Provisional Legislative Council

PLC Paper No. ESC 64
(These minutes have been
seen by the Administration)

Ref : CB1/F/3/2

Establishment Subcommittee of the
Provisional Legislative Council

Minutes of the meeting held at the Legislative Council Chamber on Wednesday, 4 February 1998, at 10:45 am

Members present:

Hon NG Leung-sing (Deputy Chairman)
Hon WONG Siu-yee
Dr Hon Raymond HO Chung-tai, JP
Hon Mrs Peggy LAM, JP
Hon Henry WU
Hon CHAN Wing-chan
Hon TSANG Yok-sing
Hon Kennedy WONG Ying-ho
Dr Hon Charles YEUNG Chun-kam
Hon YEUNG Yiu-chung
Hon IP Kwok-him
Hon Bruce LIU Sing-lee
Hon CHENG Yiu-tong
Hon CHOY So-yuk

Members absent :

Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-Hong (Chairman)
Hon James TIEN Pei-chun, JP
Dr Hon David LI Kwok-po, JP
Hon Henry TANG Ying-yen, JP
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung, JP
Hon HUI Yin-fat, JP
Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
Hon Paul CHENG Ming-fun, JP
Hon Timothy FOK Tsun-ting

Public officers attending :

Mrs Carrie LAM, JP
Deputy Secretary for the Treasury

Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service

Mr David LAN, JP
Secretary for Home Affairs

Mr John WAN
Principal Assistant Secretary for Home Affairs

Miss Sarah WU, JP
Director of Information Services

Ms Linda LAI
Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Services (New Airport)

Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Services A

Mr Tony YEN, JP
Law Draftsman

Law Officer (International Law)

Mr Stephen LAM, JP
Director of Administration and Development, Department of Justice

Deputy Director (Administration), Department of Justice

Mr Stephen WONG
Deputy Solicitor General

Mr Gilbert MO
Deputy Law Draftsman (Bilingual Drafting and Administration)

Mr Joseph LAI, JP
Deputy Head, Efficiency Unit

Mrs Teresa LOK, JP
Assistant Director of Management Services

Principal Management Services Officer, Management Services Agency

Mr Dominic S W WONG, JP
Secretary for Housing

Mr Andrew R WELLS, JP
Deputy Secretary for Housing

Mr Stephen FISHER
Deputy Director of Administration

Mrs Lilian WONG
Director of Protocol

Miss Jennifer MAK
Director Corporate Services, Housing Department

Mrs Winifred CHUNG
Assistant Director (Administration), Housing Department

Mrs Jenny WALLIS
Deputy Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport (Culture & Sport)

Clerk in attendance :

Ms LEUNG Siu-kum
Chief Assistant Secretary (1)2

Staff in attendance :

Ms Pauline NG
Assistant Secretary General 1

Ms Anita SIT
Senior Assistant Secretary (1)8

As Mr WONG Yu-hong, Chairman of the Subcommittee was out of town, Mr NG Leung-sing, Deputy Chairman, took the chair.

EC(97-98)55Proposed -

  1. creation of a new rank and post of Director of Information Services (D6) offset by the deletion of the rank and post of Director of Information Services (D5); and

  2. creation of two permanent posts of one Administrative Officer Staff Grade B (D3) and one Principal Executive Officer (D1) offset by the deletion of one post of Chief Executive Officer (MPS 45-49) in the Information Services Department and one post of Administrative Officer Staff Grade B1 (D4) in the Offices of the Chief Secretary for Administration and the Financial Secretary of the Government Secretariat

    in the Information Services Department to cope with the demand from the policy bureaux and departments for more effective public relations support

2. On the rationale for upgrading the post of Director of Information Services (DIS) from D5 to D6, the Secretary for Home Affairs (SHA) explained that since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government, both the local and overseas communities were getting more concerned about policies of the HKSAR Government and Hong Kong's recent situation. The workload and the significance of the role of the Information Services Department (ISD) in promoting Hong Kong's positive image had thus increased considerably. In addition, after the merger of the Information Coordinator's Office and ISD, DIS had taken on the responsibilities of the former Information Coordinator in formulating Government's overall public relations (PR) strategy as well as managing the six Secretariat Press Office teams serving the policy bureaux. It was therefore necessary to upgrade the DIS post to D6 level to reflect these changes and to enable a senior officer of appropriate seniority to lead the Department.

