Press Release HKSAR Government Information Centre



Speech by Secretary for Security in LegCo


Following is the full text of the speech by the Secretary for Security, Mrs Regina Ip, at the Legislative Council Special Finance Committee meeting today (March 20):

Analysis of Public Expenditure on Security


In the coming financial year (2001/2002), 9.9 per cent ($28.8 billion) of total public expenditure will be spent on security. The two policy areas of Internal Security and Immigration under my responsibility will account for $24.9 billion. The provisions to be allocated to these two policy areas represent real increases of 5.8 per cent and 17 per cent respectively when compared with 2000/2001.

Enhanced Productivity Programme


We have made significant progress in achieving the goal of Enhanced Productivity Programme (EPP). For 2001-02, my Bureau and the departments under my purview will together deliver savings of $0.4 billion. These savings have been reflected in the 2001-02 draft Estimates. On a cumulative basis, we will achieve the three per cent target savings set for 2001-02 and are on schedule to meet the overall target of five per cent cumulative savings by 2002-03.

The EPP has helped reinforce our commitment to ensure value for money. Through critical examination of our operations and services, we will implement measures that will achieve genuine productivity gains without compromising our quality of service. All EPP savings are redeployed to new or improved services and contribute to the major growth areas that we have planned for our policy commitments.

Major Growth Areas


The additional resources will mostly go to funding the following improvements in services in 2001-02:

Law and order


We will provide an additional 138 police officers to strengthen front-line policing and traffic enforcement in new towns. On equipment side, we have earmarked $988 million for replacing the existing obsolete command and control communication system to enhance operational efficiency in the deployment of police officers on beat patrol.

Immigration control


We will create a total of 117 additional posts in the Immigration Department to expedite passenger clearance at the Lo Wu Control Point. We plan to add another 45 posts in the Department for processing judicial review cases arising from right of abode litigation. A new Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) identity card system will be implemented for the introduction of a more secure and sophisticated identity card.

Safeguard public safety


We shall maintain our effective fire fighting and rescue service. The Fire Services Department will have 73 additional staff for new fire stations and another 31 additional staff for ambulance services. We will provide $26.3 million to the Fire Services Department to carry out fire safety programme for old composite buildings.

Prevent and detect smuggling


We will provide additional resources to the Customs and Excise Department to strengthen its capability in combating smuggling. Twenty-six additional staff will be provided to handle additional workload from the new Container Terminal No. 9. We also plan to install an Automatic Vehicle Recognition System at the boundary control points to speed up cross-boundary traffic.

Relieving prison overcrowding


We will have 54 additional staff in the Correctional Services Department for the commissioning of 260 new penal places at the redeveloped Tai Lam Correctional Institution which will help relieve the prison overcrowding problem.

End/Tuesday, March 20, 2001