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LCQ11: Re-organisations of policy bureaux

     Following is a question by Dr Hon David Li Kwok-po and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Stephen Lam, in the Legislative Council today (May 5):


     Regarding the re-organisations of policy bureaux of the Government Secretariat that take place from time to time, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the procedure in place to guide such re-organisations is subject to any formal review and, if so, how frequently such reviews are carried out;

(b) whether the re-organisation that took effect on July 1, 2007 was subject to any post-execution review and, if so, of the nature of that review; and

(c) whether the Government has kept records of all the complaints related to the re-organisation that took effect on July 1, 2007; whether such complaints were lodged with The Ombudsman, the bureau concerned or any other arm of the Government; and whether any complaint was substantiated and necessitated changes to the procedures or operation of bureaux or government departments?

Reply :


     On parts (a) and (b) of the question, our response is that the Government Secretariat underwent a re-organisation exercise in 2007, to tie in with the commencement of the third-term HKSAR Government. Pursuant to the re-organisation, the portfolios of some of the bureaux had been re-aligned, and the number of bureaux was increased from 11 to 12, with effect from July 1, 2007.

     As the Chief Executive (CE) explained in the Legislative Council (LegCo) meeting on May 4, 2007, the re-organisation served two key objectives :

(a) Firstly, the re-organisation was aimed at rationalising the distribution of responsibilities among policy bureaux. Putting related responsibilities under one bureau would help optimise the synergy and enable the Government to sharpen its focus on important and complex issues.

(b) Secondly, this would better facilitate the CE in implementing the priority policy initiatives pledged during the CE election to meet the opportunities and challenges ahead.

     Prior to putting forward its re-organisation proposal, the Administration had taken into account views expressed by the community and LegCo Members that there was a need to review the existing alignment of policy responsibilities to take account of the changes in workload and scope of various policies. The re-organisation proposal put forward by the Administration constituted a considered response to such views.

     The Administration considers that, in overall terms, the re-organisation in 2007 has served its objectives. The workload has been distributed more evenly among bureaux, and there is better synergy between the policy portfolios overseen by various bureaux. The re-organised structure has also been generally accepted by the public.

     The Administration will continue to listen to the views of the public closely. We will keep in view the need for any changes to its organisation structure. However, we have no current plans to undertake any major re-organisation of policy portfolios within the Government Secretariat.

     On part (c) of the question, we have followed closely the reports issued by the Ombudsman since 2007. So far, no reference has been made to the re-organisation of the Government Secretariat policy portfolios implemented in 2007. We will continue to monitor further responses from the public on this issue.

Ends/Wednesday, May 5, 2010