3. Members noted that part of the reasons for upgrading the DIS was to adopt a more proactive approach to create greater public awareness of civic responsibilities. In this respect, a member enquired about the role and responsibilities of ISD with respect to the Legislative Council (LegCo) Elections in May 1998. SHA advised that ISD had provided backstage support in the publicity campaigns. ISD was responsible for, inter alia, the formulation of the promotion strategy, planning of activities, design and production of publicity materials, collecting feedback from the public, and providing professional advice and services to the bureaux and departments concerned. In addition, the Department was also responsible for overseas publicity and the handling of enquiries from overseas media in collaboration with the concerned bureaux and departments.

4. A member opined that apart from the publicity efforts, the Administration should also convey to the local and overseas communities that the LegCo Elections, which complied with the stipulations in the Basic Law, would be conducted in an open and fair manner. SHA assured that the Administration would make every endeavour to publicize the correct message about the Elections. DIS further advised that ISD had already worked out the publicity themes for the different stages of the Elections with the Constitutional Affairs Bureau and the Home Affairs Bureau.

5. As regards the conveyance to people living in the Mainland of information about Hong Kong Affairs, DIS advised that ISD had established contacts with the Hong Kong offices of the mainland media agencies and had been providing them with information and publicity materials for their onward transmission to their municipalities or cities. Besides, there were adequate channels for people in the Mainland to have access to Hong Kong news through Hong Kong newspapers being sold in the Mainland. As regards Government's policy on immigration matters, DIS said that the Immigration Department had been making much efforts in explaining its policies through its established communication mechanisms with its counterpart authorities in the Mainland.

6. On the mechanism for determining the ranking of the head of a department, the Deputy Secretary for the Civil Service (DS/CS) advised that the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service considered a number of factors, including -

  1. the importance of the department to Hong Kong economically, socially, internally and externally;

  2. the financial impact of the operation of the department on Government funds;

  3. the complexity of the matters to be dealt with by the department;

  4. the size of the department;

  5. the leadership requirements on the head of the department;

  6. the market value of the head of department outside the civil service taking into account the qualification and experience that the incumbent possesses;

  7. the responsibility of the head of department; and

  8. the relationship between that department and other departments/bureaux.

As for the upgrading of the DIS post, the Civil Service Bureau had looked into the case and fully support the upgrading on account of the need to ensure that Government's PR strategies were executed effectively both locally and overseas. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service had also been consulted on this proposal and was satisfied that the upgrading is justified.

7. A member enquired whether there would be suitable candidates from within the department to fill the proposed DIS post in view of the serious wastage of senior departmental officers in the past year. In reply, DS/CS advised that the selection of an incumbent for the post would be an exercise separate from the present proposal. Upon upgrading of the DIS post, the Administration would look for a candidate of appropriate seniority and background to fill the post. The Deputy Chairman advised that the matter could be taken up by the Public Service Panel.

8. A member sought clarification on the present arrangement for filling the Press Secretary/Chief Executive (PrS/CE) post. SHA and DIS explained that since the establishment of HKSAR Government, an Administrative Officer Staff Grade B (AOSGB)(D3) officer was posted to work as PrS/CE to provide support to the Chief Executive in PR matters. To accommodate the officer, a supernumerary post of AOSGB(D3) was created and held against a permanent AOSGB1(D4) post under the establishment of the Offices of the Chief Secretary for Administration and the Financial Secretary. Under the reorganised structure, the PrS/CE was responsible for the effective PR service to the Chief Executive under DIS. To regularise this arrangement, a permanent PrS/CE post in ISD ranked at AOSGB(D3) was proposed to be offset by the deletion of the permanent AOSGB1(D4) post.

9. A member enquired if the impending establishment of the Information Technology Bureau would have any impact on the organisation of ISD. SHA and DIS advised that the impact on ISD would not be significantly different from that on other government departments. Notwithstanding this, they agreed with the member that information technology was closely related to the development of communication facilities and thus would affect the way ISD framed and transmitted its messages. DIS assured that ISD would keep abreast with the state of information technology and make the best use of it for enhancing the effectiveness of its work.

10. A member commented that at present, the various Chinese and English titles for heads of different departments such as "Commissioner" and "Director" were rather confusing. DS/CS advised that the Administration was aware of the discrepancies in the Chinese versions of some titles and was reviewing them.

11. The Chairman reflected some members’ concern about the role of Radio Hong Kong in explaining Government policies. He suggested the Administration to review the relationship between ISD and the Radio Television Hong Kong.

