In response to media enquiries on the remarks of the Ombudsman on the Political Appointment System, a government spokesman said today (March 25):
"The senior echelon of the Government work as a team to implement the Chief Executive's election manifesto. In this, the Principal Officials receive the full support of the civil service. Examples of the manifesto being implemented include the decision by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on universal suffrage timetable, the rolling out of the 10 major infrastructure projects, and the concluding of CEPA V with the Mainland authorities. Many of these initiatives involve cross-bureau co-operation.
The Political Appointment System was introduced in July 2002. Under the system, there is a political tier at the top underpinned by the civil service as the backbone of the Government. Politically appointed officials and civil servants have different roles to play, with the common objective of serving the community. With politically appointed officials assuming political responsibility for the governance of Hong Kong, the system has enabled the Government to determine its policies having closer regard to community aspirations and to respond to the modern demands of governance. It has also strengthened the foundation of a professional and politically neutral civil service.
The Government Secretariat has been re-organised with effect from July 1, 2007, with the aim of rationalising the distribution of responsibilities among policy bureaux. The Chief Secretary for Administration and the Financial Secretary have responsibility for overseeing various policy portfolios. In addition, there are in-built matrix mechanisms whereby co-ordination across bureaus and departments can be re-oriented quickly and resources mobilised flexibly to deal with cross-cutting issues promptly and effectively."
Ends/Wednesday, March 25, 2009