May 18, 2022
HONG KONG – Hong Kong’s Executive Council on Tuesday approved a government restructuring plan that will see the creation of three deputy secretaries and an expansion in the number of government bureaus from 13 to 15.
The plan, which will be submitted soon to the city’s legislature, is expected to take effect on July 1 when chief executive-elect John Lee Ka-chiu is sworn in.
The plan, which will be submitted soon to the city’s legislature, is expected to take effect on July 1 when chief executive-elect John Lee Ka-chiu is sworn in
Speaking to the media after ExCo’s approval of the proposal, Lee said he endorsed most of the proposals the current government presented, including setting up a new Culture, Sports, and Tourism Bureau, and splitting the Transport and Housing Bureau into two separate bureaus.
Lee said the restructuring will help the government be more focused, create better synergies, and form a clear labor division among government departments.
Acting on Lee’s suggestion, the proposal suggested setting up three new posts as the deputy secretary of department — namely, a deputy chief secretary for administration, a deputy financial secretary, and a deputy secretary for justice.
The move aims to enhance policy implementation as the current three secretaries have heavy workloads, which depleted their energy when coordinating and supervising government work.
Under the plan, the chief secretary for administration will take charge of nine bureaus, and the financial secretary will lead six.
The three deputy secretaries will have the responsibility of handling major policies, including leading the two housing task forces that Lee proposed in his election manifesto to help address the city’s housing shortage.
The new plan will entail an increase of 13 politically appointed officials and 57 civil service posts at a total salary cost of about HK$95 million ($12.1 million) per year, according to the government.
The government spokesman in a statement said the proposals will be submitted in June to the Establishment Subcommittee and the Finance Committee of LegCo for the approval of funding and staffing.
LegCo will begin deliberating the plan on Friday. Lee will attend Friday’s meeting with officials of the current-term government as well.