activities of the Council and its committees. For details, please refer to the Media Corner.
  • Education and visitor services
    Education Service
    The Division provides a series of education programmes and develops education and publicity materials. It also holds mock Council debates periodically to enhance young people's understanding of the work of LegCo and promote their political awareness.
    Visitor Services
    To provide an opportunity for members of the public to know the work of the Council, guided tours to the Legislative Council Complex will be arranged for schools and charitable organizations. The Souvenir Shop, specializing in souvenirs and publications about the Legislative Council, is set up for visitors to enrich their visiting experience to the Legislative Council.
Research and Information Division
The Research and Information Division provides research and information support services to Members with a view to meeting Members' research and information needs in respect of Council and committee business. The Division comprises the Archives, the Library and the Research Office.
Archives
Missions of the LegCo Archives are to select, acquire and preserve records of enduring value for access and use. The preserved records document the history, core functions and activities of LegCo as corporate memory of the Council, which also form part of the collective memory of Hong Kong.
To ensure that LegCo manages its records efficiently and effectively and that archival records are timely identified for preservation and access, the LegCo Archives is responsible for the development, implementation, review and improvement of an integrated archives and records management program. Please see the Legislative Council Archives and Records Management Policy for details.
Library
Constitutional Library
Positioned as a constitutional library, the Library's mission is to provide Members and staff, as well as members of the public, access to resources that can facilitate their understanding of the role, functions, work, people and history of the Hong Kong Legislature, and the development of the constitutional systems in the Mainland and other places.
Collection
The Library holds all papers and records relating to the proceedings of the Council and its committees. It also acquires and maintains a collection of reference materials, in the form of books, journals and articles, as well as electronic databases, to facilitate timely and easy reference for the study of policies and legislative matters. Holdings of the Library are categorized under the following collections, namely LegCo Records Collection, Constitutional Collection, Basic Law Collection, and General Collection. The Library also proactively develops and subscribes to a wide range of database to supplement its printed resources.
LegCo Website
The Library provides content management for the LegCo website. Members of the public can have remote access to digitized LegCo records, including "Official Records of proceedings of the Legislative Council" dated back to 1844 and open records of LegCo committees dated back to 1995-1996.
Library Publications
The Library produces three monthly publications entitled "Stay informed - Latest Mainland policy reports", "Stay informed - Latest overseas policy reports" and "Stay informed - Latest parliamentary news" respectively. These publications aim to keep Members and staff informed of the latest policies, important legislative and financial proposals, major enquiry and audit reports of the Mainland and other selected overseas jurisdictions as well as the latest development in the rules and practices of overseas parliaments.
Library Services
A full range of library services including reference, lending and inter-library loan services are provided for Members and their staff. The Library also conducts seminars, workshops and Library tours to familiarize Members and their staff with its printed and electronic resources. A platform for users to view Members' claims for reimbursement of operating expenses as well as the attendance rates of Members at meetings is also available.
Research Office
The Research Office of the Research and Information Division provides nonpartisan research services to the Council and its committees. The Research Office undertakes research studies primarily on request from the Council, committees, and Members. Existing and proposed government policies are analysed in the light of overseas experience, with the results published in research papers for facilitating Members' deliberation and examination of particular policy issues. Current affairs and issues are closely monitored, and the Research Office will proactively prepare timely and forward-looking research publications for Members' reference from time to time. The publications prepared by the Research Office are categorized as follow:
Information Notes are in-depth research papers which provide elaborate analysis on subject matters requested by committees and Members.
Fact Sheets are short research papers containing factual information and statistics on subject matters requested by committees and Members.
Research Briefs are issued periodically to provide concise summaries on subject matters of interest or concern to Members.
Essentials are short research papers issued periodically to highlight the essentials of a subject matter.
All these research publications are prepared with a view to identifying major issues of concerns, providing overview of policy developments in Hong Kong, and supplementing with relevant experience in other places for readers' reference.
Key Statistics comprise two series of publications, namely Numbers and Figures and Statistical Highlights. Numbers and Figures are a collection of data taken from various credible sources, including both official local and international reports. Statistical Highlights provide key statistical indicators on selected topics in graphical presentation. Both publications aim to provide quick reference for basic facts about a chosen topic.
Since 2018, the Research Office also undertakes Research Tasks on request from Members. The Research Office will gather authoritative, relevant and reliable information on a particular topic chosen by a Member. Upon completion of the research task, the Member concerned will be given an information pack folder containing a summary of findings, and copies of relevant documents on the research topic. A copy of the information pack folder will also be placed in the Library for public access.
Translation and Interpretation Division
The Translation and Interpretation Division is responsible for producing the Official Record of Proceedings of the Legislative Council, translating all Council papers including committee papers, minutes and reports, as well as supervising the provision of simultaneous interpretation services in English, Cantonese, Putonghua and sign language for Council and committee meetings.
Administration Division
The Administration Division provides secretariat service to The Legislative Council Commission and its committees, as well as internal administrative support to other divisions of the Secretariat. It comprises the General Administration Office, the Estate and Security Office, the Information Technology Office and the Special Duties Team.

1.    INTRODUCTION

  • 1.1
    This Handbook provides:
    • (a)
      an overview of the main duties of various Divisions of the Legislative Council ("LegCo") Secretariat ("the Secretariat"); and
    • (b)
      information on the services for individual Members.
  • 1.2
    Relevant circulars will be issued by the Secretariat from time to time.

The Legislative Council Commission

  • 1.3
    The Legislative Council Commission ("the Commission") is a statutory body established under The Legislative Council Commission Ordinance (Cap. 443). It consists of 13 members including the President of the Council ("President") who is the Chairman of the Commission. Its functions include providing administrative support and services to the Council through the Secretariat; providing office accommodation to Members and staff of the Secretariat; and supervising the operation of the Secretariat.
  • 1.4
    There are five committees under the Commission to carry out delegated functions. They are the Committee on Personnel Matters, the Committee on Members' Operating Expenses, the Committee on Facilities and Services, the Committee on the Use of Legislative Council Square and the Appeals Committee on the Use of Legislative Council Square.

    The Legislative Council Secretariat

  • 1.5
    The Secretariat operates under the supervision of the Commission. The Secretariat's mission is to provide efficient and professional secretariat, research and administrative support for the Council, enhance public understanding of the activities of the Council and ensure an effective avenue for redressing grievances of members of the public.
  • 1.6
    As at mid-December 2021, the Secretariat had an establishment of 686 posts and comprised 10 divisions. Secretariat staff are not civil servants but are directly employed by the Commission. They are required to serve LegCo with complete political impartiality and shall not engage in political activities. The working relationship between Members and Secretariat staff should be professional, courteous and based on mutual respect.
  • 1.7
    The Secretary General ("SG"), appointed by the Commission, is the chief executive of the Secretariat responsible to the Chairman of the Commission for the administration of the Secretariat. SG is also the Clerk to LegCo responsible for advising the President on all matters relating to the procedure of the Council. The Legal Adviser of the Secretariat is the Counsel to the Legislature who has the general duty of advising the President and the Clerk to LegCo on legal questions arising in relation to the business or administration of the Council. An organization chart of the Secretariat is on page 2 and available on the LegCo Website. At present, the Secretariat offices are located in the LegCo Complex ("the Complex") and on 2/F and 46/F of the Queensway Government Offices and 12/F of CITIC Tower.


2.    COUNCIL BUSINESS DIVISIONS 1, 2, 3 and 4

  • 2.1
    The four Council Business Divisions, each headed by a Deputy Secretary General or an Assistant Secretary General, in the Secretariat provide support services for the Council and its committees. Council Business Divisions 1, 2 and 4 mainly provide support services for committees and Panels while Council Business Division 3 provides support services for and coordinates and deals with matters relating to Council meetings. Council Business Division 4 also supports Members in their contacts with legislators and visitors from other jurisdictions as well as members of district organizations. The servicing scope of the four Divisions are summarized at the end of this chapter.

Committees serviced by Council Business Divisions 1, 2 and 4

Panels

Functions

  • 2.2
    Currently, a total of 18 Panels are formed by resolution of the Council on 8 July 1998 and as amended on 2 July 2008 to monitor and examine policy matters within specified areas of responsibilities corresponding to the respective Policy Bureaux in the Government. Panels also provide a forum for the exchange of views on Government policies and issues of public concern, and for the Administration to consult Members on major legislative and financial proposals prior to their formal introduction to the Council or the Finance Committee. Each Panel may also set up subcommittees to study specific policy issues under its purview.

