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LCQ17: Associate Members of Central Policy Unit

     Following is a question by Dr Hon Kenneth Chan and a written reply by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, in the Legislative Council today (March 26):


     It has been reported that the pool of Associate Members of the Central Policy Unit (CPU) was reorganised early this month, with its membership size being increased from 23 in last year to 31. Besides, two former Associate Members were not re-appointed. Regarding the appointment of Associate Members by CPU, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) whether it has set a limit on the number of Associate Members; if so, of the details; if not, the process of and criteria for determining the number of Associate Members;

(2) of the tenure of Associate Members on each appointment and the restrictions on re-appointments; the respective number of years for which each incumbent Associate Member has been appointed consecutively;

(3) of the criteria and procedures for determining the appointment and re-appointment of a particular Associate Member; the information (including the names and reasons for resignation or not making re-appointment) on those Associate Members who had resigned of their own accord, or had not been re-appointed, since the establishment of the Government of the current term; and

(4) of the details of the honoraria or allowances for Associate Members at present; whether it will consider reviewing the mechanism for appointment of Associate Members and granting of allowances to them; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     Based on information provided by the Central Policy Unit (CPU), my reply is as follows:

(1) The major function of the CPU is to provide advice on policy matters to the Chief Executive, the Chief Secretary for Administration and the Financial Secretary. For this purpose, the CPU has appointed members of the community from various sectors as Associate Members to participate in the consultation work of the CPU as necessary. There is no limit set on the number of Associate Members.

(2) There are currently a total of 31 Associate Members of the CPU. They are appointed for a one-year tenure and may be re-appointed for unlimited times upon completion of their tenure. Of the 31 incumbent Associate Members, 21 have just started to serve for the second year. For details, please refer to Annex 1.

(3) Subject to circumstances and operational needs, the CPU will appoint new Associate Members and decide whether the incumbents will be re-appointed upon expiry of their tenure. Between February 2013 and February 2014, the CPU has appointed a total of 37 Associate Members. Of them, one resigned on personal reasons in 2013, and five others retired after completion of their tenure in February 2014. For details, please refer to Annex 2.

(4) A monthly honorarium of $2,000 is granted to each Associate Member. This amount has remained unchanged since its endorsement by the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council on April 12, 1989. The existing mechanisms for appointment of Associate Members and granting of allowances have been working effectively. The Administration will not consider reviewing the mechanisms at this stage.

Ends/Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Issued at HKT 13:00


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