12. The item was voted on and endorsed.

EC(97-98)52Proposed retention of a supernumerary post of Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (D2) in the Economic Services Bureau of the Government Secretariat for a period of one year with effect from 1 April 1998 to oversee issues related to the new airport in the initial year of its operation

13. Members enquired if the proposed extension of Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Services (New Airport) post up to 31 March 1999 would be adequate in view of the recent decision to defer the commissioning of the new airport to July 1998. The Principal Assistant Secretary for Economic Services (New Airport) advised that at the present moment, it was envisaged that the post would be required up to 31 March 1999. The situation would be reviewed at a later stage to determine if further extension of the post would be required or whether the remaining tasks could be taken up by another directorate officer.

14. The item was voted on and endorsed.

EC(97-98)53Proposed creation of the following posts in the Department of Justice to cope with the increasing workload and responsibilities placed on the Department -

  1. a permanent post of Deputy Principal Government Counsel (DL2) with effect from 27 February 1998 in the Law Drafting Division; and

  2. two permanent posts of Deputy Principal Government Counsel (DL2) with effect from 1 April 1998 in the Legal Policy Division and International Law Division respectively

DPGC post in the Bilingual Drafting Unit

15. A member expressed his support for creating a Deputy Principal Government Counsel (DPGC) post in the Bilingual Drafting Unit (BDU). He enquired about the background for the deployment of a DPGC from the English Drafting Unit (EDU) to the BDU in July 1997. The Administration explained that upon the completion of the translation of about 500 existing ordinances in English, the former Chinese Drafting and Translation Unit was restructured into the BDU with a DPGC post deleted. It was however subsequently revealed that the increasing workload of the BDU could not be coped with by the two DPGCs in the unit. Before seeking to create an additional DPGC post in BDU, the department at that time found it feasible to deploy temporarily a DPGC from the EDU as a trial arrangement. While the scope and volume of work of BDU continued to increase steadily, EDU resumed a heavy work schedule necessitating the return of the DPGC from BDU. Hence, it was necessary to create an additional DPGC post in BDU to cope with the work requirements.

16. Responding to a member's enquiry about the span of supervision in BDU, the Administration explained that notwithstanding the implementation of the Bilingual Legislation Programme since 1987, it had been a habitual practice for the drafting of legislation to be done first in English in most cases and translated into Chinese afterwards. While the English drafts were usually prepared by more experienced draftsmen who were mostly expatriates and could work independently, the Chinese drafts were prepared by less experienced bilingual draftsmen and substantial vetting was required. As such, more supervision and administrative input from senior draftsmen were required in the production of the Chinese draft legislation.

17. A member queried the need for an additional DPGC in BDU given that BDU had been able to cope with the tremendous increase in workload in the past year. Another member pointed out that the increase in the number of pages of bills and subsidiary legislation produced in 1997 might not be representative of the growth in workload in the BDU. In response, the Director of Administration and Development, Department of Justice (DAD/DJ) explained that some posts had already been deleted with the dissolution of a unit formerly responsible for localisation and adaptation of laws. However, the volume of work of the BDU had been increasing in multiples over the past six years and bilingual law drafting would continue to increase in the long term due to growing demand for draft legislation to be produced in both languages even at early consultation stage and increasing need for Government policies to be effectively executed under the support of a sophisticated legal framework. With amendment bills to cover 600 ordinances to align them with the Basic Law in the pipeline, together with the substantial number of bills needed to be introduced to the new Legislative Council after July 1998, there was a genuine need for an additional permanent DPGC to oversee the work in the BDU. The Deputy Law Draftsman (Bilingual Drafting and Administration) (DLD(BDA)) pointed out that legislation gazetted was the final product and only represented a fraction of the actual drafting work of the Division.

18. As to how the BDU had been able to cope with the increase in workload in the past year, the DLD(BDA) explained that apart from deploying a DPGC from the EDU, the Unit had maximised the use of resources through overtime work, cutting down on staff coaching and training, producing only English drafts during early consultation stage and less comprehensive vetting of drafts. These arrangements had somehow compromised the quality of draft legislation in linguistic aspects and would seriously affect staff morale and staff development if the situation was allowed to continue.

19. As to whether the situation could be alleviated by engaging more junior counsels rather than increasing directorate staff, DAD/DJ said that the strengthening of directorate support was necessary to provide proper and adequate supervision over law-drafting work. DLD(BDA) supplemented that apart from clearing draft Chinese legislation prepared by non-directorate professional officers and training more junior officers, the DPGCs in the BDU were also responsible for drafting the more complicated legislation in both languages.

