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LCQ19: Control regime governing the taking up of post-service outside work by directorate civil servants

     Following is a question by the Hon Wong Sing-chi and a written reply by the Secretary for the Civil Service, Miss Denise Yue, in the Legislative Council today (May 4):


     According to recent media reports, a consultancy company owned by Mr Leung Chin-man, former Permanent Secretary for Housing, Planning and Lands (Housing), has been hired by Chow Tai Fook Enterprises Limited, the parent company of the New World Group, since last month. It was also reported that the incident had caused a public outcry because quite a number of people considered that the incident was obviously a suspected case of "deferred reward" and seriously undermined public confidence in the control of post-service employment of directorate civil servants. In this connection, will the Executive Authorities inform this Council:

(a) of the stance taken by the authorities on the aforesaid incident, and whether they will invite Mr Leung to meet with them so as to understand the details of the appointment; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) whether, in response to the expectations of some members of the public, they will consider ordering the law enforcement agency concerned to initiate an investigation into whether the problem of "deferred reward" has arisen from the fact that Mr Leung took up employment indirectly with the New World Group through the consultancy company he operates; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(c) as there have been comments that what Mr Leung did was a blatant challenge to the credibility of the Executive Authorities and the Legislature of the SAR, whether the authorities will expeditiously decide whether or not the control of post-service employment of senior officials in the private sector should be tightened up, and use action to convince the public that directorate civil servants serve Hong Kong impartially during their service in government departments; if they will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     With regard to the first part of the question, according to the control regime governing the taking up of post-service outside work by directorate civil servants implemented since January 1, 2006, directorate civil servants at Directorate Pay Scale D8 (or equivalent) who leave the Government on retirement are subject to a three-year control period. This period counts from the date of departure from the Government (i.e. on exhaustion of final leave if any) of the civil servants concerned. During the control period, a former directorate civil servant is required to apply and obtain prior permission from the authority before taking up post-service outside work. Mr Leung Chin-man was a D8 directorate civil servant before retirement. He ceased active government duty on January 10, 2006 and retired on January 10, 2007. The control period applicable to him ended on January 9, 2010. Thereafter, Mr Leung is not required to apply for prior permission to work from the authority.

     With regard to the second part of the question, under Hong Kong laws, any person can report any crime to the law enforcement agencies, and the relevant agencies will independently consider whether or not to take any action on the alleged crime. The relevant law enforcement agencies are also empowered by law to decide on their own whether or not to conduct investigations in those law enforcement areas for which they are responsible. We should not interfere with the independent exercise of the enforcement powers by the law enforcement agencies under the law.

     With regard to the third part of the question, the independent Committee on Review of Post-service Outside Work for Directorate Civil Servants appointed by the Chief Executive (CE) and the Legislative Council Select Committee to Inquire into Matters Relating to the Post-service Work of Mr Leung Chin-man published their Reports in July 2009 and December 2010 respectively. Both Committees recommended many modifications to the existing control regime governing the taking up of post-service outside work by directorate civil servants. The Civil Service Bureau (CSB) is carefully and thoroughly studying these recommendations, their legal implications, and the views of various stakeholders. The CSB will submit the recommendations to the CE-in-Council for consideration as soon as possible.

Ends/Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Issued at HKT 16:17


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