LCQ1: Collaboration between Government and social organisations
There are views pointing out that, for the new-term Government to achieve good governance, and to achieve smooth implementation of policies and effective resolution of the deep-rooted social problems in Hong Kong, various government departments need to collaborate with various social organisations, so as to jointly work for the development, business opportunities, and the well-being of the people. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) given that the incumbent Chief Executive advocated, when running for the election, a "result-oriented" vision in policy implementation, whether the current-term Government has adopted such a vision in policy implementation; if so, how various government departments collaborate with various social organisations to jointly promote the adoption of such a vision in policy implementation; if not, whether the current-term Government is still retaining the "positive non-interventionism" policy;
(2) whether the Government has conducted relevant studies on issues relating to collaboration with social organisations, with a view to tying in with national development and implementing reforms that keep abreast of the time; if so, of the details, including the government department(s) responsible for conducting the studies and implementing the reforms; if not, the reasons for that; and
(3) given the long time and considerable amount of resources required for a legislative proposal to become a law, whether various government departments and social organisations have put in place collaborative mechanisms at present for the effective implementation of new legislation; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?
The Chief Executive emphasises that the new-term Government will adopt a result-oriented approach to policy implementation, and unite all sectors with a view to proactively resolving social problems in the best interests of Hong Kong people. The next five years will be a crucial time for Hong Kong to advance from stability to prosperity. The Government will rise to the challenges ahead and collaborate with social organisations to take forward, formulate and implement policies that are conducive to Hong Kong's social development, economy and people's livelihood. My consolidated reply to the question raised by the Hon Lam San-keung is as follows:
(1) Taking forward policies under their respective purviews in collaboration with stakeholders and social organisations by adopting a result-oriented approach is a mission that shall be carried out by all government departments. Collaboration with social organisations should not be confined to any stage of the policy formulation process. In the early stage of policy formulation, as well as during and after policy implementation, government departments shall work with social organisations in a manner that suits the needs in their respective areas of work to achieve the objectives of the policies and initiatives.
To promote youth development, the Home and Youth Affairs Bureau has been collaborating with the Youth Development Commission (YDC) to launch various thematic funding schemes, covering areas such as youth internship and exchange as well as youth entrepreneurship, to sponsor non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to organise activities. In the course of formulating the "youth development blueprint" (blueprint) and youth policy, the current-term Government will certainly consult stakeholders such as youth organisations to understand their thoughts and views to ensure that the blueprint addresses the need of youths promptly. Meanwhile, the Government will continue to maintain close liaison with young people and other stakeholders through various platforms such as the YDC and the districts, hear their voices, keep bilateral exchange, as well as incorporating their views in the course of policy formulation.
For example, on the social welfare front, several co-ordinating committees are set up under each District Social Welfare Office (DSWO) of the Social Welfare Department (SWD), with members drawn from government departments, welfare NGOs, local organisations and professionals, etc. Through these committees, District Social Welfare Officers can assess district needs, foster cross-sectoral and multi-disciplinary collaboration at the district level, and co-ordinate the implementation of services for local residents, particularly the vulnerable and disadvantaged. In addition, DSWOs prioritise the service needs and foster cross-sectoral and cross-service collaboration in the districts through the local cross-service district welfare co-ordination mechanism. District welfare planning forums are also organised on a regular basis to collect views on district needs from various sectors for mapping out the overall district welfare strategies.
(2) In respect of tying in with national development and implementing policies and reforms that keep abreast of the time, the Government has been maintaining communication and liaison with social organisations to explore how Hong Kong can better grasp the opportunities brought about by national development and proactively integrate into the national development.