Membership

  • 2.3
    All Members, other than the President, may join a Panel by submission of returns to the Secretariat by noon on the Friday immediately following the first Council meeting of a new term. If the number of Members who have signified membership exceeds 20, the committee seats are to be allocated in accordance with the mechanism set out in Appendix IIIB to the House Rules ("HR"). The term of office of the members of a Panel shall be one session. The chairman and deputy chairman are elected by and from members of the Panel. A Member who joins the Council after the start of a session may join a Panel by submission of a return to the Secretariat within one month of the date on which he/she is declared elected as Member of the Council, provided that the number of members of the Panel does not exceed 20. A subcommittee set up under a Panel shall consist of members of that Panel.

Meetings

  • 2.4
    The meetings of each Panel are normally held on a monthly basis.

Bills Committees

Functions

  • 2.5
    Bills Committees are formed by the House Committee on a need basis to study bills that warrant special and in-depth scrutiny by Members. The general merits, principles and detailed provisions of the bill as well as any relevant amendments are considered by a Bills Committee.

Membership

  • 2.6
    All Members, other than the President, may join a Bills Committee. If the number of Members who have signified membership exceeds 15, the committee seats are to be allocated in accordance with the mechanism set out in Appendix IIIB to HR. The Chairman is elected by and from members of the committee. A Member who joins the Council after the start of a session should signify membership for the Bills Committee(s) of his/her choice within one month of the date on which he/she is declared elected as Member of the Council, provided that the number of members of the Bills Committee(s) does not exceed 15.

Other Committees

Select Committees

Functions

  • 2.7
    The Council may appoint one or more select committees for in-depth consideration of matters or bills referred by the Council. Where so authorized by the Council, select committees may, as required when exercising its powers and functions, summon persons concerned to attend before the committee to give evidence or to produce documents under section 9(1) of the Legislative Council (Powers and Privileges) Ordinance (Cap. 382). As soon as a select committee has completed consideration of the matter or bill referred to it, it reports to the Council and is thereupon dissolved. The servicing of select committees is shared among the four Council Business Divisions.

Membership

  • 2.8
    The President decides the size of a select committee and appoints its chairman, deputy chairman and members, taking into account the recommendations of the House Committee.

    Investigation Committees

    Functions

    • 2.9
      Article 79(7) of the Basic Law ("BL") provides that the President shall declare that a Member is no longer qualified for the office when he or she is censured for misbehaviour or breach of oath by a vote of two-thirds of the Members present. Under Rule 49B(1A) of the Rules of Procedure ("RoP"), a motion may be moved to censure a Member under BL 79(7) ("censure motion"). RoP 49B(2A) provides that upon the moving of a censure motion, debate shall be adjourned and the matter stated in the motion shall be referred to an investigation committee unless the Council otherwise orders. Under RoP 73A(2), an investigation committee is responsible for establishing the facts stated in the censure motion and giving its views on whether or not the facts as established constitute grounds for the censure. The committee is required to report to the Council as soon as it has completed investigation of the matter referred to it. The servicing of investigation committees is shared among the four Council Business Divisions.

    Membership

    • 2.10
      An investigation committee consists of a chairman, a deputy chairman and five members who shall be Members appointed by the President in accordance with an election procedure determined by the House Committee.

    Main Duties of Council Business Division 1

    • 2.11
      Headed by Assistant Secretary General 1, Council Business Division 1, apart from providing secretariat and support services for six Panels (please refer to the servicing scope at the end of this chapter) and any Bills Committee or subcommittee on policy issues or legislative proposals relating to the terms of reference of these Panels, also serves the Finance Committee and its two subcommittees, namely the Public Works Subcommittee and the Establishment Subcommittee. Details of the functions and memberships of these committees and subcommittees are summarized below.

    Finance Committee

    Functions

    • 2.12
      The Finance Committee is a standing committee of the Council. The functions of the Finance Committee are those conferred upon the Committee by the Public Finance Ordinance (Cap. 2), any other law and RoP of LegCo, and such as may from time to time be referred to the Committee by the Council. Its functions include examining the Estimates of Expenditure, approving proposals to change the Estimates of Expenditure approved by the Council, and approving commitments under some of the Funds set up under section 29 of the Public Finance Ordinance. The Finance Committee may appoint subcommittees to assist in the performance of its functions.

    Membership

    • 2.13
      The Finance Committee consists of not less than 50 members (including the Chairman) who shall be those Members (other than the President) having signified membership in accordance with Appendix I to the Finance Committee Procedure. The term of office of a member of the Committee is the whole term of the Council, except in the case of resignation from the Committee. The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Committee are elected by and from its members.

    Meetings

    • 2.14
      Finance Committee meetings are usually held on Friday afternoons.

    Subcommittees

    • 2.15
      There are two subcommittees under the Finance Committee: the Public Works Subcommittee and the Establishment Subcommittee.

    Public Works Subcommittee

    Functions

    • 2.16
      The Public Works Subcommittee considers submissions from the Administration on, and as appropriate, recommends to the Finance Committee:
    • the upgrading of projects to or downgrading from Category A of the Public Works Programme;
    • the approval of new commitments for capital subvention works projects funded under Capital Works Reserve Fund Head 708;
    • changes to the scope and/or approved project estimates of projects currently in Category A of the Public Works Programme and the works projects funded under Capital Works Reserve Fund Head 708; and
    • whether there is to be further discussion of a public works proposal by the Finance Committee.

    Membership

    • 2.17
      The Public Works Subcommittee consists of not less than 15 members (including the Chairman) who shall be those Members (other than the President) having signified membership in accordance with Appendix I to the Public Works Subcommittee Procedure. The term of office of a member of the Subcommittee is the whole term of the Council, except in the case of resignation from the Subcommittee. The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Subcommittee are elected by and from its members.

    Meetings

    • 2.18
      Public Works Subcommittee meetings are usually held once every two weeks, on Wednesdays from 8:30 am to 10:30 am.

    Establishment Subcommittee

    Functions

    • 2.19
      The Establishment Subcommittee examines requests for variations in the establishment of the civil service and makes recommendations to the Finance Committee on:
    • proposals for the creation, re-development and deletion of permanent and supernumerary posts remunerated on/according to the directorate pay scales;
    • changes to the structure of civil service grades and ranks (including pay scales, new grades and new ranks);
    • changes to the organizational structure of the Government and consequential transfer of posts;
    • proposals for the creation of directorate level consultancy positions for individuals for periods lasting more than 12 months;
    • changes to the departmental establishment ceilings shown in the Estimates; and
    • whether there is to be further discussion of an establishment proposal by the Finance Committee.
    The Subcommittee also reports to the Finance Committee on changes in departmental establishments shown in the Estimates and on the size and cost of the civil service.

    Membership

    • 2.20
      The Establishment Subcommittee consists of not less than 15 members (including the Chairman) who shall be those Members (other than the President) having signified membership in accordance with Appendix I to the Establishment Subcommittee Procedure. The term of office of a member of the Subcommittee is the whole term of the Council, except in the case of resignation from the Subcommittee. The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Subcommittee are elected by and from its members.

    Meetings

    • 2.21
      Establishment Subcommittee meetings are usually held once every two weeks, on Wednesdays from 8:30 am to 10:30 am.

    Main Duties of Council Business Division 2

    • 2.22
      Headed by Deputy Secretary General (Development and Resources Management)1, Council Business Division 2, apart from providing secretariat and support services for four Panels (please refer to the servicing scope at the end of this chapter) and any Bills Committee or subcommittee on policy issues or legislative proposals relating to the terms of reference of these Panels, also services the House Committee and Committee on Rules of Procedure. The functions and membership of these committees are detailed below.

    House Committee

    Functions

    • 2.23
      The House Committee makes preparations for meetings of the Council and considers matters relating to the business of the Council. The House Committee also decides whether to set up Bills Committees or subcommittees to scrutinize bills or subsidiary legislation. The agenda of the regular meetings of the House Committee normally includes the following items: reports on bills and subsidiary legislation tabled in Council; questions that Members intend to put to the Government; and Members' motions to be moved and debated. The House Committee may also consider, in such manner as it thinks fit, any other item relating to the business of the Council.
    • 2.24
      In addition, a petition presented to the Council will be referred to the House Committee under RoP 20(6) if the request for the petition to be referred is supported by no less than one half of all Members of the Council. The House Committee decides the manner of consideration of the petition and may present a report to the Council after the consideration of the petition.

    Membership

    • 2.25
      The House Committee shall consist of not less than 50 members (including the Chairman). All Members, other than the President, may join the House Committee by submission of returns to the Secretariat by noon on the Friday immediately prior to the first Council meeting of a new term. The term of office of the members of the House Committee shall be the whole term of the Council except in the case of resignation from the Committee. The Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Committee are elected by and from its members. A Member who joins the Council after the start of a session may join the House Committee by submission of a return to the Secretariat within one month of the date on which he/she is declared elected as Member of the Council.

