For discussion
on 11 February 1999



Subhead 001 Salaries

    Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following supernumerary post in the Education Department for a period of two years with effect from 1 April 1999 -

    1 Administrative Officer Staff Grade B
    (D3) ($127,900 - $135,550)


The Director of Education (D of E) requires additional strategic support at the directorate level for planning and managing the reform of the Education Department (ED), and for better co-ordination of the implementation of major policy initiatives before the ED reform is completed.


2. With the support of the Secretary for Education and Manpower (SEM), D of E proposes to create one supernumerary post of Administrative Officer Staff Grade B (AOSGB) (D3) for two years with effect from 1 April 1999.


The reform

3. The reform of ED is one of the key education initiatives announced in the 1998 Policy Address. It stems from a review of ED in 1998 when the department and the community at large agreed that, to promote long-term development of quality education, it would be necessary to revamp ED's organisational structure and change the management culture in both ED and the school sector, such that ED's role will be strengthened as the professional leader, regulator and facilitator in the education field.

4. The reform serves to -

  1. establish a client-based culture in ED and improve communication within the department and with other stakeholders so that it can serve the needs of its partners in the education system in a more efficient and effective manner;

  2. enhance the professional capabilities of ED; and

  3. devolve to schools more authority with corresponding accountability so as to facilitate school-based management.

In view of the complexity and sensitivity of the issues involved, we estimate that it will take up to five years for the reform to be fully completed and for the new management culture to firmly take root in ED and the school sector. An outline of the change programme to be initiated by ED in the coming two years is at Enclosure 1. ED will review the need for further changes in the light of developments in the education sector following implementation of the two-year change programme.

Need for a supernumerary post of AOSGB

5. Given the large number of the reform measures and their far-reaching impact, SEM will chair a Steering Committee to give guidance on the overall direction of change and to monitor progress. Within ED, the Deputy Director of Education (DDE) will head a dedicated Implementation Team to formulate detailed proposals, establish priorities and draw up a timetable to take forward the necessary changes. The Implementation Team needs to tackle complex organisational and policy issues, consult stakeholders concerned both within and outside the Administration, and manage staff expectations and reactions throughout the process. It will report directly to D of E and submit regular progress reports to SEM's Steering Committee. To accomplish these demanding tasks, D of E requires an additional directorate officer at AOSGB (D3) level to provide administrative and policy support to DDE.

6. The officer will assume the role of the Deputy Head of the Implementation Team. He will be responsible to DDE for strategic planning and the overall management of the change programme. He will be the key person responsible for formulating the reform strategies and communication plans, setting specific improvement targets and recommending priorities for implementation, having regard to the capability of the Department and the school sector to assimilate the changes proposed. In so doing, he needs to coordinate departmental efforts, liaise with stakeholders and respond to public views.

7. He will also assist D of E and DDE in co-ordinating the implementation of major policy initiatives, such as language policy and teacher education, the responsibility for which is currently shared among various departmental divisions. Until such time when the organisation and division of responsibilities are rationalized, and procedures are streamlined, considerable co-ordination and close monitoring efforts are required to ensure smooth implementation of important policy initiatives and its interface with the ED reform, having regard to organisational and process changes recommended to the departmental divisions concerned. The job description of the proposed AOSGB post is at Enclosure 2.

8. Having regard to the high-level strategic input expected from the Deputy Head of the Implementation Team, the requirement for sound political acumen, and his representational role in consulting and liaising with policy/resource bureaux and other educational bodies, we consider it necessary to pitch the post at AOSGB level. As it will take about two years for the major structural changes to take shape, we propose to create the post for two years from 1 April 1999.

9. The organisation structure of ED following the establishment of the Implementation Team is at Enclosure 3.


10. The additional notional annual salary cost at mid-point and the full annual average staff cost of the proposal, including salaries and staff-on-costs, are -

Post Notional Annual Salary
Cost at Mid-point
Full Annual
Average Staff Cost
No. of Post
AOSGB 1,580,400 2,752,488 1

We have included sufficient provision in the 1999-2000 draft Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal.

