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LCQ10: Youth development activities

     Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Tsang Tak-sing, in the Legislative Council today (July 8):


     It is learnt that the Commission on Youth (CoY) receives government funding to implement the Funding Scheme for Youth Internship in the Mainland and the Funding Scheme for Youth Exchange in the Mainland, under which community organisations are given funding support to offer internship and exchange opportunities for youths. It has been reported that Hua Jing Society Limited (HJS), one of the beneficiary organisations, arranges internships for post-secondary graduates in mainland enterprises each year.  However, some interns of 2012 have complained that despite HJS's pledge that it would award a scholarship of $3,000 to each of the 10 interns with outstanding performance, it had yet to pay such amounts after a lapse of three years.  Moreover, some interns of 2013 have pointed out that HJS promised to reimburse a tour fee of about $1,000 to each of the 57 interns of the tour, but it did not make such reimbursements after a lapse of two years.  Some university lecturers responsible for arranging internships in the Mainland for local post-secondary graduates have pointed out that such incidents reflect that the administration within HJS is chaotic, and the Government has failed to effectively monitor the use of public money.  In this connection, will the Government inform this Council if it knows:

(1) whether CoY has reviewed the assessment standards for the two aforesaid funding schemes to ensure that only competent organisations will be granted funding support; whether the political stances of the managements of applicant organisations will affect their chance of securing funding support;

(2) how CoY monitors the content and quality of those internship and exchange activities which have obtained funding support so as to ensure the prudent use of public money; and

(3) how CoY penalises those organisations that do not comply with the funding guidelines; the channels through which participants of such internship and exchange activities may lodge complaints against blunders on the part of the organisers?



     The Commission on Youth (CoY) has been taking forward a variety of youth development activities to encourage the youth to broaden their horizon.  Through the Funding Scheme for Youth Exchange in the Mainland and the Funding Scheme for Youth Internship in the Mainland (the two Funding Schemes), the CoY sponsors non-Governmental organisations to organise activities that provide broader exposure to the younger generation and foster a deeper understanding of the latest development, work environment and job market on the Mainland.  Our reply to the various parts of the question raised by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung is as follows:

(1) A set of objective assessment criteria is in place for the two Funding Schemes, covering content, depth and creativity of a project, appropriateness of arrangements, cost-effectiveness, project scope, etc.  Among them, whether an applicant organisation possesses relevant experience and its track record are key factors for consideration.  The organisation's political stance is not among the criteria.  Such criteria are laid down with reference to other similar schemes of the Government and upon consultation with the CoY, with an aim of effectively selecting reasonably experienced and capable organisations to ensure quality and effectiveness of activities.  The CoY reviews the assessment criteria annually, and makes revisions if necessary.

(2) & (3) When funding is approved, the sponsored organisation shall implement the project in accordance with the details as specified in the application form.  No changes are allowed.  We reserve the right to withdraw funding in case any changes are made to the project without consent of the relevant working group under the CoY.  Both the Government and the CoY may assign representatives to participate in the activities concerned to monitor the progress of project implementation.  Upon completion of the project, the sponsored organisation shall, within three months, submit to the CoY a report, including a financial statement issued by a certified public accountant or public auditor, feedback of participants and assessment of the project's effectiveness, etc.  Failure to submit such documents within the specified time or non-compliance of the sponsorship criteria without reasonable explanation may entail withdrawal of funding and the sponsored organisation would be required to return the advance payment received.  Such failure and non-compliance, which will be recorded by the CoY, may have bearing on the organisation's future funding applications.  Views or suggestions on the two Funding Schemes can be relayed to the CoY Secretariat, which will then follow up with the organisations concerned.

Ends/Wednesday, July 8, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:34


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