    Meetings

    • 2.26
      House Committee meetings are normally held every Friday afternoon at 2:30 pm while the Council is in session. When a Finance Committee meeting is scheduled to be held in the same afternoon, the House Committee meeting will, if necessary, be suspended at such time when the Finance Committee meeting is scheduled to begin and resumed to deal with the unfinished business on the agenda after the Finance Committee meeting. In addition to regular meetings, special House Committee meetings are held with the Chief Secretary for Administration and/or other senior government officials to discuss major issues of public concern.

    Subcommittees

    • 2.27
      The House Committee may appoint subcommittees to assist in the consideration of specific items of subsidiary legislation that require detailed study. The functions, membership and procedural arrangements of these subcommittees are similar to those of Bills Committees. The House Committee may also appoint subcommittees to study issues of public concern which fall outside the purview of Panels or straddle the purview of a number of Panels, or any other matters relating to the business of the Council. All Members, other than the President, may join these subcommittees. A subcommittee to study subsidiary legislation or any other matters relating to the business of the Council shall consist of not more than 15 members, and a subcommittee to study issues of public concern which fall outside the purview of Panels or straddle the purview of a number of Panels shall consist of not more than 20 members. If the number of Members who have signified membership exceeds the specified number, the subcommittee seats are to be allocated in accordance with the mechanism set out in Appendix IIIB to HR.

    Committee on Rules of Procedure

    Functions

    • 2.28
      The Committee on Rules of Procedure is established under RoP 74 of the Council. Its functions are:
    • to review RoP of the Council and the committee system, and to propose to the Council such amendments or changes as are considered necessary; and
    • to examine matters of practice and procedure relating to the Council referred by the Council or its committees or the President, or raised by its own members.

    Membership

    • 2.29
      The Committee consists of a chairman, a deputy chairman and 10 members who are Members appointed by the President in accordance with an election procedure determined by the House Committee.

    Main Duties of Council Business Division 3

    • 2.30
      Headed by Assistant Secretary General 3, Council Business Division 3 mainly provides support services for Council meetings, which include:
    • processing questions, bills, subsidiary legislation, proposed resolutions and motions not intended to have legislative effect;
    • assisting the President in ruling on matters and proceedings related to the items above and dealing with related matters;
    • providing procedural advice for the President and Members on matters and proceedings relating to Council meetings;
    • preparing agendas and scripts for and minutes of Council meetings;
    • arranging the tabling of subsidiary legislation, reports and papers; and
    • undertaking logistical arrangements for and coordination of matters relating to Council meetings.
    • 2.31
      Council Business Division 3 services the Committee on Members' Interests and maintains the Register of Members' Interests. It also services an investigation committee if necessary.

    Notice of Business for a Council Meeting

  • 2.32
    The notice periods required for various items of business at a Council meeting are as follows:
    Presentation of papers2 clear days
    Presentation of petitions3 clear days
    Questions7 clear days
    Resumption of Second Reading debate on billsnormally 12 clear days
    Amendments to bills7 clear days
    Motions12 clear days
    Amendments to motions5 clear days
    Motions to amend subsidiary legislation or other instruments5 clear days
    Motions to extend the scrutiny period of subsidiary legislation or other instruments3 clear days
    Adjournment motions under RoP 16(4)7 clear days
    Motions to take note of the report in relation to subsidiary legislation or other instruments presented to the Council2 clear days
    Note:The expression "clear days" as a period of time excludes the day of the giving of a notice, the day of the relevant meeting and intervening public holidays, and ends at 5 pm on the last day of that period.

Matters Relating to Members' Interests

Registration of Interests

  • 2.33
    Under RoP 83, Members must register their registrable interests, as defined in RoP 83(5), by furnishing to the Clerk to LegCo particulars of their interests in a form approved by the President. Members returned through a general election must make the first-round registration of such interests not later than the first Council meeting of a term, while Members returned through a by-election must do so within 14 days from the date of becoming a Member. Members are also required to register any subsequent change in such interests within 14 days of such change. Members are required to use the System for Registration of Members' Interests (SRMI), which can be accessed via Members' Portal,2 to register their interests. The interests registered by Members are entered in a Register of Members' Interests, which is made available for public inspection at the Council's library and on the Council's website.

Committee on Members' Interests

Functions

  • 2.34
    The Committee on Members' Interests is a standing committee of the Council with the following functions:
    • to examine the arrangements made for the compilation, maintenance and accessibility of the Register of Members' Interests;
    • to consider any proposals made by Members or others as to the form and contents of the Register;
    • to consider any complaint made in relation to the registration and declaration of Members' interests or any complaint of a failure to do so and, if it thinks fit after consideration, investigate such complaint;
    • to consider any complaint made in relation to the conduct of Members referred to in RoP 83AA (Claims for Reimbursement of Operating Expenses or Applications for Advance of Operating Funds) and, if it thinks fit after consideration, investigate such complaint;
    • to consider matters of ethics in relation to the conduct of Members in their capacity as such, and to give advice and issue guidelines on such matters; and
    • to report to the Council and make recommendations including a recommendation as to a sanction under RoP 85 (Sanctions relating to Interests, Operating Expenses or Operating Funds).

Membership

  • 2.35
    The Committee consists of a chairman, a deputy chairman and five members who are Members appointed by the President in accordance with an election procedure determined by the House Committee.

Main Duties of Council Business Division 4

  • 2.36
    Headed by Assistant Secretary General 4, Council Business Division 4, apart from providing secretariat and support services for eight Panels (please refer to the servicing scope at the end of this chapter) and any Bills Committee or subcommittee on policy issues or legislative proposals relating to the terms of reference of these Panels, also serves the Public Accounts Committee, Committee on Access to the Legislature's Documents and Records, and Parliamentary Liaison Subcommittee. The functions and membership of these committees and the subcommittee are detailed below.
  • 2.37
    The Division is also responsible for handling access requests for the Legislature's documents and records from the public, and coordinating corporate liaison services.

Public Accounts Committee

Functions

  • 2.38
    The Public Accounts Committee is established under RoP 72. It is a standing committee of the Council and its practice and procedure are governed by RoP. Its functions are:
    • to consider reports of the Director of Audit on the accounts of the Government; and
    • to consider reports of value-for-money audits carried out by the Director of Audit relating to the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of Government departments and relevant public bodies.

Membership

  • 2.39
    The Committee consists of a chairman, a deputy chairman and five members who are Members appointed by the President in accordance with an election procedure determined by the House Committee.

Work Cycle

  • 2.40
    The Director of Audit submits three reports to the President each year, including one report on the audit of the Government's annual statements of account and two reports relating to value-for-money audits. Upon receipt of the Director of Audit's reports, the Committee holds public hearings to receive evidence from the controlling officers of Government departments and relevant public bodies and other parties. The Committee then deliberates in camera on the evidence taken at the public hearings and draws up reports which contain its conclusions and recommendations on various issues. The Committee is required to conclude its findings and table its report on the Director of Audit's reports in the Council within three months after the Director of Audit's reports are laid. Under exceptional circumstances when more time is required to study a particular subject, a supplemental report may be submitted to the Council.

    Committee on Access to the Legislature's Documents and Records

Functions

  • 2.41
    The Committee on Access to the Legislature's Documents and Records is established under RoP 74A of the Council. Its functions are:
    • to determine whether a document or record of the Legislature (or its committee) should be made available for access earlier than the expiry of the closure period specified in the Policy on Access to the Legislature's Documents and Records ("the Policy");
    • to set guidelines for implementing the Policy;
    • to consider any objection against the denial of access to such a document or record by the Clerk to LegCo; and
    • to consider any other matter relating to or arising from the Policy.

Membership

  • 2.42
    The Committee consists of a chairman who is the President, a deputy chairman who is the Chairman of the House Committee, the Deputy Chairman of the House Committee, and not more than 10 other members elected in such manner as the House Committee may determine.

Parliamentary Liaison Subcommittee

Functions

  • 2.43
    HR 34 provides for the formation of a Parliamentary Liaison Subcommittee under the House Committee. Its functions are:
    • to promote liaison and develop good relationship with parliamentary bodies in various territories;
    • to consider proposals for the formation of friendship groups with legislatures outside Hong Kong;
    • to deal with all matters pertaining to the activities of parliamentary friendship groups, including sending delegations on visits outside Hong Kong and hosting activities with delegations visiting Hong Kong; and
    • to make recommendations to the House Committee in respect of the above.

Membership

  • 2.44
    The size of and procedure for electing members of the Subcommittee are determined by the House Committee. The House Committee does not set any limit on the membership size of the Subcommittee.