11. In addition to the AOSGB post, D of E will create one Chief Training Officer post (at a notional annual mid-point salary cost of $985,260 and full annual average staff cost of $1,596,540) and redeploy one Senior Education Officer (Administration) and two general grades staff to support the Implementation Team. To kickstart the reform process, D of E has created under delegated authority a supernumerary Principal Executive Officer (D1) post for six months ending 29 May 1999 to start off the necessary preparation work.


12. In December 1997, the Education and Manpower Bureau commissioned a consultancy to review the organisation and management structure of the ED to enable the Department to function more efficiently, effectively and responsively in its mission to provide quality education. The final report was submitted to the Government in May 1998. Public consultation on the report began in July and concluded on 20 October 1998.


13. The Civil Service Bureau supports the proposed creation of a supernumerary post of AOSGB for two years to provide adequate strategic support to assist D of E to plan and manage the reform of the Department. The ranking and grading of the proposed post are appropriate having regard to its duties and responsibilities.


14. As we propose to create the post on a supernumerary basis, we will report its creation, if approved, to the Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service in accordance with the agreed procedure.


Education and Manpower Bureau
January 1999


Enclosure 1 to EC(98-99)28

Outline of Change Programme
for Education Department (ED)

I. To re-organise and rationalise the functions and structure of ED through -

  1. undertaking a major re-organisation and rationalisation of the functions and structure of ED's headquarters in order to improve its interface with schools, students, parents and the community, and to foster a strategic partnership between ED and other players in the education system;

  2. conducting process re-engineering on the various functions now being performed by ED staff;

  3. minimising bureaucracy within ED by "de-layering" the decision-making process;

  4. improving the co-ordination and collaboration across divisions;

  5. divesting ED of those functions which are not central to ED's role as a facilitator and regulator of school education; and

  6. reviewing critically the roles and functions of the District Education Offices in order to support the development of the strategic partnership with schools.

II. To re-define the relationship between ED and schools through -

  1. empowering schools to be accountable for their own performance, whilst maintaining ED's important role in monitoring their performance and ensuring compliance with statutory requirements and satisfactory accomplishment of quality levels;

  2. refining the existing quality assurance process undertaken by ED. This will be achieved by -

    1. strengthening Quality Assurance Inspections and re-structuring the various inspection functions within ED;

    2. rationalising the school-based management framework by re-defining the respective roles and relationships among ED and the other players in the school management system; and

    3. stepping up the quality and accountability of school principals through providing more training, institutionalising performance appraisal for principals, and improving the process of removing under-performing principals.

III. To take concrete measures to improve the professional quality of ED's staff through -

  1. opening up professional posts within ED and arrange cross-postings of personnel between ED and the school sector;

  2. putting in place a simplified grade structure;

  3. providing more rigorous training for ED staff;

  4. enhancing the professional autonomy of the Curriculum Development Institute;

  5. scaling down non-professional duties currently performed by ED staff; and

  6. enhancing the role of Government schools in piloting new initiatives and in disseminating good practices across the school sector.


Enclosure 2 to EC(98-99)28

Job Description of the Deputy Head
of the Implementation Team on ED Review

Responsible to the Deputy Director of Education for strategic planning and overall management of the reform and its implementation. This includes -

  1. managing the entire reform and acting as a focal point for co-ordinating all departmental efforts towards the implementation of reform;

  2. formulating strategies and communication plans; designing and leading seminars and workshops to foster partnership relations between ED and other education stakeholders;

  3. developing and putting in place a comprehensive work programme to instil a customer-focused and results-oriented culture in the department;

  4. co-ordinating the implementation of major policy initiatives involving various departmental divisions to ensure smooth interface with the ED reform;

  5. steering specific reviews projects and consultancies to overhaul service delivery and improve management systems and processes;

  6. conducting high-level discussions with the policy and resource bureaux to secure the requisite policy and procedural changes and resources for carrying out the reform; and

  7. reporting regularly to the Steering Committee on the progress of the reform and making recommendations to resolve interface problems.