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LCQ7: Communication with Election Committee members

Following is a question by Hon Ng Leung-sing and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (April 21):


Regarding the contact and communication with members of the Election Committee, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the number of formal meetings it has held with members of the Election Committee in respect of public policy issues since the completion of election for the Second Chief Executive, as well as the details of the public policy issues discussed at such meetings;

(b) in order to have a better grasp of the public opinion during the administration process, whether the authorities have assessed the necessity of keeping close contact with members of the Election Committee and the adequacy of the existing work in this regard; if so, of the assessment results; and

(c) whether it has plans to enhance the contact and communication with members of the Election Committee; if it has, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?


Madam President,

Taking the question raised by the Honourable Ng Leung-sing as a whole, our reply is as follows:

To address public policy issues in a more effective manner, the SAR Government has been making full use of various channels to collect public opinion extensively. In supporting policy formulation, the Chief Executive and Principal Officials under the Accountability System will maintain communication with various sectors of the community and listen to the views of the relevant business sectors and organisations. Through contacts at the working level, other colleagues of the relevant policy bureaux and departments will also strengthen their understanding of the views of various sectors of the community and grasp public sentiment. Having regard to the nature of the policy issues involved, the relevant policy bureaux and departments will adopt different means to collect public views.

The statutory functions of the Election Committee (EC) are to elect the Chief Executive and six Members of the incumbent Legislative Council. The 800 members of the EC come from four sectors, that is, the industrial, commercial and financial sectors; the professions; the labour, social services, religious and other sectors; and Members of the Legislative Council, representatives of district-based organisations, Hong Kong Deputies to the National People's Congress, and representatives of the Hong Kong members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

Of the 800 EC members, quite a number have participated in the work of government advisory bodies, while a sizable number are members of the relevant industry or professional organisations, chambers of commerce and non-governmental bodies, etc. Having regard to the nature of the issues involved, individual policy bureaux or departments will conduct consultation with these organisations or bodies. Through these consultation arrangements, we can collect the views of the EC members, with a view to ensuring that our policy proposals can reflect public opinion better.

In future, the SAR Government will continue to strengthen the communication and links with the EC members through their participation in different organisations or bodies, and make our best endeavours to collect their views extensively in the process of policy formulation.

In March this year, the Constitutional Development Task Force led by the Chief Secretary for Administration organised four sessions to listen to the views of the EC members on the issues of principle and legislative process in the Basic Law relating to constitutional development.

Ends/Wednesday, April 21, 2004