For discussion EC(98-99)9
on 14 October 1998


Subhead 001 Salaries
    Members are invited to recommend to Finance Committee the creation of the following permanent post -

    1 Director of Highways
    (D6) ($162,650)

    offset by the deletion of the following permanent post -

    1 Director of Highways
    (D5) ($154,150)

The existing supernumerary post of Director of Highways (DHy)at D6 level held against the permanent post of DHy at D5 level will lapse on 1 April 1999. After a review of the commitments and activities of the Highways Department (HyD), we see a need to upgrade the permanent post of DHy from D5 to D6 level on a permanent basis.


2. We propose to create one permanent post of DHy (D6), offset by the deletion of one permanent post of DHy (D5), to lead HyD to deliver a comprehensive transport infrastructure network that will enhance economic growth, support land use and housing development of Hong Kong, and cope with the increasing cross-boundary passenger/freight traffic with the Mainland.


Review of the Post of Director of Highways

3. DHy is responsible for formulating policies, works programmes and resource management plans for the design and implementation of highway projects in the Public Works Programme; maintaining the integrity of the road network; and implementing and updating the Railway Development Strategy. He is responsible to the Secretary for Transport for policies on transport infrastructure, and to the Secretary for Works for policies on construction standards, quality management, site safety and contract procedures.

4. In April 1998, we carried out a comprehensive review of the responsibilities and ranking of the DHy post having regard to the transport infrastructure development in the territory and the complexity of the tasks ahead. The review has indicated that the scope and level of responsibilities of DHy have been increasing significantly since 1990. It also shows that the activities of HyD will continue to expand and grow in complexity well into the 21st century.

(a)Implementation of major roads and rail projects

5. We are committed to providing a comprehensive infrastructure network to meet the community's growing transportation needs, and to strengthen road and rail links with the Mainland to cater for the increasing flow of passenger and freight traffic.

6. To take forward these initiatives, HyD is responsible for the successful implementation of major highway projects on a scale larger than that of the Airport Core Programme (ACP) projects. The estimated project costs of the committed major highway projects total about $68.9 billion as compared to billion (both at December 1997 prices) for ACP projects. For Route 9 (the section between Tsing Yi and Cheung Sha Wan), Route 10 (the section connecting North Lantau and Yuen Long), Route 16 and Central-Wanchai Bypass alone, we will construct a total of some 15 km of tunnels, 13.8 km of viaducts/bridges and 6.4 km of high-capacity at-grade roads. The complexity of the projects are also comparable to that of the ACP ones. For example, we plan to build a suspension bridge to connect Tsing Lung Tau and North Lantau as part of Route 10. We are also investigating the feasibility of erecting a dual-3 lane cable-stayed bridge to link Stonecutters Island with southern Tsing Yi as part of Route 9. A list of the major highway projects of HyD is at Enclosure 1. Encl. 1

7.In addition, HyD has to plan and oversee the implementation of three high priority railway projects, i.e., the West Rail, the Mass Transit Railway Tseung Kwan O Extension, and the Ma On Shan to Tai Wai Rail Link and Kowloon-Canton Railway Extension from Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui. These three projects will have a total estimated cost of over $113 billion (MOD prices). The role of HyD will include planning and updating the Railway Development Strategy and coordinating the associated infrastructure works essential for railway operation. A list showing the project costs and the construction commencement/completion dates of the priority rail projects is at Enclosure 2. In addition, HyD is actively involved in planning Phase II of West Rail, which will provide cross boundary passenger and freight services between Hong Kong and the Mainland. Encl. 2

(b) Road Administration and Maintenance

8. In addition to the implementation of major road and rail projects, the administration and maintenance of roads and highways are also major activities which fall on HyD. It has to maintain the integrity of the road network and oversee the stability of related roadside slopes with particular emphasis on their safety and serviceability. The total length of public roads in Hong Kong has increased by 362 km from 1 469 km in 1990, when the DHy (D5) post was created, to 1 831 km in 1997. The annual expenditure on road maintenance and improvements has also risen by $262 million from $601 million to $863 million over the same period.

Proposed Ranking of the Post of Director of Highways

9. In the light of HyD's on-going and new commitments, we anticipate that its portfolio will continue to expand in scope and increase in complexity in the years ahead. Delivery of projects within the prescribed time-frame and budget calls for strong leadership and profound engineering expertise and experience at the top echelon of the department. This will place much heavier professional, financial, administrative and management responsibilities on its head. Furthermore, the span of control of DHy has been enlarging over the years, as his directorate staff complement has expanded from 18 posts in 1990 to 34 posts (including eight supernumerary posts) in 1998. The guidance, supervision and management of the substantial body of directorate staff call for greater effort and attention of DHy. The organisation charts of HyD for 1990 and 1998 are at Enclosures 3 and 4 respectively. Encls.3 & 4

10. With the major highway and rail projects moving into detailed design and construction stages, we expect even greater input required of the department head. The head of department in HyD must be able to provide the leadership as well as professional and management guidance to a team of professional staff to ensure timely and effective project delivery. In the wider context, he will attend regular and ad hoc meetings at the Heads of Bureau and Department levels, to contribute to the formulation of policies and programmes in relation to the future development of Hong Kong. In recognition of the duties and responsibilities of the post and the personal attributes and seniority required of the incumbent, we propose to upgrade the permanent post of DHy from D5 to D6 level.