    Corporate Liaison Services

  • 2.45
    To enhance contact between Members and the diplomatic community in Hong Kong, meetings and luncheons are organized to provide opportunities for Members to meet and exchange views with consular officials and district organizations, including members of Heung Yee Kuk and District Councils, on the work of the Council as well as matters of mutual concern.
  • 2.46
    Regular luncheons and social functions are organized to enhance relationship and communication between Members and senior Government officials as well as other persons or organizations.
Servicing scope of Council Business Divisions 1, 2, 3 and 4
Council Business Division 1
Council Business Division 2
Council Business Division 3
Council Business Division 4












Assistant Secretary General 1
Deputy Secretary General (Development and Resources)
Assistant Secretary General 3
Assistant Secretary General 4












Committees
  • Finance Committee
  • Establishment Subcommittee
  • Public Works Subcommittee
Panels
  • Commerce and Industry Panel
  • Development Panel
  • Environmental Affairs Panel
  • Financial Affairs Panel
  • Housing Panel
  • Information Technology and Broadcasting Panel
Committees
  • House Committee
  • Committee on Rules of Procedure
Panels
  • Food Safety and Environmental Hygiene Panel
  • Manpower Panel
  • Security Panel
  • Welfare Services Panel
Council meetings
  • Questions
  • Bills and amendments
  • Subsidiary legislation and amendments
  • Proposed resolutions and amendments
  • Motions not intended to have legislative effect and amendments
  • Tabling of subsidiary legislation, reports and papers
  • Procedural and other matters relating to Council meetings
Committees
  • Committee on Members' Interests
Committees
  • Public Accounts Committee
  • Committee on Access to the Legislature's Documents and Records
  • Parliamentary Liaison Subcommittee
Panels
  • Administration of Justice and Legal Services Panel
  • Constitutional Affairs Panel
  • Economic Development Panel
  • Education Panel
  • Health Services Panel
  • Home Affairs Panel
  • Public Service Panel
  • Transport Panel
Other Services
  • Parliamentary and corporate liaison


3.    COMPLAINTS AND RESOURCES MANAGEMENT DIVISION

Main Duties

  • 3.1
    The Complaints and Resources Management Division is headed by Principal Council Secretary 1. The main duties of the Division include:
    • providing support to Members in the operation of the LegCo Redress System;
    • executing the Commission's human resources and financial policies; and
    • processing the payment of Members' remuneration and their claims for operating expenses reimbursement.

Administrative Arrangements

  • 3.2
    The Complaints and Resources Management Division comprises the following three offices:
    • Public Complaints Office
    • Accounts Office
    • Human Resources Office
  • 3.3
    Support services to Members provided by these offices are summarized in the ensuing paragraphs.

Legislative Council Redress System

  • 3.4
    Headed by Chief Council Secretary (Complaints), the main duty of the Public Complaints Office is to provide support services for Members in the operation of the LegCo Redress System.

Redress System

  • 3.5
    Article 73 of the Basic Law provides, inter alia, that LegCo of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall "receive and handle complaints from Hong Kong residents". However, the operation of the Redress System is not defined by law. Under the Redress System, Members provide assistance, where justified, to individual members of the public and deputations who are aggrieved by government actions or policies. They also deal with representations on government policies and legislation as well as other matters of public concern. Complaints and representations about the services of public organizations, where appropriate, are also handled under the Redress System.
  • 3.6
    The Public Complaints Office assists Members in the processing of cases received under the Redress System, and reports the cases to Members. Members are directly involved in the handling of cases under the Duty Roster Member System and the Ward Duty Member System.

Duty Roster Member System and Ward Duty Member System

  • 3.7
    In groups of nine, Members take turns to be on duty each week to oversee the Redress System, and to receive and handle representations of and complaints made by deputations. The purpose of the Duty Roster Member System is to share the workload among Members.
  • 3.8
    Each Duty Roster Member also takes turns once during his/her duty week to be on "ward duty" for two hours. The Member on ward duty ("Ward Duty Member") will:
    • meet with individual members of the public by appointment; and
    • give guidance to the Public Complaints Office on the processing of cases.
  • 3.9
    If an individual member of the public/a deputation wishes to meet with a particular Member who is not on the duty roster, the request will be forwarded to the Member concerned. The Member may join the Ward Duty Member/the Duty Roster Member for the interview.
  • 3.10
    Where Members meet with individual members of the public/deputations outside the LegCo Redress System, the Public Complaints Office will not provide staffing support.

Accounting Support

  • 3.11
    Headed by Accountant, the Accounts Office is mainly responsible for overseeing the general accounting matters of the Secretariat, and processing the payment of Members' remuneration and their claims for operating expenses reimbursement.

    Members' Remuneration and Claims for Operating Expenses Reimbursement

  • 3.12
    Members' remuneration and reimbursement ceilings for operating expenses are set out in Appendix A.
  • 3.13
    A Guide for Reimbursement of Operating Expenses for Members of the Legislative Council ("the Reimbursement Guide") which sets out the guiding principles and arrangements for claiming reimbursement of various types of expenses is in Appendix B, which may also be accessed through Members' Portal.
  • 3.14
    Appendix C is an Explanatory Note on Remuneration package for Members of the Legislative Council ("the Explanatory Note"). It sets out the conditions for claiming medical allowance and obtaining the end-of-service gratuity. It also explains the taxability of Members' remuneration package and the deductibility of Members' unreimbursed operating expenses for tax purposes.
  • 3.15
    While the monthly remuneration is credited automatically to the bank account designated by the Member concerned before the end of each month, reimbursement of expenses is made, also by direct credit, as soon as a submitted claim is examined and found to be in compliance with the Reimbursement Guide. Starting from the Seventh LegCo, a new electronic submission system will be launched for Members to submit claims for reimbursement of operating expenses.
  • 3.16
    Members may wish to note that they may claim office operation expenses, setting up and information technology expenses incurred or paid from the day election results are declared, in accordance with paragraph 6 of the Reimbursement Guide. Members may also apply for advance of operating funds to finance their office operation, entertainment and travelling expenses as well as setting up and information technology expenses, details of which are set out in paragraphs 90 to 94 of the Reimbursement Guide.

Compliance Audit

  • 3.17
    Members' reimbursement claims are subject to compliance audit annually. The main purpose of the audit is to ensure that there is no conflict of interest in the use of public funds and, where necessary, interests are properly declared. Briefings are conducted periodically to enhance Members', as well as their assistants', understanding of the requirements of the audit. Further details are set out in paragraph 90 of the Guide.

Human Resources Support

  • 3.18
    Headed by Chief Council Secretary (Human Resources), the Human Resources Office is responsible for formulating and implementing manpower strategy to meet service needs by attracting, motivating and retaining talents. It is also responsible for planning and arranging training and development programmes to ensure that Secretariat staff have the necessary skills and expertise to provide effective support to Members and the Council on a sustainable basis. In addition, the Office oversees matters relating to staff relations and welfare, performance management and administration of human resources management information systems. The Office also assists in servicing the Committee on Personnel Matters under the Commission.


4.    LEGAL SERVICE DIVISION

Main Duties

  • 4.1
    Headed by Legal Adviser, the Legal Service Division provides independent legal advice and support to LegCo and its committees. The Division also provides in-house legal support to the Commission and the Secretariat. It is directly accountable to the Commission and professionally independent from the rest of the Secretariat. The Legal Adviser is also the Counsel to the Legislature, who has the general duty of advising the President and the Clerk to LegCo on legal questions arising in relation to the business or administration of the Council.

Administrative Arrangements for Delivery of Service

Legislative Matters

  • Preparing legal reports to the House Committee on bills and subsidiary legislation.
  • Providing legal advice and support to Bills Committees and subcommittees formed by the House Committee to study bills and subsidiary legislation by:
(a)attending all meetings of the Bills Committees and subcommittees to advise on substantive legal and drafting issues;
(b)assisting in the scrutiny of amendments proposed by the Administration;
(c)assisting in the drafting of amendments proposed by the relevant Bills Committees or subcommittees;
(d)giving advice on draft amendments proposed by members of the relevant Bills Committees or subcommittees upon request; and
(e)assisting in the compilation of committee reports to the House Committee.
  • Giving advice on the drafting of bills presented by Members upon request.

Non-legislative Matters

  • Advising Panels and other committees on the legal aspects of matters under consideration and attending their meetings where necessary.
  • Providing in-house legal support in legal proceedings involving the Commission, Members of the Council where the proceedings concerned arise out of their LegCo duties, and officers of the Council in the discharge of their official duties.

