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LCQ18: Office of Former Chief Executives
     Following is a question by the Hon Michael Tien and a written reply by the Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Chan Kwok-ki, in the Legislative Council today (October 26):
     Currently, the Government has established the Office of Former Chief Executives (FCEO) at 28 Kennedy Road, Central and in Pacific Place, Admiralty to provide administrative support to Former Chief Executives to perform promotional, protocol-related, or any other activities in relation to their former official role. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:
(1) of the work of the FCEO in the past five years; whether it has set performance indicators for the relevant work and reviewed if such indicators have been met;
(2) of the size, rent, and rental per square foot of the FCEO located in Admiralty;
(3) of the size, estimated market rent and rental per square foot of the FCEO located in Central;
(4) of the criteria adopted by the Government for determining the grading, location and size of the office to be leased;
(5) as there are views that the epidemic, which has broken out for almost three years and still persists, casts uncertainties over the economic outlook and leads to the worry about the Government's financial position, and members of the public also expect the Government to allocate additional resources to improve people's livelihood and the economy, whether the Government has assessed if the spending of substantial amounts of public money on renting Grade A offices for use as FCEO is value-for-money; and
(6) as it has been reported that the FCEO located in Central can only accommodate three Former Chief Executives and is already fully occupied, whether the Government will review the relevant mechanism, such as only setting up FCEO for the last three Former Chief Executives, so as to ensure the sustainability of the mechanism and the proper use of public money?
     The reply to the question raised by the Hon Michael Tien is as follows:
     In April 2005, the Government appointed the Independent Commission on Remuneration Package and Post-office Arrangements for the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (the Independent Commission) to consider and make recommendations on the remuneration package and post-office arrangements for the Chief Executive (CE). The Independent Commission completed its study and submitted its report to the government in June 2005. The recommendations in the report included the provision of support and other life-long benefits for all former CEs. The government accepted the recommendations of the report and presented the same to the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council in November 2005 and obtained its approval of the financial arrangements for implementing the recommendations.
     Since then, the Government has been providing support and other life-long benefits, including office accommodation and administrative support, for all former CEs to support them in performing promotional and protocol‑related functions for Hong Kong after leaving office, for example, receiving visiting dignitaries and delegations, giving local and overseas media interviews, attending functions and events, and taking part in speaking engagements. The Office of Former Chief Executives of the HKSAR (FCEO) provides administrative support to former CEs including scheduling and making arrangements for functions and events, handling correspondence and enquiries, and dealing with general administrative duties.
     The Government set up the FCEO at 28 Kennedy Road in 2007. With a total internal floor area of about 535 square metres, the premises can provide accommodation for up to three former CEs at the same time, including communal facilities like drawing rooms and reception which are available on a shared-use basis. Since the FCEO at 28 Kennedy Road is a property for government’s own use, there is no information about the market rental.
     As the FCEO at 28 Kennedy Road has already accommodated three former CEs, no space was available to set up an office for the fourth former CE. Taking into account that the new office has to be commensurate with the status of a former CE, coupled with the operational requirements including the location, transport, facilitation for meeting people from different sectors, and security etc., the Central and Admiralty districts are considered suitable for setting up the office in question. As there was no suitable government premises available in the districts at the time, a leasable office unit was identified at Pacific Place for a tenancy period of three years. We will consider the arrangement after the tenancy period as appropriate. Taking into account the operational needs of the FCEO, in particular the need to support a former CE in performing promotional and protocol-related functions, and any other activities in relation to the former official role, such as receiving visiting dignitaries and delegations, giving local and overseas media interviews, as well as the overall security arrangements of the commercial building concerned, Pacific Place meets the FCEO’s requirements in respect of the overall security arrangements and the protocol requirements for receiving visiting guests. The office has an internal floor area of around 267 square metres with a net rent of about $377,000 per month, representing around $1,410 per square metre which is comparable with the market level. 
     The scale of the office of the fourth former CE is similar to that of the existing FCEO at 28 Kennedy Road. Some facilities at 28 Kennedy Road such as drawing rooms and reception are used on shared basis, enabling the premises to accommodate three former CEs at the same time. We will continue to provide the appropriate office accommodation and administrative support to all former CEs in the light of the actual circumstances to facilitate their performance of promotional and protocol-related functions for Hong Kong.
Ends/Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Issued at HKT 14:20
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