20. A member enquired if the DPGCs in BDU would have any role in leading the change in producing draft legislation in Chinese rather than by translation. The Law Draftsman affirmed that the objective of setting up the BDU was to implement legislative bilingualism under which Chinese draft legislation was to be produced in parallel with English draft legislation. The DPGCs played an important role in leading the BDU in achieving this objective.

DPGC post in the China Law Unit of the Legal Policy Division

21. On the justification for the creation of a permanent DPGC post in the China Law Unit (CLU), DAD/DJ advised that the purpose of the existing supernumerary post created in 1994 was to carry out researches on the laws of the Mainland and study the necessary follow-up on the implementation of the "one country, two systems" principle. As the Administration envisaged that communication and exchanges between Hong Kong and the Mainland were getting more frequent and comprehensive, it was thus important to develop in-house expertise in China law to provide professional advice to Government departments and bureaux, and to encourage and maintain mutual understanding with the Mainland on the respective legal systems. In this respect, DAD/DJ quoted the example of reciprocal juridical assistance in civil, criminal and financial matters between Hong Kong and the Mainland, which required good understanding of the relevant parts of China law in handling these matters with the Mainland authorities.

22. The Deputy Solicitor General supplemented that the CLU also participated in organising visits for incoming legal delegations from the Mainland, organizing seminars and conducting research on China law, and setting up and developing the databases on China law. He remarked that in the past two years, the Unit had issued a number of publications enabling better understanding on China law in the civil service. In view of these significant and long term responsibilities, it was necessary to retain the DPGC on a permanent basis.

DPGC post in International Law Division

23. On the justification for creating a permanent DPGC post in the International Law Division (ILD), DAD/DJ and the Law Officer (International Law) advised that after the handover, Hong Kong had been given the autonomy to enter into multilateral and bilateral agreements with many countries in various fields. As from 1 July 1997, the Chief Executive was given the authority to handle negotiations on 40 bilateral agreements with specific countries covering various subjects. The HKSAR Government also had the authority to negotiate an unspecified number of agreements on visa abolition agreements with other countries under Article 155 of the Basic Law. These developments necessitated the conversion of the existing DPGC to permanent establishment for continuity and retention of expertise.

24. DAD/DJ also added that it was necessary to review the former Commonwealth arrangements on various legal subjects, and where necessary to develop new arrangements. These included the reciprocal enforcement of judgements in civil and criminal matters and reciprocal enforcement of maintenance orders. The ILD was already in touch with a significant number of jurisdictions with a view to ascertaining how the judgements concluded by the courts of HKSAR would be considered by Commonwealth countries.

25. A member pointed out that as a substantial amount of work on important international agreements and localization and adaptation of laws had been settled before 1997, it might be more appropriate to retain the post for several years on a supernumerary basis rather than making the post permanent so as to ascertain the workload in the long term. In reply, the Deputy Secretary for the Treasury (DS/Tsy) advised that in principle, creation of supernumerary posts was to meet work requirements that lasted for a specified time period. It should not be a means for testing out establishment needs. The Finance Bureau and Civil Service Bureau were aware of members’ concern about the creation of permanent posts instead of supernumerary posts as revealed in the discussion of some proposals at recent meetings. They had suggested to Bureaux to take into account members’ views in proposing to create permanent posts when the work area was new or the long-term staffing need was not yet certain. In the present case, both Bureaux had carefully examined the proposal and found that a permanent post was fully justified.

26. The item was voted on and endorsed.

EC(97-98)54Proposed creation of a supernumerary post of Principal Management Services Officer (D1) in the Management Services Agency for the period from 1 June 1998 to 30 November 1999 to head the Records Management Strategy Phase III Implementation Team

27. In response to a member, the Deputy Head, Efficiency Unit (DH/EU) advised that the three-phased Records Management Strategy (RMS) was scheduled for completion in five years. Having regard to the experience and work progress in the first two phases, DH/EU was confident that Phase III could be completed in 18 months. He however remarked that the daily work on records management would continue by departments after the completion of the RMS.

28. Regarding the improvements achieved with the implementation of the first two phases of the RMS, DH/EU advised that the annual growth of government records had been reduced from over 12% to below 6%; there was annual rental savings of $40 million resulting from the transfer of 40 000 linear metres of inactive records from department to the Records Centres, and there was significant improvement in the efficiency in the issue of various permits and certificates to the public.

29. In reply to a member, DH/EU advised that 14 supernumerary non-directorate posts would also be created to support the implementation of the RMS Phase III.

