LCQ12: Duties and performance of Information Co-ordinator

     Following is a question by the Hon Wong Yuk-man and a written reply by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (March 19):


     It has recently been reported by the media that the Information Co-ordinator (the Co-ordinator) of the Chief Executive's Office has published an article in a newspaper under a pen-name, criticising some Members of this Council by name for their stance on the Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill 2012. Subsequently, in response to enquiries by the media, the Co-ordinator did not deny his authorship of the article and said that he strongly concurred with the viewpoints therein. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the Co-ordinator's specific duties in formulating public relations strategies regarding the aforesaid Bill; and

(2) of the specific indicators adopted by the Chief Executive's Office for evaluating the Co-ordinator's performance?



     I would like to point out first that Government officials explain Government policies and set out Government positions through the media from time to time. This is done with a view to facilitating the public's understanding of the underlying considerations, content and details of policies, and soliciting public support through enhanced communication. In explaining and illustrating Government policies, public officials make comments in their official capacities, and their remarks also represent the position of the Government.

     My consolidated reply to the two parts of the question is as follows:

     The Information Co-ordinator has a wide range of duties, and is responsible for formulating the media and public relations strategy for and co-ordinating the timetable of the introduction of major Government policies and programmes in different areas. He will also liaise closely with the Director of Information Services and bureau press officers to ensure effective implementation of media and public relations strategy for major policies; monitor public and media feedback, and help plan and implement the programme of public functions involving media interactions for the Chief Executive. The above duties are also applicable to the Government's work in relation to demand-side management measures implemented with reference to the property market situation, such as the Stamp Duty (Amendment) Bill 2012.

     The performance of the Information Co-ordinator will be assessed as a whole based on the aforementioned duties. As the work of the Information Co-ordinator involves wide-ranging, diversified and strategic communications and public relations tasks, it is difficult to evaluate his performance on the basis of specific indicators.

Ends/Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Issued at HKT 12:09