(Letterhead of Legislative Councillor LAU Chin-shek's Office)
26 October 1998
Dr Hon LEONG Che-hung
Chairman of the House Committee
Dear Dr LEONG,
Legal Procedure for Adjustment in
Fares of Licensed Ferry Services
All along, the Governor in Council (now Chief Executive in Council) may "by order" determine any adjustment in fares of franchised ferry services, and the relevant "orders" shall be laid on the table of the Legislative Council as subsidiary legislation. Therefore, this Council has the power to vet any adjustment in fares of franchised ferry services. However, notices published in the Gazette on adjustment in fares of licensed ferry services determined by the Commissioner for Transport under the Ferry Services Ordinance (Cap. 104) have not been presented to this Council for scrutiny as subsidiary legislation. I have written to the Legal Adviser of the Legislative Council at the end of last month, seeking his advice on this matter. According to the reply from the staff of the Legal Service Division, their legal advice was that "a legal notice on adjustment in fares of licensed ferry services is also subsidiary legislation".
A notice which served to announce the Commissioner for Transport's approval for the Maximum Fares for the Licensed Ferry Service between Discovery Bay and Chek Lap Kok (G.N. 5086) was published in the Gazette on 23 October. It seems that the Government has no intention to present this "notice" to the Legislative Council for scrutiny as subsidiary legislation. I think this may constitute a breach of law, and in fact curtail the powers of the Legislative Council. In this regard, I wish to have this matter discussed and followed up at the House Committee meeting on 30 October.
Please include this matter in the agenda of the House Committee meeting on 30 October. Thank you.
for Hon LAU Chin-shek