PLC Paper No. CB(2)741(01)

Provisional Legislative Council
Panel on Security

List of outstanding issues for discussion
(as at 16.12.1997)

A.Items proposed by members

  1. Follow-up on protection of safety of civil servants against violence in the course of their duty
  2. Proposed by the Chairman on 18 September 1997. The subject of personal safety of civil servants while on duty, arising from the assault cases of Land Executives, was discussed by the Public Service Panel at its meeting on 22 September 1997 to which members of the Security Panel were invited. An extract from the minutes of the said meeting is in Annex 1.

    Members to decide whether it is necessary to follow-up on the issue.

  3. Overseas applications for visas to Hong Kong and entry visa for Taiwan visitors
  4. Proposed by Hon Howard YOUNG on 16 October 1997. Mr YOUNG considers that the Administration should relax its policy governing overseas applications for visas to Hong Kong and entry visa for Taiwan visitors.

  5. Problem of illegal workers in Hong Kong
  6. Proposed by Dr Hon LAW Cheung-kwok on 16 October 1997. He is concerned about the impact of the problem of illegal workers on the local labour market and whether the Administration has any plans to tackle the problem.

  7. Frontier Closed Area and Frontier Permit
  8. Proposed by Hon CHEUNG Hon-chung and the Chairman respectively on 16 October 1997. Mr CHEUNG considers that in view of the limited land resources in Hong Kong, the Administration should review its policy to see if it should continue to use the Frontier Closed Area as a buffer zone to operate against illegal immigration.

    Members agreed at the Panel meeting on 20 November 1997 to discuss this item after visiting the Frontier Closed Area in early 1998.

  9. Domestic violence cases
  10. Proposed by the Chairman on 16 October and 15 December 1997. She is concerned about the upward trend of domestic violence cases resulting in the death/injury of spouses and children. She proposes to discuss the Administration's handling of wife battering and child abuse cases and the penalty for committing such offences.

  11. Protection of witness
  12. Proposed by the Chairman on 17 November 1997. She proposes to discuss the arrangement of progress of protection of witness with specific regard to :

    1. Identification procedure and anonymity of witness to those being identified.

    2. Successful applicants of witness protection programme, and percentage of acceptance and appeal.

  13. Handling cases of minor offences by the Police
  14. Proposed by Mr KAN Fook-yee on 6 December 1997. A copy of his letter to the Chairman is in Annex 2.

  15. Application for right of abode from Hong Kong permanent residents' adult children in the Mainland
  16. Proposed by the Chairman on 15 December 1997. She proposes to discuss the formalities involved in the application for right of abode from Hong Kong permanent residents' adult children in the Mainland.

      B.Items proposed by the Administration

      1.Appeal Channel under the HKSAR Passport Ordinance

      Jan 1998
      2.Progress report on implementation of Working Group's Proposals on Law Reform Commission Report on Arrest

      Jan 1998
      3.Review of crime situation in 1997

      Jan 1998

      Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
      16 December 1997

      Annex 1

      E X T R A C T

      Provisional Legislative Council

      PLC Paper No. CB(2) 615
      (These minutes have been seen
      by the Administration)

      Ref : CB2/PL/PS/1

      Panel on Public Service

      Minutes of meeting held on Monday, 22 September 1997 at 10:45 am in Conference Room A of the Legislative Council Building

      Members present :

      Hon IP Kwok-him(Chairman)
      Hon LEE Kai-ming (Deputy Chairman)
      Hon Mrs Elsie TU, GBM
      Hon Mrs Selina CHOW, JP
      Hon Ronald ARCULLI, JP
      Hon CHAN Wing-chan
      Hon Andrew WONG Wang-fat, JP
      Hon Ambrose LAU Hon-chuen, JP
      Hon CHENG Yiu-tong

      Members absent :

      Hon David CHU Yu-lin ] other commitments
      Dr Hon Philip WONG Yu-hong ]

      Public officers attending :

      For Item III

      Ms Anissa WONG
      Deputy Secretary (Civil Service)1 (Acting)

      Mr S S DILLION
      Principal Assistant Secretary (Civil Service)4

      For Item IV

      Mr D W PESCOD
      Deputy Secretary (Civil Service)2

      For Item V

      Ms Sandra LEE
      Secretary for the Civil Service (Acting)

      For Item VI

      Mr D W PESCOD
      Deputy Secretary (Civil Service)2

      Clerk in attendance:

