Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ6: Non-Civil Service Contract Staff Scheme

    Following is a question by the Hon Tam Heung-man and an oral reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Miss Denise Yue, on Non-Civil Service Contract Staff Scheme in the Legislative Council today (November 21):


     Earlier, some accountants employed by the Government on non-civil service contract (NCSC) terms reflected to me that, when comparing them with accountants in the civil service in the same department, the situation of different pay for the same work is serious. Such persons have also pointed out that the shortage of accounting professionals in recent years has pushed up the market pay quite rapidly. However, their pay rise this year has not only failed to catch up with that in the market, but is also lower than that for civil servants. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(a) of the respective numbers of civil servants and NCSC staff in the professional grades (e.g. lawyers, accountants and engineers, etc.) in various government departments at present;

(b) following last year's review, whether the Government will conduct another review of the current employment situation of NCSC staff and consider converting more or even all NCSC positions in the professional grades to civil service posts, so as to enhance the job stability of such professionals and boost their morale; and

(c) whether the Government will, in the light of the situation of an increasingly serious shortage of talents in the market, consider granting more substantial pay increases to NCSC staff in the professional grades in order to retain talents?


Madam President,

     The Non-Civil Service Contract (NCSC) Staff Scheme, introduced in 1999, provides Heads of Bureaux, Departments and Offices (hereafter referred to as HoDs) with a flexible means to employ staff to complement the civil service for meeting service needs which are time-limited, or short-term, or subject to market fluctuations, or which require staff on a part-time basis, or where the mode of delivery of the service is under review or likely to be changed. In short, unlike civil servants, NCSC staff are not part of the permanent civil service establishment.

     As the respective purposes and circumstances for employing civil servants and NCSC staff are different, they have distinctive employment packages and pay adjustment mechanisms. Given the nature of the NCSC Staff Scheme, HoDs are given the authority to determine the employment package for their NCSC staff most suited to their operational needs, subject to two broad guiding principles, namely the terms and conditions of service for NCSC staff should be no less favourable than those provided for under the Employment Ordinance, and no more favourable than those applicable to civil servants in comparable civil service ranks or comparable levels of responsibilities. The pay for NCSC staff should not exceed the mid-point salaries of comparable civil service ranks or civil servants undertaking comparable levels of responsibilities.

     With this brief explanation on the policy concerning the NCSC Staff Scheme, my replies to the specific questions are as follows:

(a) As at July 1, 2007, there were 5,941 civil servants in various civil service professional grades, which are defined as grades requiring membership of a professional institution or equivalent as an entry requirement. As for NCSC staff performing duties comparable to civil service professional grades, the number stood at 954. A breakdown of the numbers by job categories is set out in Annex.

(b) Civil Service Bureau, jointly with bureaux and departments (B/Ds), conducted a thorough review of the employment situation of NCSC staff last year, and reported the outcome of the review to the LegCo Panel on Public Service in December 2006. The review identified some 4,000 NCSC positions undertaking duties that should more appropriately be performed by civil servants, of which some 200 positions involved work comparable to civil service professional grades. Concerned B/Ds are taking action to replace these 4,000 odd NCSC positions by civil service posts in phases. We do not see a need to conduct another review.

(c) Having regard to the nature of the NCSC Staff Scheme, HoDs are given the discretion to determine the employment package for their NCSC staff, including whether pay adjustments should be offered and the level of adjustments. HoDs can review and adjust as necessary the pay for NCSC staff, having regard to considerations including condition of the employment market, recruitment results, staff retention needs, etc. The current mechanism therefore already provides HoDs with the necessary flexibility to set the appropriate pay level for their NCSC staff, including professional staff, having regard to the situation of the employment market.

Ends/Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Issued at HKT 14:32


Print this page