Other Business of the Council

Questions
  • Advising on legal issues arising from the content of draft questions, and their compliance with RoP from the legal point of view.
Motions
  • Advising on the legal aspects relating to the wording of motions, and their compliance with RoP from the legal point of view.
Council Business
  • As Counsel to the Legislature, the Legal Adviser advises the President and the Clerk to LegCo on legal questions arising in relation to the business or administration of the Council.

The Legislative Council Commission and the Legislative Council Secretariat

  • Providing in-house legal support to the Commission and the Secretariat on matters relating to the performance of their respective functions.

The Legislative Council Redress System

  • Advising Duty Roster Members and the Public Complaints Office of the Secretariat on legal issues arising from complaints received and handled under the LegCo Redress System.

Individual Members

  • Advising Members and their staff upon request on matters which arise out of Members' LegCo duties and relate to the business of the Council.


5.    INFORMATION SERVICES DIVISION

Main Duties

  • 5.1
    The Information Services Division is headed by Head (Information Services). The main duties of the Division include:
    • providing research and information services to the Council, its committees and Members;
    • conducting research studies, undertaking search tasks and producing write-ups on topical issues and other areas of Members' concern;
    • providing reference and library services for Members, Members' staff and Secretariat staff ("Members and staff");
    • providing members of the public with access to the records of the Council and its committees;
    • developing databases to facilitate searching and retrieval of information relating to Members and Council business;
    • managing the LegCo Website and the LegCo Mobile App to provide timely and up-to-date information on Members, Council business, and other activities relating to the Council and its committees;
    • hosting thematic exhibitions on matters of interest or concern to Members, as well as on how LegCo business has evolved over time to promote the general understanding of the work of the Council and its committees;
    • selecting, acquiring, managing and preserving archival records and material as corporate memory of LegCo;
    • providing reference and access service to archival records and material for Members and staff as well as members of the public;
    • performing records reviews for Access to Information Requests and conducting regular assessments on time-expired archival records according to the established policies of LegCo; and
    • developing and issuing records management guidelines and standards to ensure proper recordkeeping in the Secretariat as well as authorizing records disposal in the Secretariat.

Administrative Arrangements

  • 5.2
    The Information Services Division comprises the following three offices:
    • Research Office
    • Library
    • Archives
  • 5.3
    Support services provided by these offices are summarized in the ensuing paragraphs.

Research Services

  • 5.4
    The Research Office provides non-partisan research to the Council and its committees. Most research studies are undertaken at the requests of the Council, its committees and Members. In addition, research papers on topical issues in anticipation of Members' information need and the Council's current and future businesses are also prepared from time to time.
  • 5.5
    Several categories of research publications are prepared by the Research Office. At the requests of committees and Members, research findings will be presented either in the form of "Information Notes", which provide more elaborate analysis, or "Fact Sheets", which are short papers containing factual information and statistics. The Research Office also initiates its own research projects periodically and presents the relevant findings either as "Research Briefs", which provide a more comprehensive review on broader subject matters, or as "Essentials", which are shorter and more succinct research papers. All these research publications are prepared with a view to identifying major issues of concerns, providing overview of policy developments in Hong Kong, and supplementing with relevant experience in other places for readers' reference.
  • 5.6
    There are two further categories of research publications offering quick reference on basic facts and key figures about chosen topics: Numbers and Figures are a collection of data taken from various credible sources including both official local and international reports; and Statistical Highlights, which are concise commentary on key statistical indicators on selected topics in graphical presentation for easy understanding of readers.

Preparation of Country Overviews and Background Briefs

  • 5.7
    In addition to the above research publications, country overviews and background briefs are also prepared to provide Members with concise background information in relation to their overseas duty visits and meetings with delegations from outside Hong Kong.

Library Services

  • 5.8
    The LegCo Library is a reference library for Members and staff. A full range of library services including reference, lending and inter-library loan services are provided for them. The Library also conducts regular workshops and Library tours to enable Members and staff to familiarize themselves with its printed and electronic resources. While only Members and staff may borrow from the Library, members of the public are welcome to visit the Library to inspect records of the Council and its committees.

Library Collections

  • 5.9
    The Library has been striving to develop its collections, with a focus on constitutional-related subjects to serve as a knowledge hub on the role, functions, work, people and history of LegCo, and the development of the constitutional systems in the Mainland and other places.
  • 5.10
    The Library occupies a total area of 860 m2 and has a collection of about 50 000 volumes of books and about 40 000 volumes of LegCo records, of which over 50% are on constitutional-related subjects. The collections are maintained under three major categories, namely LegCo Records Collection, Constitutional Collection and General Collection.

Electronic Resources

  • 5.11
    The Library has endeavoured to develop different databases to provide users with quick access to LegCo information. These databases include: (a) LegCo Members Database, which provides information on Members appointed/elected to the Council since 1843; (b) Members' Interests Database, which provides information on any pecuniary interest or other material benefit received by individual Members, and that such interests might reasonably be thought by others to influence their actions, speeches or votes in LegCo, or actions taken in their capacity as LegCo Members; (c) Bills Database, which contains key dates and the amendment history of more than 7 000 bills considered by the Council since 1884; (d) Hansard Database, which provides a one-stop search for users' easy retrieval of information on business conducted in Council meetings since the Fifth LegCo in 2012-2013; and (e) Rules Database, which facilitates searching of records on amendments to individual rules of RoP, HR, and the Procedures of Finance Committee and its two Subcommittees. Members may access the electronic resources of the Library via Members' Portal.
  • 5.12
    The Library also proactively sources and subscribes to a wide range of databases to keep Members abreast of the public sentiments in Hong Kong as well as of the constitutional and legal issues in the Mainland and the rest of the world. Example of these databases include WiseNews (covering print and web news) (also available on Members' Portal), Lexis-Nexis, Westlaw China, OECD iLibrary, Database of the National People's Congress and Database of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference, Chinese Government Database, Communist Party of China Database and Britannica Online.

Library Publications

  • 5.13
    The Library produces two monthly publications entitled "Stay informed – Latest overseas policy reports" and "Stay informed – Latest parliamentary news" respectively. These publications aim to keep Members and staff informed of the latest policies, important legislative and financial proposals, major inquiry and audit reports of selected overseas jurisdictions as well as the latest development in the rules and practices of overseas parliaments. The Library also prepares a "New Title List" regarding books recently acquired on a monthly basis.

Library Facilities and Opening Hours

  • 5.14
    Workstations for access to the Library catalogue and specified electronic resources, photocopiers, colour and black and white printers, and facilities for disabled persons are provided on the Library premises.
  • 5.15
    The opening hours of the Library are from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays).

Legislative Council Website and Mobile App

  • 5.16
    The Library provides content and architecture management for the LegCo Website (http://www.legco.gov.hk). Internet users can access via the LegCo Website the latest information on LegCo business and some 330 000 digitized LegCo records, including records of the "Official Proceedings of the Legislative Council" dated back to 1844; open records of LegCo committees dated back to the 1995-1996 session; and documents considered and/or issued by the Basic Law Drafting Committee and its special groups, the Basic Law Consultative Committee, the Hong Kong Government, professional bodies and academic institutions. The Library also manages the LegCo Mobile App, which offers alerts to App users regarding the latest LegCo businesses and activities.

Archival Services

  • 5.17
    Archival services including reference, access and copying services for archival records of the Legislature are available for Members and staff as well as members of the public. The Archives offers guidance and assistance in identifying primary sources on topics relating to its archival holdings. Reviews of time-expired archival records and those records which have not reached their maximum closure periods but are requested for access under Access to Information Requests are carried out according to the established policy of LegCo. Information on the newly released archival records is published on the LegCo Website. Reading room facilities and services are available for on-site records consultation. Members may also use the reading rooms of the Archives to inspect confidential records and materials provided to the Council or its committees through arrangement of the respective clerks.
  • 5.18
    The Archives welcomes Members' donation of records and material as part of the institutional memory of the Legislature. The donated items will be processed professionally and preserved in the optimal environment of the Archives Repository for access and use.
  • 5.19
    The Archives also provides advice on records management and conducts workshops and tours of the facilities from time to time to familiarize Members and staff with its services and holdings.

Electronic Archives Catalogue

  • 5.20
    The Archives has developed an electronic Catalogue for Archival Records of the Legislature ("CAROL") to facilitate the searching of information and reservation of archival records for on-site consultation. CAROL has been made available for access via the LegCo Website since mid-2015 and may be accessed via Members' Portal.

Opening Hours

  • 5.21
    The opening hours of the Archives are from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday (except public holidays).