11.Subject to Members' approval of the creation of one permanent post of DHy (D6), we will delete one permanent post of DHy (D5). Following this, the existing supernumerary post of DHy (D6) will lapse concurrently notwithstanding its original expiry date of 1 April 1999. The main duties and responsibilities of the upgraded post are listed at Enclosure 5. Encl. 5


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


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

Notional Annual Salary Cost at Mid-Point


Full Annual
Average Staff


No. of Posts

New permanent DHy (D6) post




Less : Existing permanent DHy (D5) post

- 1,849,800

- 3,220,176





Additional cost :







We have included sufficient provision in the 1998-99 Estimates to meet the cost of this proposal. There are no other additional financial and staffing implications.


13. The permanent post of DHy has remained at D5 level since 1990. In recognition of the increased responsibilities placed upon the post as a result of implementing the Airport Core Programme (ACP) projects, Finance Committee (FC) approved in June 1992 the creation of a supernumerary DHy (D6) post held against the permanent DHy (D5) post. Taking into account the progress of the ACP projects and acknowledging that HyD would continue to work on high impact infrastructure projects beyond 1998, FC approved in March 1997 the retention of the supernumerary DHy (D6) post up to 31 March 1999. Members also suggested that a review of the department's future responsibilities and workload should be conducted upon completion of the ACP projects to decide on the ranking of the DHy post on a permanent basis.


14. Civil Service Bureau considers the ranking and grading of the proposed post to be appropriate, having regard to the span of control, professional and administrative qualities involved. It also supports the permanent upgrading of the post to cope with the long-term commitments of the department.


15. The Standing Committee on Directorate Salaries and Conditions of Service has advised that the grading proposed for the post would be appropriate if the post were to be created.


Transport Bureau

September 1998

Enclosure 1 to EC(98-99)9

Highways Department
Major ( over $0.5 billion) Highway Projects

Project Title

Estimated Project Cost

($ billion in December 97 prices)

Scheduled Construction Commencement/

Completion Date

Construction underway/to begin in 1998/99

Improvement Works for Lung Cheung Road and Ching Cheung Road



Hung Hom Bypass and Princess Margaret Road Link



Improvements to Tuen Mun Road



Widening of Tolo Highway between Island House Interchange and Ma Liu Shui Interchange



Tsing Yi North Coastal Road



Sub-total :


Preliminary design/Detailed design underway/to begin in 1998/99

Widening of Fo Tan Road



Improvement to Kam Tin Road



Castle Peak Road Improvement between Tsuen Wan Area 2 and Ka Loon Tsuen



Island Eastern Corridor - section between North Point and Sai Wan Ho



Central-Wan Chai Bypass & Island Eastern Corridor Link



Route 16 - section from West Kowloon to Sha Tin



Flyover and Footbridge Scheme at the Junction of Austin Road, Chatham Road and Cheong Wan Road



Route 9 - between Tsing Yi and Cheung Sha Wan



Widening and Reconstruction of Tai Po Road (Sha Tin Section)



Widening of Choi Hung Road



Route 10 - North Lantau to Yuen Long Highway



Sub-total :


Total :


Enclosure 2 to EC(98-99)9

Highways Department

Priority Rail Projects

Project Title

Estimated Project Cost
($ billion in MOD prices)

Scheduled Construction Commencement/ Completion Date

West Rail (Phase I)



Mass Transit Railway Tseung Kwan O Extension



Ma On Shan to Tai Wai Rail Link and Kowloon- Canton Railway Extension from Hung Hom to Tsim Sha Tsui



Total :



Enclosure 5 to EC(98-99)9

Highways Department Proposed Job Description of the Permament Post of Director of Highways (D6)

Post and Rank : Director of Highways (D6)

Main Duties and Responsibilities

The Director of Highways is responsible to the Secretary for Transport for transport policies and highway development programme and to the Secretary for Works for works policies, construction standards, contract procedures and co-ordination of the Public Works Programme (PWP), including Airport Core Programme (ACP) highways and rail projects. Main responsibilities are -

  1. formulating policies and programme plans for the planning and implementation of highways and rail projects, and for the maintenance of the highway network;

  2. providing steer in planning, designing and implementing PWP highway and rail projects; and ensuring project completion on time, within budget and to high standards;

  3. directing, co-ordinating, implementing and monitoring the maintenance and continuous improvement of the public highway network;

  4. maintaining effective liaison with the Transport Bureau, Works Bureau, government departments and organisations to implement government policies for construction and upkeeping of highway and rail networks;

  5. managing and maximizing use of the available staff and financial resources in Highways Department; and

  6. serving on the following committees -
  • Public Works Sub-committee
  • Works Group Directors’ Meeting
  • LegCo Panel on Transport
  • Transport Senior Directorate Meeting
  • Public Works Programme Executive Management Meeting
  • Building Contractors’ Committee
  • Consulting Engineers’ Committee
  • Construction Advisory Board
  • Standing Committee for the Training of Civil Engineering Graduates and Assistant Engineers