LegCo to produce a manual on Council procedures

The following is issued on behalf of the Legislative Council Secretariat:

     The Legislative Council Commission (the Commission) has decided to produce a manual on Council procedures (the Manual) and engaged a chief writer to write the Manual. The project is expected to be completed within three years.

    Speaking after the Commission meeting today (January 15), the President of the Legislative Council (LegCo) and the Chairman of the Commission, Mr Jasper Tsang, said that the Manual would serve as an authoritative guide and a ready source of reference on how the rules and procedures of the LegCo work in practice.

     As the work could not be absorbed by the existing manpower of the LegCo Secretariat, the Commission approved the engagement of a person who is well versed in Council practices and procedures to be the chief writer of the Manual. The Commission considered that the qualification requirements of the chief writer could only be met by the former Secretary General (SG) of the LegCo Secretariat, Ms Pauline Ng.

     "Ms Ng is in the unique position of having been Clerk to LegCo for four years until her recent retirement after over 20 years of service in the LegCo Secretariat, and is the only person who is equipped with the most recent knowledge of the LegCo procedures at the highest level," Mr Tsang said.

     Mr Tsang added that the Commission also agreed to enter a contract of service with one or two procedural experts to assist in the writing and vetting work. The project, costs about $3.6 million, is expected to be completed within three years.

     The Commission agreed that a supervisory committee should be set up to oversee the production and future updating work of the Manual. The committee comprises SG, serving as the Chair, as well as the Secretariat's Legal Adviser, the Deputy Secretary General, the four Assistant Secretary Generals, Head (Translation and Interpretation) and the chief writer, serving as members.

     Ms Ng has indicated willingness to provide service as an independent contractor. The Secretariat has already signed a service agreement with Ms Ng, who is ready to commence work tomorrow (January 16). Discussions have also been held with Ms Ng on the work plan, which sets out the deliverables and the proposed timetable for delivery for the production of the Manual as well as other terms of the service agreement, including the scope of service, ownership and confidentiality of the project materials, indemnity and undertakings, termination, and the schedule of fees and payment schedule.

Ends/Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Issued at HKT 19:02