6.    PUBLIC INFORMATION DIVISION

Main Duties

  • 6.1
    The Public Information Division is headed by Head (Public Information). The main duties of the Division include:
  • providing publicity and public relations advice for the Council and its committees on matters concerning Council business;
  • maintaining close liaison with media representatives and facilitating their coverage of meetings and activities of the Council and its committees;
  • handling press and public enquiries in relation to Council business;
  • issuing press releases on all Council business related matters;
  • televising and broadcasting live on the LegCo Website and internal broadcasting system all open meetings and official media briefings of the Council and its committees, and providing live audio/video signals of these meetings and briefings to news organizations for broadcasting and reporting purposes;
  • producing official publications and publicity materials to inform the public of the work and functions of the Legislature such as the Annual Report, videos and fact sheets on LegCo;
  • providing photographic service for all official events and local visits of the Council and its committees;
  • maintaining the LegCo YouTube Channel for posting video recordings of all open meetings and official media briefings of the Council and its committees and local visits, as well as managing the LegCo Flickr Photo Album, Photo and Video Gallery on the LegCo Website and LegCo Photo Archives on Members' Portal for posting photos of Members' official events and activities for Members' use;
  • providing education and visitor services such as guided tours of the Complex and "Meeting with Members" programme for the public;
  • coordinating and servicing Members' meetings with visiting delegations;
  • maintaining the education facilities in the Complex;
  • developing LegCo branded souvenir items and operating a Souvenir Shop in the Complex to enhance visitors' experience; and
  • providing reception service for visitors.

Media Facilities and Publicity

Use of Press Conference Rooms

  • 6.2
    Members can reserve Press Conference Rooms 1A and 1B on 1/F of the Complex to conduct media briefings on matters relating to Council business. The opening hours of the Press Conference Rooms may vary depending on the opening times of the Complex.
  • 6.3
    Bookings are processed on a first-come-first-served basis and each booking shall not exceed two hours. The President and committee chairmen conducting official press conferences will have priority over individual Members to use these rooms. Any other persons may not use the podiums of the Press Conference Rooms for any purpose, including conducting press conferences or media briefings with Members, or posing for photos with Members.
  • 6.4
    To facilitate Members' booking of various rooms in the Complex, a self-administered Members' Meeting Room Booking System ("MRBS") is currently under development by the Secretariat. Prior to full implementation of MRBS, Members wishing to book the two Press Conference Rooms during office hours (i.e. from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Monday to Friday, except public holidays) should first direct the request to the Secretariat's booking hotline at 3919 3026 to avoid clashes. If the requested timeslot is available, Members will be contacted by the Division to provide booking details including date, time, venue, Members' names, subject of the media briefing and contact number via email at pid@legco.gov.hk for booking confirmation.
  • 6.5
    In addition, the public address system in the Press Conference Rooms is available for use during office hours and Members are required to direct the request to the Division via email at least two hours in advance.
  • 6.6
    Members wishing to book the two Press Conference Rooms during non-office hours may contact the Security Control Room at 3919 3044 provided that no public address system is required.
  • 6.7
    Cancellation of bookings should also be made to the Division via email as soon as possible if the reserved Press Conference Rooms or public address system are no longer required.

Use of speaker podiums at Press Positions

  • 6.8
    Members and public officers can use the speaker podiums at the Press Positions on 1/F and 2/F of the Complex to conduct "stand-up" media briefings. Deputations attending a meeting or guests attending a LegCo official event are also allowed to use the speaker podiums, provided that the interviews are related to matters discussed at the meeting or related to the event. The use of the speaker podiums is on a first-come-first-served basis and no booking is required.
  • 6.9
    Any other persons should not use the speaker podiums for any purpose, including posing for photos with Members or accompanying Members to conduct briefings or interviews.

Use of Press Interview Rooms

  • 6.10
    Members can reserve the Press Interview Rooms on 1/F and 1M/F of the Complex to conduct interviews with news organizations when the rooms are not in use for official purposes.
  • 6.11
    Members wishing to book these rooms should inform the Division via email at pid@legco.gov.hk with booking details to avoid clashes. Bookings are processed on a first-come-first-served basis.

Official media briefings

  • 6.12
    The Division arranges and assists in all official media briefings or press conferences conducted by the President and committee chairmen. The Division will also help coordinate official media briefings by Members after the delivery of the Policy Address and the Budget Speech.

Press marshalling and photographic services

  • 6.13
    The Division provides photographic services for all official events and local visits of the Council and its committees. Press marshalling services will also be provided if media representatives are invited.

Contact list of LegCo-beat reporters

  • 6.14
    The Division compiles and updates a list of LegCo-beat reporters from time to time to facilitate Members to keep contacts with the media for the purpose of carrying out Council business related matters. Members can download the list via Members' Portal.

Requests for interviews

  • 6.15
    Reporters with requests for interviews with individual Members can either approach the Members direct or contact the Division to obtain the telephone numbers of the Members concerned.

Arrangements during meetings of the Council and its committees

  • 6.16
    Staff members of the Division will be on duty during meetings of the Council and its committees to provide the necessary assistance to Members, media representatives and members of the public.

Meeting footage

  • 6.17
    The TV Production Team of the Division provides high-resolution footage download service of all open meetings and official media briefings of the Council and its committees for Members. Footage of the current LegCo session is available through the self-service designated PCs installed at the LegCo Library. Members may contact the Division to download footage from previous LegCo sessions, which is subject to a service charge.

Photos and videos

  • 6.18
    Photos of open meetings, official media briefings, visits and official events of the Council and its committees taken by the Division are uploaded to the LegCo Flickr Photo Album, Photo and Video Gallery on the LegCo Website, Photo Gallery on the LegCo Mobile Application, as well as LegCo Photo Archives on Members' Portal. Members are welcome to download and share the photos for Council business related purpose'.
  • 6.19
    Video recordings of all open meetings and official media briefings of the Council and its committees are uploaded to the LegCo YouTube Channel, while videos taken for local visits and official events are uploaded to the LegCo YouTube Channel as well as Photo and Video Gallery on the LegCo Website. Members may share the videos for Council business related purpose.
  • 6.20
    General viewers of these photos and videos may also share/link the content on/to other social media sharing websites and mobile applications, blogs or email accounts.

Corporate Liaison and Public Education3

Members' meetings with visiting delegations

  • 6.21
    The Division coordinates Members' meetings with visiting delegations referred by government departments and consuls-general in Hong Kong. These meetings provide Members with the opportunities to brief visitors on the work of the Council and the latest developments in Hong Kong. Circulars will be issued to invite Members' participation in such meetings.

Booking of guided tours of the Complex

  • 6.22
    To enhance visitors' understanding of the work of the Council, guided tours of the Complex are arranged from Monday to Sunday throughout the year (except six public holidays4). To facilitate Members' guests to visit the Complex, tours are available for booking by Members for their guests. Circulars will be issued to invite Members to make such bookings.

Meeting and engaging with the public

  • 6.23
    The Division organizes education programmes for students. Members can take part in a "Meet the Students" session or participate in the role-play on the work of the Council organized for students following the guided tours for school groups. Under the "Meeting with Members" programme, informal gatherings are held for Members and students to meet and chat in a relaxed atmosphere. Students are free to discuss with Members topics relating to the work of the Council, social issues and their interested topics. New initiatives such as online meetings with students are integrated into the programme from time to time to develop different forms of engagement. The annual summer internship programme organized for tertiary students also incorporates "Meeting with Members" sessions. Circulars/emails will be issued to invite Members' participation in such programmes.

Reception and Legislative Council Souvenirs

Reception service

  • 6.24
    Members' visitors are allowed to gain admission to the Complex with the permission of Members. To facilitate and expedite the registration of Members' visitors at reception counters of the Complex for the issue of temporary admission passes, Members are requested to log on to the Electronic Visitor Admission System (EVAS) to enter the information of the visitors and the details of the meetings prior to the arrival of the visitors. For visitors arriving on short-notice or walk-in visitors, confirmation of the Members' Offices will be sought before they are registered for the issue of temporary admission passes.

Souvenir Shop

  • 6.25
    A Souvenir Shop has been set up in the Main Lobby on G/F of the Complex for the sale of a variety of LegCo branded souvenirs. Members are welcome to visit the Shop to pick the souvenirs for personal and official use. The LegCo Souvenir catalogue is available on the webpage of the Shop. The Shop also offers souvenirs for Members' purchase. Members may contact the Shop at 3919 3186 or via email at souvenir@legco.gov.hk to obtain a list of these souvenirs.

