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LegCo continues to consider amendments to Appropriation Bill 2015

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

     The Legislative Council (LegCo) will hold a meeting on Wednesday (May 6) at 11am in the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. During the meeting, Members will continue to consider the amendments to the Appropriation Bill 2015. Dr Kenneth Chan, Ms Claudia Mo, Mr Wong Yuk-man, Mr Albert Chan, Mr Gary Fan, Dr Kwok Ka-ki, Mr Chan Chi-chuen, Mr Leung Kwok-hung, Ms Emily Lau, Dr Helena Wong, Mr Albert Ho, Mr Wu Chi-wai, Mr James To, Ms Cyd Ho, Mr Lee Cheuk-yan, Mr Cheung Kwok-che and Dr Fernando Cheung will move a total of 618 amendments to the Bill at the Committee stage.

     Meanwhile, the Peak Tramway (Amendment) Bill 2015 will be introduced into the Council for First Reading and Second Reading. Second Reading debate on the Bill will be adjourned.

     On Members' motions, Ms Chan Yuen-han will move a motion on enacting legislation on standard working hours. The motion states: "That this Council urges the Government to expeditiously enact legislation on standard working hours, the contents of which must set the number of standard working hours at 44 per week and rates of overtime pay."

     Mr Lee Cheuk-yan, Mr Ip Kin-yuen, Mr Yiu Si-wing, Dr Chiang Lai-wan and Dr Leung Ka-lau will move separate amendments to Ms Chan Yuen-han's motion.

     Mr Cheung Kwok-che will move a motion on abolishing the Lump Sum Grant Subvention System and the competitive bidding system implemented in the social welfare sector. The motion states: "That, on January 1, 2001, the Government abolished the previous reimbursement-based subvention system on the grounds that the system was 'inflexible, complex and bureaucratic', and introduced the Lump Sum Grant Subvention System and subsequently a competitive bidding system to commission services through a bidding process open to non-governmental organizations (NGOs); however, so far there has been no objective study confirming that the Lump Sum Grant Subvention System may enhance NGOs' flexibility in deploying resources to address social needs; on the contrary, for increasing cumulative reserves, some NGOs have resorted to layoffs and pay cuts and some NGOs even have to return to the Government their excess amounts of reserves exceeding the cumulative limit, whereas the Best Practice Manual formulated by the Administration for NGOs has no binding effect; in fact, the Lump Sum Grant Subvention System and the competitive bidding system have seriously affected the ecology of the social welfare sector, including affecting the normal movements of 'Snapshot Staff', causing a high turnover rate of newly recruited contract staff, and giving rise to unequal pay for equal work between NGOs and the Social Welfare Department as well as among NGOs, thus resulting in the delink of staff salaries from the salary structures and pay scales of the civil service, the absence of protection from inflation-based annual adjustments to pay rates and performance-based pay increases for staff, the maximum salaries for most positions being forced to be set below the mid-point of the salary scale of common posts in the NGOs, with the salaries of some staff members even below the entry pay point on that pay scale, giving rise to phenomena such as succession gap in the profession, short-term contract employment and excessive workloads, etc.; in respect of the provision of services, the two systems have also caused NGOs to treat each other as bidding competitors, thereby impeding the possibility of experience sharing and joint exploration of promoting service development among themselves; some NGOs have even increased fees and charging items and employed less staff to increase financial revenue, while the Government also allows NGOs to set aside large amounts of subventions as reserves without using them for providing social services, thus affecting the quality of social services and long-term social welfare planning; given that most of these NGOs are important service providers for the grassroots and the underprivileged, the cap on expenditure and the absence of staff establishment have directly hindered the provision and development of social services, eventually affecting members of the public in need; in this connection, this Council urges the Government to immediately abolish the Lump Sum Grant Subvention System and the competitive bidding system, and reinstate the reimbursement-based subvention system, so as to restore the healthy ecology of the social welfare sector, improve social welfare services and promote long-term social welfare planning."

     Mr Ip Kin-yuen and Mr Leung Che-cheung will move separate amendments to Mr Cheung Kwok-che's motion.

     Mr Andrew Leung will move a motion under Rule 49E(2) of the Rules of Procedure. The motion states: "That this Council takes note of Report No. 18/14-15 of the House Committee laid on the Table of the Council on May 6, 2015 in relation to the District Councils Ordinance (Amendment of Schedule 7) Order 2015 and the Maximum Amount of Election Expenses (District Council Election) (Amendment) Regulation 2015".

     During the meeting, Members will also ask the Administration 16 questions on various policy areas, all of which require written replies.

     The agenda of the above meeting can be obtained via the LegCo Website ( Please note that the agenda is subject to change, and the latest information about the agenda could be found on the LegCo Website.

     Members of the public are welcome to observe the proceedings of the meeting from the public galleries of the Chamber of the LegCo Complex. They may reserve seats by calling 3919 3399 during office hours. Members of the public can also watch or listen the meeting via the "Webcast" system on the LegCo Website.

Ends/Monday, May 4, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:43


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