As regards tying in with national development, taking the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) as an example, when studying with the national authorities in formulating GBA facilitation measures benefitting Hong Kong, relevant government departments will maintain communication and liaison with different sectors, and listen to their views on how to better grasp the opportunities brought about by national development. For example, regarding the financial industry, the Government and the Greater Bay Area Homeland Youth Community Foundation co-organised "Set Sail for GBA – Scheme for Financial Leaders of Tomorrow", allowing business leaders to directly interact with young people in Hong Kong, so as to prepare them for future career development and unleash their potential in the GBA. In respect of architectural and engineering related professions, the Government has also introduced to the relevant stakeholders (including professional institutions and trade associations) the facilitation measures in the GBA and the national development objectives and policies. On education front, the Government will explore with the Hong Kong Special Schools Council on how to enhance the professional sharing between the special schools in Hong Kong and the GBA. On environmental protection, the Government has been working with the Hong Kong Trade Development Council in organising the Eco Expo Asia to create business opportunities for Hong Kong's environmental trade organisations (including trade associations, local chambers of commerce and professional bodies) in the international and the Mainland (including the GBA) markets. Pursuant to our country's target to achieve peak carbon emissions before 2030 and carbon neutrality before 2060, the recent events have been focusing on exploring and promoting the latest decarbonisation strategies and technologies in order to help Hong Kong and other cities in the GBA to grasp the business opportunities created by the low-carbon transformation. As for testing and certification, the Government follows a sector-led and market-oriented approach to actively assist testing and certification organisations in exploring their participation in the voluntary "GBA Certification" scheme to be implemented by the nation.
In the process of implementing policies and reforms that keep abreast of the time, the Government strives to join hands with social organisations to promote the development of different sectors and maintain the international competitiveness of Hong Kong. For instance, to facilitate business and enhance Hong Kong's international status, the Security Bureau and the Immigration Department have just launched a pilot scheme. Under the scheme, immigration facilitation is provided, through innovative collaboration between the government and community, to eligible visitors invited by host organisations/community organisations authorised by relevant policy bureaux for participating in short-term activities in designated sectors in Hong Kong. The Government will also maintain close liaison and collaboration with the trade associations and stakeholders in individual sectors (e.g. Chinese medicine, information technology, testing and certification, etc.), to tap their suggestions on the development strategies of the sectors in formulating the relevant policies. The Government works with healthcare professional bodies in examining the prevailing registration mechanisms and training requirements, with a view to meeting the actual needs of the relevant professions.
On the livelihood and district fronts, the Government also attaches great importance to the participation of social organisations when implementing policies that keep abreast of the time. In reviewing the policies, implementation arrangements and streamlining measures related to development, the Development Bureau will closely liaise with the relevant professional bodies and trade associations, and formulate and enhance the implementation details from the perspective of users by gauging the views of the stakeholders to ensure down-to-earth and effective measures are put in place. The Task Force on Transitional Housing under the Housing Bureau provides one-stop coordinated support and acts as a communication conduit to facilitate discussions among NGOs and relevant government departments with a view to resolving various problems encountered during the implementation of transitional housing projects proposed and operated by NGOs. To promote the development of district-based primary healthcare, the Government is progressively setting up District Health Centres operated by NGOs in the 18 districts.
(3) The Government will unite the community, and, with the concerted efforts of the Government, the community and individuals, work in earnest and with one heart. In the course of enacting legislation, the Government will definitely collaborate with social organisations and listen to the views of the relevant sectors in order to implement new legislation effectively.
When formulating the legislative framework of the tenancy control on subdivided units, the Government had taken into account the recommendations put forward by the Task Force for the Study on Tenancy Control of Subdivided Units (the Task Force). The Task Force had organised a number of public forums and online meetings to gauge the views of members of the public and concern groups. Also, the Government has engaged NGOs to set up six District Service Teams to supplement the efforts of the Rating and Valuation Department in promoting the new legislation at district level and handling general enquiries, etc.
In June 2017, the SWD set up the Working Group on the Review of Ordinances and Codes of Practice for Residential Care Homes which comprised members from NGOs and private organisations operating residential care homes (RCHs), academics, service users/carers, independent members and representatives from the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. To take forward the aforementioned legislative proposals on the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance and the Residential Care Homes (Persons with Disabilities) Ordinance recommended by the Working Group, the Government has organised various engagement sessions with stakeholders of the RCH sector to introduce relevant legislative proposals and listen to their views.
In fact, the aforementioned are but a few examples of the Government's collaboration with social organisations. The Under Secretary for Labour and Welfare and I stand ready to provide further information on Members' supplementary questions, especially those relating to home and youth affairs as well as labour and welfare issues. Thank you, President.
Ends/Wednesday, July 13, 2022
Issued at HKT 12:35
Issued at HKT 12:35