      Mrs Sharon TONG
      Chief Assistant Secretary (2)1

      Staff in attendance :

      Mr Paul WOO
      Senior Assistant Secretary (2)5

      VI.Personal safety of civil servants while on duty
      (PLC Paper No. CB(2) 321(04))

      24.DS(CS)1(Atg) briefed members on the measures in place to promote safety and health at work in the civil service. These included discussions at departmental consultation committees, seminars, talks, exhibitions and training courses on safety and health matters. Guidelines were also issued to remind departments to enhance departmental safety policy and procedures having regard to specific work culture and environment. In April 1996, the CSB formed a working group to examine issues of occupational safety and health which had a service-wide impact. This working group, which comprised representatives from the staff side of the four civil service consultative councils, the Occupational Safety and Health Council and a number of departments, would recommend to the Secretary for the Civil Service measures for promoting safety awareness and action by management and staff at departmental level.

      25.Members referred to the recent mass protest by Land Executives consequent to the incidents of two Land Executives being assaulted and seriously injured, and enquired what action had been taken by the Government. DS(CS)2 informed members that police investigation into the incidents were underway. In the meantime, the Administration was providing the necessary support to the injured officers and their families including counselling and assistance to claim compensation under the various compensation schemes. In one of the cases, the injured officer was attacked within the Government building compound during lunch time. Whether the officer was entitled to the statutory benefits provided under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance would depend upon the outcome of the investigation to determine whether or not the injury arose out of and in the course of employment. Meanwhile, the Government was taking the case forward on the assumption that the injury was duty related. 26.DS(CS)2 added that the Lands Department was reviewing the circumstances and examining ways to improve the department's mode of operation. A number of measures would be implemented, such as securing additional equipment for the safety of officers while undertaking duties in exposed situations and improving work practices by arranging outside work to be performed jointly by more than one officer in certain potentially dangerous locations. The Administration said that as the nature of work and working environments of civil servants were quite diverse, departmental management and staff were given the important role of formulating internal guidelines and procedures to promote and protect personal safety for staff while on duty. The Administration emphasized that similar assault cases were not frequent. But when such cases did happen, every effort would be taken to minimise the chance of a recurrence.

      27.Mr CHAN Wing-chan suggested that consideration should be given to increasing the number of Land Executives. The Administration advised that such proposal would be covered in the review by the Lands Department. The Department was aware that there were delays in handling various applications received by the Department, and it was necessary to take immediate steps to speed up processing procedures. 28.Some members opined that the recent assault incidents might be taken as a reflection of public dissatisfaction with specific government policies. The Administration said that government policies and their implementation were closely under review. It was necessary to maintain an efficient Government with the wider interest of the community in mind. There were effective and legitimate complaint channels through which anyone aggrieved by the Government's decision could air their grievances and seek redress for maladministration where appropriate. The Administration stressed that it deplored such attacks on its staff and that there could be no justification to resort to violence under any circumstances.

      Provisional Legislative Council Secretariat
      4 November 1997

      Annex 2


      6 December 1997

      Hon Mrs Selina CHOW
      Panel on Security

      Dear Mrs CHOW,

      There are a number of press reports concerning suspected " framed-up " cases involving police officers which happened in the past two years. Besides, there are also some recent cases in which people charged with offences claimed that they had been framed. In some extreme cases, the 'suspects' even chose to protest their innocence by committing suicide. In view of this, I suggest setting up a subcommittee under the Panel on Security to look into the following issues:

      1. The procedures for bringing prosecution in respect of cases of minor offences (such as indecent assault, assault and traffic offences, etc.). To clarify police officers of which ranks are responsible for undertaking the duties involved in the process of bringing charges against the suspects, such as the taking of evidence, the filing of charges and the bringing of prosecution. The issue of whether the police officers are under the supervision of a more senior officer should also be explored.

      2. As a number of cases mentioned above involve different members of the public, who are often blaming the other for the case, what criteria are adopted by the police to decide that one of them should be released and made the witness of the case while the other should be charged?

      3. Whether any internal review would be conducted by the police after the court has ruled that the prosecution was unjustifiable?

      I am very much concerned about the issues. If the setting up of a subcommittee is not an acceptable option, is it possible to include them into the agenda of the next Panel meeting, so that representatives of the Security Bureau or the police force would be invited to attend the meeting and explain the case.

      Yours faithfully,


      KAN Fook-yee