7.    TRANSLATION AND INTERPRETATION DIVISION

Main Duties

  • 7.1
    The Translation & Interpretation Division is headed by Head (Translation & Interpretation). The main duties of the Division include:
    • producing the Official Record of Proceedings of the Legislative Council;
    • translating all Council papers including committee papers, minutes and reports;
    • supervising simultaneous interpretation services in English, Cantonese, Putonghua and sign language for the Council and its committees;
    • overseeing the provision of translation and on-site interpretation services between Chinese/English and eight languages (i.e. Urdu, Hindi, Nepali, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia, Tagalog, Punjabi and Vietnamese) for committee meetings and scheduled meetings held under the Redress System upon the requests of members of the public who speak these languages;
    • providing consecutive interpretation service for non-bilingual Members at meetings with deputations and overseas visitors, if necessary;
    • providing transcription service for the Council and its committees; and
    • coordinating the compilation of the Drafting and Editing Manual, providing in-house language advice to various Divisions of the Secretariat, and giving input to language training programmes.

Administrative Arrangements

  • 7.2
    A draft version of the Official Record of Proceedings of the Legislative Council is produced in three working days after each Council meeting. A confirmed version incorporating amendments proposed by Members and public officers is issued within four working days after the release of the draft. A translated version is published normally within 24 working days after the relevant Council meeting.
  • 7.3
    In general, committee papers are translated before the meetings.


8.    ADMINISTRATION DIVISION

Main Duties

  • 8.1
    The Administration Division is headed by Principal Council Secretary 2. Its main duties include:
    • providing secretariat support for the Commission and its committees, namely the Committee on the Use of Legislative Council Square, Appeals Committee on the Use of Legislative Council Square and Committee on Facilities and Services;
    • providing support services for Members;
    • overseeing the estate management and security of the Council's premises;
    • overseeing the improvement/alteration works in the Complex and offices of Members and Secretariat;
    • providing administrative support for other Divisions of the Secretariat;
    • overseeing the development, support and operation of information technology ("IT") infrastructure and business applications for Members and the Secretariat; and
    • overseeing the implementation of the expansion project of the Complex.

Administrative Arrangements

  • 8.2
    The Administration Division comprises the following offices/team:
    • Estate and Security Office
    • General Administration Office
    • Information Technology Office
    • Special Duties Team
  • 8.3
    Relevant support services for Members are highlighted in the ensuing paragraphs.

Access to the Legislative Council Complex and Members' Offices in CITIC Tower

Access control

  • 8.4
    Members and their staff are issued with access cards for entry to the Complex and access to designated locations (including Members' offices) inside the Complex and/or CITIC Tower. The number of staff access cards for each Member is subject to a ceiling of 15. All cardholders are required to display their access cards prominently at all times while in the Complex, notify the duty security officer of any loss of access cards, and return the access cards to the Estate and Security Office when they cease to be Members or Members' staff.
  • 8.5
    Members' staff are only allowed to access their own office floors on 6/F to 8/F of the Complex or 13/F or 15/F of CITIC Tower. During a meeting of the Council, the House Committee or the Finance Committee and one hour before and after the meeting, two staff of each Member are allowed to access the floor on which the venue of the relevant meeting is located (i.e. 1/F or 2/F of the Complex). The relevant Members' staff need not be designated and the Secretariat issues two access passes to each Member for such purpose. The access passes are transferable for use by staff of other Members. Both the Members who lend their access passes to other Members or borrow other Members' access passes are held responsible for the use of those access passes. However, while the Council, the House Committee or the Finance Committee is sitting, all Members' staff are not allowed to enter the relevant meeting venue even they have the access passes.

Security screening

  • 8.6
    All persons seeking to enter the Complex (except persons holding valid access cards issued by the Secretariat) are required to produce their proof of identity to the responsible Secretariat staff for inspection and registration, and to pass through a metal detector archway and have their belongings screened by an X-ray machine at Public Entrance 2 of the Complex. When the Amber or Red Alert is issued by the Secretariat, all persons seeking to enter the Complex are required to go through the security screening procedures.
  • 8.7
    Members and their staff seeking to enter CITIC Tower or their offices there are not required to go through the security screening procedures.

Parking facilities

Parking of Members' vehicles and bicycles in the Complex
  • 8.8
    Members whose offices are in the Complex or CITIC Tower may park their vehicles (with a carpark label issued by the Secretariat and displayed at all times) at the LegCo Carpark ("Carpark") on LG1/F of the Complex. Members may apply for and cancel their carpark labels by using the LegCo Administrative Support System ("LASS") (which may also be accessed via Members' Portal). Carpark labels no longer needed should be returned to the Secretariat within seven working days.
  • 8.9
    A Member may park only one vehicle at any one time on weekdays (except public holidays) and up to two vehicles on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. The second vehicle of a Member must be parked in one of the visitor parking spaces subject to availability and on a first-come-first-served basis, and prior booking is not entertained.
  • 8.10
    A Member may park only one bicycle at any one time at a designated area outside Members' Entrance 1 on G/F of the Complex ("the designated area"). No riding of bicycle is allowed in any areas managed by the Commission.
    Parking of visitors' vehicles/bicycles in the Complex
  • 8.11
    A Member may reserve for their visitors (a) up to two vehicle parking spaces in the Carpark and (b) up to two bicycle parking spaces in the designated area for not more than four hours on any single day from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm. Use of those parking spaces is free-of-charge.
  • 8.12
    Booking of those parking spaces may be made two weeks in advance but not later than 24 hours prior to the intended day of parking, and will be processed on a first-come-first-served basis. For security reason, no overnight parking of visitors' vehicles/bicycles is allowed. Booking should be directed to the Estate and Security Office at 2537 1935 or by email: so@legco.gov.hk.
Chargers for electrical vehicles
  • 8.13
    There are 15 parking spaces equipped with chargers for electrical vehicles. Members are advised to drive away their vehicles immediately after charging so that other vehicles may use the chargers.
Parking in CITIC Tower
  • 8.14
    Members whose offices are in CITIC Tower may rent parking spaces in the car park of CITIC Tower at their own cost. The prevailing charges are as follow:
    • monthly parking smart card deposit : HK$100 per card
    • floating space : HK$4800 per month; and
    • designated space : HK$6,000 per month
  • 8.15
    Applications for parking spaces in CITIC Tower shall be made in writing to the Building Management Office of CITIC Tower ("BMO/CITIC"). For details, please contact BMO/CITIC on 2104 6222. Bicycle parking facilities are not available in CITIC Tower.

Use of the LegCo car badge/label/sticker/lapel pin

  • 8.16
    Members may contact the General Administration Office at 3919 3026 for purchase of the LegCo car badge, windscreen label and car body sticker at their own cost. Those items should only be displayed on serving Members' vehicles registered with the Secretariat. Members should notify the Secretariat when there are changes to the registration numbers of the vehicles displaying those items. A lapel pin is also available from the Secretariat for exclusive use by Members at their own cost.

Facilities and Services in the Legislative Council Complex and CITIC offices

Members' Offices

  • 8.17
    Each Member is provided with a Member's Office on one of the 6/F to 8/F of the Complex or 13/F or 15/F of CITIC Tower, and it should be used for LegCo-related business. Members' Offices are provided either in the form of individual offices or combined offices shared by two or more Members in the Complex, or in the form of individual cellular offices for Members and open plan workstations for their staff in CITIC offices. The "User guidelines and conditions for the use of Members' Offices in the Legislative Council Complex and CITIC Tower" are in Appendix D.

Chamber and Conference Rooms

  • 8.18
    The Chamber and the five Conference Rooms (i.e. Conference Room 1, Conference Room 2 (which may be divided into two conference rooms: Conference Rooms 2A and 2B), Conference Room 3, Conference Room 4 and Conference Room 5 (which is for holding closed meetings only)) are reserved for meetings of the Council and its committees. Council meetings are normally held in the Chamber. Meetings of committees may be held in the five Conference Rooms.
  • 8.19
    The Chamber and all the Conference Rooms will be opened one hour before the first meeting to be held in the relevant venue for setting-up and will be closed 15 minutes after the meeting has ended.

Meeting rooms

  • 8.20
    Members may reserve the meeting rooms set out in Appendix E through the Members' Meeting Room Booking System panel installed outside each of those rooms or via Members' Portal. Members are required to observe the relevant rules and conditions as set out in Appendix F.

Members' Activity Room

  • 8.21
    Members' Activity Room (Room 504 on 5/F of the Complex) is equipped with fitness equipment and shower facilities for Members' exclusive use. No guest is allowed in the room.

Harbourview Corner of the Roof Garden

  • 8.22
    The Roof Garden is on 5/F of the Complex and open to all Members and Secretariat staff. Members' Offices and divisions of the Secretariat may use the Harbourview Corner of the Roof Garden for office functions subject to its availability. Booking may be made not more than eight weeks in advance by contacting the General Administration Office at 3919 3026 during office hours.

Lactation Rooms

  • 8.23
    Two lactation rooms on G/F of the Complex are available for use by female Complex users with valid access cards issued by the Secretariat.