30. The item was voted on and endorsed.

EC(97-98)57Proposed creation of a permanent post of Administrative Officer Staff Grade B1 (D4) in the Housing Bureau of the Government Secretariat to cope with the increase in the complexity and volume of work in the housing policy area and to monitor the implementation of the Government's Long Term Housing Strategy

31. A member questioned the need for creating a D4 post to take charge of private housing and public housing policies since a substantial part of public housing fell within the purview of the Housing Authority. In response, the Secretary for Housing (S for H) said that the Housing Bureau had the responsibility to answer questions raised by the legislature on public housing matters. In addition, it had a direct involvement in the policy formulation and decision making of the Housing Authority. He stressed that proposals made by the Housing Department (HD) were considered first by the Bureau and were often significantly modified on account of the Bureau's comments and views.

32. On the work of the Private Housing Division and the Project Management Division, S for H advised that the Private Housing Division was responsible for policies on various private housing matters, such as legislation governing private tenancies relationship and monitoring of the residential property market. There was little overlapping between the Division's responsibilities with those of the Project Management Division, which was responsible for overseeing housing production and housing-related infrastructure projects. He re-affirmed that given the scope and level of complexity of the work of the proposed Deputy Secretary post and taking into consideration also that the incumbent would be required to deputise the Secretary for Housing during the latter's absence, the post needed to be pitched at D4 level to provide the necessary directorate support.

33. A member expressed his support for the proposal, stating that the Housing Bureau needed to strengthen its directorate capacity to perform the very important task of ensuring the proper implementation of the Government's long term housing programme. Besides, the past arrangement to deputise for the Secretary for Housing by an officer from another Bureau during the former's absence was not appropriate.

34. Responding to a member's enquiry about the increase of new posts in the Housing Bureau in April 1998, S for H replied that apart from the Deputy Secretary for Housing post under this proposal, approval had been obtained for the creation of eight non-directorate posts on a permanent basis with effect from 1 April 1998. These new posts were of various ranks and would be deployed in various units within the Bureau.

35. The item was voted on and endorsed.

EC(97-98)58Proposed -

  1. creation of a new rank and post of Director of Protocol (D2) offset by the deletion of the rank and post of Director of Protocol (D1); and

  2. creation of a new rank of Deputy Director of Protocol (D1) and a supernumerary post of Deputy Director of Protocol (D1) from 1 March 1998 to 28 February 2001

    to cope with the increasing complexity and volume of work taken up by the Protocol Division of the Offices of the Chief Secretary for Administration and Financial Secretary of the Government Secretariat

36. A member stated that in view of the Administration's agreement to create the Deputy Director of Protocol post on a supernumerary basis in the light of the views of the Public Service Panel, he was prepared to support the proposal.

37. On the question of the basis for estimating the number of state visits of Heads of States or Heads of Government, the Director of Protocol advised that it was a projection based on the frequency of state visits since 1 July 1997. There had been three such visits since 1 July 1997 and one more had been scheduled for February.

38. On the need to upgrade the post of Director of Protocol, the Deputy Director of Administration advised that since the handover, the work of the Protocol Division had increased significantly in terms of volume and level of complexity as set out in the paper. He emphasised that many of the established protocol practices needed to be reviewed and the Protocol Division needed to develop a new set of protocol and ceremonial arrangements including the establishment of a new honours and awards system for the HKSAR. All these constituted the need for the upgrading of the post to be commensurate with the scope and complexity of the responsibilities.

39. The item was voted on and endorsed.

EC(97-98)59Proposed creation of a supernumerary post of Chief Housing Manager (D1) in the Housing Department for two years to cope with the increasing complexity and volume of work and to enhance the management of the Housing Manager and related grades

40. A member expressed his support for the proposal on account of the need to strengthen the grade management functions of the Housing Manager (HM) and related grades. In reply to his question, the Director Corporate Services, Housing Department (DCS/HD) confirmed that the main objective of the Chief Housing Manager/Grade Management (CHM/GM) post was to develop and enhance the competency of the HM and related grades in meeting on-going commitments and new challenges. One of the new challenges was the launching of the Tenants Purchase Scheme (TPS), under which public housing tenants who had bought the public housing flats would have the option after two years of whether or not to continue to employ the management service provided by HD. Faced with this challenge, HD saw a strong need to cultivate a new service culture and to enhance the overall performance in estate management, which in turn necessitated the strengthening of grade management for the Housing Class grades.

