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LC: SED's speech on the Motion of the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (Appeal) Rules

    Following is the speech by the Secretary for Education, Mr Michael Suen, in  moving the motion on the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (Appeal) Rules at the Legislative Council today (March 12):


    I rise to move the motion on the Agenda to amend the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications (Appeal) Rules ("the Appeal Rules").

    In May 2007, the Legislative Council (LegCo) passed the Accreditation of Academic and Vocational Qualifications Bill, which provides the necessary legislative framework for the implementation of the Qualifications Framework. Under the Ordinance, an education and training provider or an assessment agency may appeal against a decision on the outcome of an accreditation test or a decision on the entry of a qualification into the Qualifications Register. The Ordinance also provides for the establishment of a Rules Committee which makes rules governing the application and handling procedures of appeals.
    The Appeal Rules were tabled at LegCo by the Rules Committee on 20 February 2008. After examining the Appeal Rules, LegCo's Legal Adviser has suggested amending the drafting of several provisions in order to enhance the consistency of the wording with that of the principal Ordinance and other existing legislations. The Rules Committee has considered the Legal Adviser's proposals and supported the amendments.

    First of all, in order to enable the public to have a better understanding of the scope of the Appeal Rules, we propose to include in section 2 of the Rules the definition of "appellant" and "appeal" provided for in section 9 of the principal Ordinance.

    Also, in the Chinese text of section 3(b) of the Rules, we propose to translate the term, "fully and fairly" as "全面而中肯地" to tally with the wording adopted in other existing legislations.

    We also suggest amending section 4(1) in terms similar to section 5. The presiding officer may, on application, allow a longer period for the appellant to lodge the required documents.

    To tally with the wording used in section 14(1)(b) and (c) of the principal Ordinance, section 11 of the Appeal Rules will be amended to the effect that any document, statement, notice or article required to be served or lodged for the purposes of an appeal may be served or lodged in person or by post.

    President, as the above technical amendments aim at enhancing the clarity of the Appeal Rules, I hope that Members would support the motion.

Ends/Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Issued at HKT 20:39


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