Lockers

  • 8.24
    There are 70 lockers outside Conference Rooms 2 and 3 for use by Members on a need basis.

Coffee Corner

  • 8.25
    Coffee Corner (Room 503 on 5/F of the Complex) is for use by Members and directorate staff of the Secretariat. They may invite their guests to the Coffee Corner. The cost for the food and beverage purchased is charged to the Social Functions Accounts of the Members and directorate staff concerned.

Social Functions Account

  • 8.26
    Social Functions Accounts for individual Members are set up and kept to record expenses incurred in various social activities, expenses on meals arranged for Members during Council meetings, Guest Day Lunches and food purchased at the Coffee Corner, as well as expenses on purchasing LegCo branded souvenirs. Members are billed via e-Statements at the beginning of each month for the expenditures incurred in the preceding month.

Cafeteria

  • 8.27
    The Cafeteria is on G/F of the Complex for all authorized users including Members and their staff, Secretariat staff, reporters and members of the public authorized to enter the Complex.
  • 8.28
    The administrative arrangements for the use of the relevant facilities in the Complex are detailed in Appendix G.

Administrative Support

Steward Services and Catering Services

  • 8.29
    Steward services are provided during meetings of the Council and its committees.
  • 8.30
    Meals are normally served for Members in the Dining Hall on 1/F of the Complex when Council meetings are held. Dining service may be arranged there depending on the progress of Council meetings. The cost for the meals is shared by Members and charged to their Social Functions Accounts. The charging arrangements are under review and the Secretariat will inform Members of the details in due course.
  • 8.31
    Guest Day Lunches for Members and their guests are normally held in the Dining Hall on every Tuesday and Friday from mid-February to early December 2022 except for days when official lunches are hosted by the President.
  • 8.32
    Luncheons and other social functions are organized on a regular basis to facilitate exchanges between Members and senior government officials as well as other guests or organizations.

Despatch service

  • 8.33
    Daily despatch service is provided for Members' Offices in the Complex and CITIC Tower from Monday to Friday (except public holidays). Members may also collect their mails from the pigeon lockers located in the Receipt and Despatch Office (on G/F of the Complex next to Public Entrance 2).
  • 8.34
    To save paper and promote green culture in LegCo, the Secretariat provides soft copies of documents to Members via emails and Members' Portal. Members are encouraged to minimize the use of hard copies as far as practicable.

Central messaging service

  • 8.35
    The Secretariat will send urgent messages to Members through the central messaging service when necessary. Those messages will be sent to Members' personal mobile phones via the short message service.

Use of the LegCo emblem for name cards and stationery

  • 8.36
    The copyright of the LegCo emblem belongs to the Commission. Members may use the emblem on their name cards and stationery. A graphic manual of the emblem together with a soft copy of the emblem has been prepared for Members' reference. Please contact the General Administration Office at 3919 3018 for a copy of the manual.

Booking of VIP Facilities

  • 8.37
    Members are entitled to use the VIP facilities at various immigration control points such as the Hong Kong International Airport. For details, please contact the General Administration Office at 3919 3026.

Information Technology Support

  • 8.38
    The Commission has supported a series IT initiatives as highlighted below to promote a paperless LegCo and facilitate Members and the Secretariat to streamline workflow and enhance operational efficiency.

Members' Portal

  • 8.39
    Members' Portal is a one-stop online work platform for Members' use only. On Members' Portal, Members can handle a wide range of LegCo-related business online by accessing the following services/systems:
Meetings/activities and papers (seven days) and related systems
(1)a schedule of all Council and committee meetings and other activities to be held within seven days and the related documents including agendas and papers;
(2)the electronic copy of the script(s) for the Council meeting(s) to be held within seven days;
(3)system for accessing the agenda and papers for the meeting of the Commission to be held within seven days, provided that the Members concerned are members of the Commission;
(4)LegCo procedures and related matters;
(5)System for Signing Up for Meetings and Activities ("SSMA") through which Members can, among other things, signify membership for all committees/panels and register for official activities;
(6)System for Notice/Application Forms for Council Meetings ("SNAF") through which Members can give notices on all Council meeting business online;
Application for use of services / facilities
(7)LegCo Administrative Support System ("LASS") through which Members may provide/update their biographical and contact information, submit applications for various administrative and support services provided by the Secretariat including access cards and LegCo carpark labels, and notify the President of their departure from Hong Kong.
(8)Members' Meeting Room Booking System ("MRBS") which is a self-help system for Members to reserve meeting rooms based on real-time availability of those rooms;
(9)Electronic Visitor Admission System ("EVAS") through which Members can register in advance the information of their visitors to the Complex or their offices.
WiseNews and Resource Centre
(10)WiseNews which is an online platform for news clipping and searching;
(11)Handbook on services provided by the Legislative Council Secretariat for Members which details the main duties of various divisions of the Secretariat and the services and facilities for Members;
(12)Library System through which Members can access the various electronic resources maintained by the LegCo Library;
(13)Redress System Reference Manual which provides information on the LegCo redress system and related matters;
(14)Catalogue for Archival Records ("CAROL") which contains a list of records preserved by the Archives and related information;
(15)Photo Archives which contains photos of Members' activities that were taken by the Secretariat and may be downloaded by Members for Council business-related purposes;
Operating expenses reimbursement
(16)Expense Claim System ("ECS") through which Members can submit their claims for reimbursement of operating expenses; and A Guide for reimbursement of operating expenses which sets out the guiding principles and arrangements for claiming reimbursement;
Registration of interests
(17)System for Registration of Members' Interests ("SRMI") through which Members can register their interests online; and Guidelines on Registration of Interests;
LegCo email and Contacts
(18)Microsoft Outlook email account which facilitates exchange of messages between Members and the Secretariat and the despatch of documents to Members by electronic means;
(19)Members' Contact Directory;
(20)LegCo Secretariat Telephone Directory;
(21)Government Telephone Directory; and
(22)Contact list of LegCo-beat reporters.

Other major IT support services and facilities

  • 8.40
    Besides Members' Portal, various other IT support services and facilities are provided to facilitate Members' participation in meetings of the Council and committees:
(1)the Electronic Voting System ("EVS") in the Chamber and Conference Rooms 1, 2 and 3 provides both voting and request-to-speak queuing management functions for meetings of the Council, Finance Committee and its two subcommittees, House Committee, Panels and other committees;
(2)the Information Display System ("IDS") installed in the Chamber and Conference Room 1, under which Members can (a) view, edit and print their documents; (b) browse the Internet; (c) receive meeting information such as the number and names of Members waiting to speak, the title and text of a motion and its amendment being voted on, voting results, and presentations conducted at and live broadcast of the meetings held in other conference rooms;
(3)the LegCo Mobile App provides a convenient way for Members to access LegCo-related information including LegCo Calendar, LegCo Photo Gallery, Members' Contacts, Webcast, e-Books, Social Media Sharing, Press Release and Push Notification;
(4)the Annunciator System provides, through annunciators installed at various locations in the Complex, meeting information including live meeting broadcast, meeting schedules, meeting agendas, the number and names of Members waiting to speak during a Council meeting, voting results and ad-hoc real-time information;
(5)the LegCo Webcasting System enables Members to access live broadcast of open meetings and official press conferences of the Council and its committees as well as their archive records. Both audio and video webcasts are provided. Members may also access the system online through computer workstations, mobile devices and the LegCo Mobile App;
(6)the Members' Participation Records System is a web-based system through which Members can view the records of their participation in Council business and other activities of LegCo; and
(7)Wireless Internet access points are installed at various locations in the Complex and CITIC offices.


1 Deputy Secretary General (Development and Resources Management) also performs the duties of Assistant Secretary General 2.
2 Please see paragraph 8.39 of this Handbook for details about Members' Portal
3 In view of the development of the COVID-19 epidemic, such face-to-face activities will be switched to online mode or suspended as necessary.
4 The Complex closes on the New Year Day, first and second days of Chinese New Year, HKSAR Establishment Day, National Day and Christmas Day.
Introduction
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Handbook on Services Provided for Members by the Legislative Council Secretariat
Issued on 20 December 2021

Introduction
Council Business Divisions 1, 2, 3 and 4
Complaints and Resources Management Division
Legislative Council Redress System
Accounting Support
Human Resources Support
Legal Service Division
Information Services Division
Research Services
Library Services
Archival Services
Public Information Division
Media Facilities and Publicity
Corporate Liaison and Public Education
Reception and Legislative Council Souvenirs
Translation and Interpretation Division
Administration Division
Access to the Legislative Council Complex and Members' Offices in CITIC Tower
Facilities and Services in the Legislative Council Complex and CITIC offices
Administrative Support
Information Technology Support