Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ19: Posting of Administrative Officers

     Following is a question by the Hon Paul Chan Mo-po and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Miss Denise Yue, in the Legislative Council today (May 19):


     Will the Government inform this Council:

(a) in respect of each of the administrative officers who were at the rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade B1 or above in 2002 (excluding those who had retired or left the civil service since then), of the duration of each of his different postings since 2002;

(b) of the relevant policies or factors considered by the Government at present for determining the duration of any particular posting of an administrative officer, as well as the details; if there is no such policy and factor, the reasons for that; and

(c) whether there is any mechanism in place to assess the impact of the duration of a particular posting of the aforesaid administrative officers on their performance in discharging the duties of the post concerned; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?

Reply :


     With regard to the question at item (a), there are 21 Administrative Officers (AOs) who were at the rank of Administrative Officer Staff Grade B1 (AOSGB1) or above on July 1, 2002 and who are still in active service as of today. During this period of time, the duration of each of the postings of these officers ranged from less than a year to over six years. The median duration of each posting was about three years. The position is summarised below:

Duration of a posting              Number of postings
---------------------              ------------------

(a) less than a year                           8
(b) one to less than two years                 9
(c) two to less than three years              15
(d) three to less than four years             20
(e) four to less than five years              11
(f) five to less than six years                2
(g) six years or above                         2

     With regard to the question at item (b) above, the AO grade is a general grade. AO posts of different ranks (ranging from the entry rank to the highest rank of AOSGA1) are found in policy bureaux and a number of departments. Officers in the AO grade are posted on a regular basis to bureaux and departments to undertake work of different nature, such as policy formulation, resource management, district administration, delivery of public services, etc. Regular posting allows AOs to gain wide exposure and acquire experience in different areas of public administration. It enables them to master the comprehensive and macro perspectives while engaging in a particular area of government work. It enhances their sensitivity to the views and needs of different stakeholders in the community, and helps them to balance the competing interests of different sectors of the community. Regular posting also allows AOs to build up the competencies and skills necessary for public administration, such as a good grasp of basic constitutional, legal and human rights principles; the ability to make strategic decisions; the readiness to embrace change and innovation; the ability to manage crises; and the versatility to cope with new challenges.

     In general, the aim is to subject senior directorate AOs (i.e. those at the AOSGB rank and above) to postings every three to five years, junior directorate as well as non-directorate AOs (i.e. those at the AOSGC and Senior Administrative Officer ranks) every three years or so, and newly recruited AOs to at least two postings during their 3-year probation period. The different durations have regard to the demands of work at different levels and to the need for AOs to acquire all-rounded skills in the earlier years of their career.

     Within the aim stated above, the timing of postings of individual AOs is influenced by a host of practical considerations. A major consideration is the nature of work involved. For example, directorate AOs engaged in work of a more specialised nature may stay in their posts for longer than the normal duration. Alternatively, AOs tasked to undertake specific one-off assignments (e.g. co-ordination of the celebration events for the 10th Anniversary of the HKSAR, Secretary to the Commission of Inquiry on Allegations relating to the HK Institute of Education, Secretary to the Inquiry on Penny Stocks, etc.) stay in the posts concerned for the duration of the assignments. Other major practical considerations include the operational needs of the bureaux and departments with AOs due for posting or vacant AO posts to be filled, other personnel changes in the bureaux and departments concerned, the manpower situation of the AO grade, the matching of skills and personality with jobs, the career development and enrichment needs of individual AOs, the personal circumstances of individual officers where relevant, etc.

     With regard to the question at item (c) above, the performance of every post-probationary AO, irrespective of his or her rank, is subject to annual appraisal. This mechanism enables the supervising officer, the counter-signing officer and the head of the AO grade to assess an AO's performance in a specific AO post during the appraisal period, including whether his or her performance has been affected by the short, or normal, or extended duration of his or her posting. The mechanism also allows the supervising and/or counter-signing officers to advise how long the AO under appraisal should stay in his or her present post from the view point of the operational needs of the bureau or department concerned and the career development of the officer concerned. Such advice is given due regard by the head of the AO grade when considering the timing of posting of the AO concerned.

Ends/Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Issued at HKT 14:01


Print this page