LCQ11: Under Secretaries and Political Assistants are responsible for different aspects of work

     Following is a question by the Hon Alan Leong and a written reply by the Secretary for Constitutional and Mainland Affairs, Mr Raymond Tam, in the Legislative Council today (May 30):


     Will the Government inform this Council of the numbers of meetings of the Legislative Council and District Councils and other public forums attended by politically appointed officials (Under Secretaries and Political Assistants) as well as the number of times they had spoken at such meetings since the Government's further expansion of the Political Accountability System in 2008, and set out the relevant information in the following question tables.


Mr President,

     Under Secretaries are responsible principally for assisting Secretaries in undertaking the full range of political work, including the handling of Legislative Council (LegCo) business. Since assuming office, the Under Secretaries have attended many LegCo meetings and committee meetings, and assisted in explaining government policies and seeking LegCo members' support for government proposals. They have also attended many other meetings and functions, including District Council (DC) meetings, public forums, seminars and consultation sessions, so as to strengthen the communication between the Government and different sectors of the community. The Under Secretaries have also deputised as Acting Secretaries for the Bureau Secretaries, when the latter are on duty visits or on leave.

     Political Assistants are responsible principally for providing political analysis and support and input to the Secretaries and the Under Secretaries, and conducting the necessary political liaison as directed by the Secretaries and the Under Secretaries. They also liaise with the media and various stakeholders, and assist in explaining government policies.

     In response to the question raised by Hon Alan Leong, we set out in the written reply Annex statistics relating to the attendance of the incumbent Under Secretaries and Political Assistants at the LegCo and DC meetings, as well as other public forums. The Administration does not have statistics relating to the number of times the relevant officials had spoken at such meetings.

     We should emphasize that the day-to-day work of the Under Secretaries and Political Assistants covers various aspects and cannot be quantified. In addition, with different portfolios, different subject matters and different sectors to liaise with, the work of different Under Secretaries and Political Assistants is bound to be different. Hence, any direct comparison among them would be inappropriate.

Ends/Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Issued at HKT 15:31