41. A member expressed his concern about the potential redundancy problem brought about by the TPS, in particular the impact on junior staff. He enquired about the retaining programmes to be provided for these staff to cope with the changes. DCS/HD advised that one of the responsibilities of the proposed CHM/GM was to widen the scope of skills of junior staff to enable them to respond more flexibly and effectively to customers’ demands. As to whether there was any staff redundancy plan for those staff whose service might not be required after two years, DCS/HD advised that the TPS had only been introduced recently and the Department was making an overall assessment on its impact on staffing requirements. She assured that HD would make the most appropriate arrangements for the affected staff.

42. A member queried if the duties of the CHM/GM post could be taken up by the existing Assistant Director of Housing (Administration) (AD/H(A)), who headed the Administration Division under which the Grade Management Secretariat (GMS) was established. (AD/H(A)) advised that the GMS was established under the Administration Division because the Division was in a more "neutral" position to shoulder the grade management function. She stressed that the strengthening of grade management was a new initiative under the Human Resources Management Reform being implemented in the Department. Its effective implementation in the HM and related grades required the leadership of an officer from the HM grade at the directorate level who was familiar with the operation of the Department and the work of the Housing Class grades. The CHM/GM's duties could not be effectively performed by the AD/H(A) as the latter was already in charge of the whole Administration Division and needed to oversee the various other Human Resources Management and departmental administrative functions apart from the grade management function.

43. DS/CS supplemented that it was a usual practice in the civil service for an officer of the relevant departmental grade to be responsible for the grade management function, as the officer needed to be very familiar with the nature of jobs of the relevant grade(s) under his/her charge.

44. This item was voted on and endorsed.

EC(97-98)60Proposed retention of a supernumerary post of Administrative Officer Staff Grade C (D2) for a period of two years with effect from 18 March 1998 in the Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Bureau of the Government Secretariat to formulate and monitor the implementation of recreation and sports policy

45. On the policy of the use of fireworks and theatrical pyrotechnics, the Deputy Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport (Culture and Sport) (DS/BCS(CS)) advised that the Administration had conducted a preliminary review on the relevant policy and concluded that for safety considerations and in view of the extensive resource implications required for the monitoring of the approved use of fireworks, it was not advisable to relax the restrictions. The Administration would however keep this policy under review.

46. With regard to Hong Kong's bid to stage some of the events of the 9th All China Games, DS/BCS(CS) advised that the Games would be held in 2001 in Guangdong. The Broadcasting, Culture and Sport Bureau (BCSB) was presently looking into the availability of sports venues and other related facilities for staging some of the events, and was liaising with the relevant sports associations in this regard. There was as yet no decision on which events the Bureau might bid for staging in Hong Kong. As to whether this would lead to an increase in the provision of sports facilities and venues in Hong Kong, she advised that pending the finalisation of a review of the planning standards for sports and recreational facilities, BCSB would pursue the feasibility of a new stadium capable of holding international competitions. However, it was unlikely that such a facility would be ready in time for the next All China Games.

47. A member expressed strong reservation over the proposed retention of the existing supernumerary Principal Assistant Secretary (Recreation and Sport) post. He queried if the duties of the post could be taken up by the existing Deputy Secretaries in the Bureau. He also commented that the paper did not provide sufficient information on the division of work and span of supervision of the directorate officers in the BCSB, in particular the lack of an organisational chart showing the position of the proposed post in relation to the overall directorate structure of the Bureau.

48. In response, DS/BCS(CS) explained that under the Bureau's establishment, the Recreation and Sport Division was headed by Principal Executive Officer (PEO) post. In 1996, the Finance Committee, recognising the need to provide stronger policy support on recreation and sports issues, approved the creation of a supernumerary AOSGC (D2) post to be held against the PEO post for two years. The present proposal only sought to extend this arrangement for a further two years as in the coming two years, the Secretary for Broadcasting, Culture and Sport would continue to need directorate support at the AOSGC(D2) level for the formulation and implementation of policies on recreation and sport matters. The AOSGC(D2) was one of the two Principal Assistant Secretaries responsible to the Deputy Secretary (Culture & Sport). The other Principal Assistant Secretary was responsible for Culture matters and was also ranked at the AOSGC(D2) level.

49. Having noted the Administration's explanation, the member still considered that the information available was insufficient for members to make a decision on the proposal. In view of members’ reservations on the proposal, DS/Tsy agreed to withdraw the paper and re-submit it at the subsequent meeting with the additional information requested .

50. The proposal was withdrawn by the Administration.

51. The Subcommittee was adjourned at 1:30 pm.

Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
26 February 1998