Following is a question by the Hon Charles Peter Mok and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Mr Paul Tang, in the Legislative Council today (April 22):
Regarding the recruitment policy for Head of Department (HoD) posts of the civil service establishment, which are in one-rank grades (i.e. those without related grades from which eligible candidates could be drawn to fill the vacancies concerned), will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the respective titles and salary points of the posts in one-rank grades in various policy bureaux/departments at present;
(2) of the criteria based on which the Government has subsumed some HoD posts in one-rank grades; whether such posts are in the promotion ranks of other civil service grades; if they are not, of the general reasons and justifications for that; whether the Government has plans to convert such posts to those in the promotion ranks of civil service grades so as to ensure the smooth and continuous operation of various departments; if it has such plans, of the details;
(3) of the recruitment channels for such posts, whether they include internal transfer and open recruitment; the justifications and criteria adopted by Government for determining the recruitment channels for such posts; whether such recruitment channels have been changed since the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government; if so, of the old and new recruitment channels and the years in which changes were made, and set out the information by post title in a table; and
(4) whether the holders of such posts are employed on contract terms; if so, of the durations of their current contracts, and set out the information by post title in a table; the post titles, service periods and general way forward after leaving office (including retirement or promotion within the Government) of those persons whose contracts were not renewed upon completion of contracts in the past decade; whether the Government has assessed the impacts of appointing HoDs on time-limited contract terms on the formulation and implementation of policies by the Government?
Generally speaking, one-rank grades at Head of Department or equivalent level fall into two broad categories. The first category includes posts that are filled by promotion from within the Civil Service and the eligible candidates may come from more than one civil service grade under the charge of the same or different department(s). The second category includes posts that may be filled by alternative means such as in-service appointment and/or open recruitment in view that these posts are, by design, posts without related grades in the Civil Service from which eligible candidates could be drawn to fill the vacancies by promotion, or there is a need to cater for the specific circumstances of the posts concerned, e.g. to ensure a wide source of candidates. A list showing the one-rank grades at Head of Department or equivalent level and their respective pay scales is at Annex.
The terms of appointment for serving civil servants appointed to the one-rank grades above are governed by the terms and conditions of service applicable to them, while candidates from outside the Civil Service are appointed on civil service agreement terms.
The Civil Service Bureau does not compile information on individual post holders of one-rank grades over the years.